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The Game of Their Lives: The Untold Story of the World Cup's Biggest Upset
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The Game of Their Lives: The Untold Story of the World Cup's Biggest Upset

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In the summer of 1950, a most unlikely group was assembled to represent its country in the first soccer World Cup since World War II. The Americans were outsiders to the sport, the underdogs of the event, a 500-to-1 long shot. But they were also proud and loyal men -- to one another, to their communities, and certainly to their country. Facing almost no time to prepare, op ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published April 12th 2005 by It Books (first published September 1996)
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Aidan Williams
Mar 07, 2014 Aidan Williams rated it really liked it
With the World Cup in Brazil rapidly approaching, it seems appropriate to look back at one of the most notorious stories from the previous time Brazil hosted the World’s party in 1950. The biggest upset for many a tournament occurred in Belo Horizonte when England, playing in their first ever World Cup having not deigned to enter previously, were beaten by a bunch of rag tag part-timers from the United States.

This was an England side containing the cream of the home of football’s wealth of talen
Dec 25, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing
A joy of a book! The 1950 World Cup US victory over England is something of a legend among people who follow national teams.

The general description of that game I had always heard was somewhat snarky - the US had handed out quick passports and fielded a team that was essentially straight from Ellis Island.

Turns out - it is a beautiful and quintessential American story. Many of the players were children or grand-children of immigrants, grew up in ethnic neighborhoods but were fiercely proud Ame
Ira Livingston
Feb 03, 2016 Ira Livingston rated it it was amazing
Great story about the US upset in the World Cup of 1950. The film by the same team that brought you Hoosiers is actually really well done as well but the book gives you more story on each of the players and a real feel for how the game was played back in the day.

Would highly recommend this to any sports fan especially soccer - 146 pages long is a pretty fast read.
Jimmy Laroue
Jan 06, 2015 Jimmy Laroue rated it really liked it
A light, easy read about an important time in US Soccer history.
Mar 15, 2008 Natan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not just soccer fans
Shelves: sports
In 1950 the USA beat England 1-0 in a World Cup soccer game. The game is probably regarded as the biggest upset in international soccer history. It is probably a bigger upset than the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Olympics. England was one of the favorites coming into the tournament, and the Americans were amateurs, of whom very little was expected.
The author focuses more on the players and their lives than he does on the game itself. It makes a good read also for people who are not sports fans.
Apr 15, 2009 Doug rated it liked it
I picked this after seeing the film (made a couple of years ago.) This is one of the few where I enjoyed the movie more. The movie, for me, has a better flow - introducing the players in their homes/neighborhoods and then following them to the pivotal game and following it through (more linear.) The book jumps back and forth between the game, with it's known outcome, and filling in background of the players. I enjoyed it, but not quite a much.
Sep 07, 2011 Julianne rated it liked it
Overall, I liked the book. The subject matter was fascinating. It's hard to believe that with such an upset game, and newspapers around the world talking about it, hardly any American paper even mentioned it. The only thing I found distracting was the author's going back and forth between different players' jobs, current families, and the game itself. I didn't find it to be very effective, and was at times confusing.
Jul 21, 2014 Kris rated it liked it
Enjoyable little book--as much about the players as about the soccer. Made me nostalgic for a time I never even knew. And the World Cup has come a long way!
Oct 30, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing
great sports yarn about the 1950 World cup victory of the US over Britain. Also shows how deep and old the US soccer(football) community really is - as old as the "beautiful game" itself
Tony Keefer
Jan 15, 2012 Tony Keefer rated it really liked it
If you love soccer and storytelling you should like this book. Fascinating to read about the lives of some of the team years after their victory over England.
Jan 18, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it
About as good as it could possibly be. Reminded me at times of "The Boys of Summer," which is very good company to be in.
Jan 04, 2008 Marion rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Not the greatest book I've read, but I nonetheless loved hearing the story about the greatest match in U.S. men's soccer history.
Apr 07, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Reading this makes me wonder even more about how football (read soccer) never took America by storm.
Sep 28, 2010 Johanna rated it liked it
A nice, quick story about the US soccer team that unexpectedly beat England in the 1950 World Cup.
Dec 21, 2009 Rick rated it really liked it
"The Boys of Summer" meets the world's game. "The Boys of Soccer"?
Apr 28, 2013 Eli rated it really liked it
A must read for all US Soccer fans!
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