In 1961, Hubert Vogelsinger, a pro soccer player and coach who was earning his physical education degree in Vienna, fell in love with Lois Ryan, an American Fulbright scholar. He accompanied her back to Massachusetts even though she told him, ''You don't need to pack your boots or a ball, because I've never seen any soccer in the United States.''
''I snuck my boots in my suitcase and I was playing with the Italians my first Saturday in America,'' says Vogelsinger, who married Lois four weeks later. He also started as an assistant coach at the Middlesex School, which led to the Yale head coaching job in 1966.
SHOOTING TUTOR. ''The local private schools kept inviting me to help, mainly with shooting,'' Vogelsinger says. ''There wasn't enough time to go to all of them, so I suggested all the players come to one place. We had our first camp, with 60 players.''
How did the booming soccer camp industry get its start? It dates back to when a young soccer-mad Austrian met an American woman in Vienna.
Soon requests for Vogelsinger's sessions came from around the country, giving birth to the Vogelsinger Soccer Academy. Nearly four decades later, in a landscape overflowing with camps, 65-year-old Vogelsinger is going strong, welcoming 3,000 boys and girls annually. Lois serves as the Academy's administrator.
Vogelsinger, who coached three NASL teams, says his camps offer the intense, round-the-clock technical development training that clubs don't have time for. He makes it clear: His Academy is for serious players.
PASSION PLAY. ''They're either in heaven or hell, depending on whether a kid is ready to pay for his passion,'' he says. ''In the old days, we'd lose five or six kids a week. Now we hardly lose any, because they know what to expect and end up loving it.''
by Soccer America Executive Editor Mike Woitalla