A conventional but exciting sports story, hung about with soccer lore and lingo, plenty of action, former players reliving their glory days, and an awestruck American fifth-grader as witness. Marty Regan, a marginal student at London's American School but a committed fan of English football, jumps at a chance to become a gofer for the Belsize Park Bombers. Coached by Jack Buxley, who led the club to its last London Football Association Challenge Cup 40 years ago, the Bombers are skirting the edge of bankruptcy and the loss of their First Division status. Still, despite the sale of one star player and the slump of another, they stage an amazing series of upsets, battling their way once again to the finals at Wembley. Without slowing the pace, Chapin (a former sportswriter) takes readers on a tour of the sport, delivering lucid accounts of its rules, history, and tangle of organizations, defining slang and special terms and creating a sense of high drama in match after match (""Football is not a game,"" says Marry with quiet certainty). School and family business create only minor ripples here.