SOCCER DUEL by Thomas J. Dygard


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Football star Terry Masters decides, in his junior year, to go out for soccer instead. Soccer At suburban Chicago Windsor High ""It's a beautiful game,"" Terry has found during a summer of playground competition. He can handle his All-American father's disappointment (and his dad doesn't, in any case, take it as hard as expected). He can handle the reproaches of his former teammates, their feeling that he's let them down. But can he handle not being the Windsor Eagles soccer star--hearing the cheers ring, instead, for Polish-born, English-bred newcomer Krystian Wisniewski, soon known as Wiz the Whiz? In small, everyday ways, Dygard shows the difference it makes to Terry, accustomed to adulation, to suddenly be overlooked--and, worst of all, to know that others can see ""It hurts."" So, given an opening, he starts trying to make goals instead of passing to his teammates. Many of his tries are ""dumb shots,"" and miss; his teammates stop passing to him; and Coach Schmidt takes him out of the starting lineup--until, he's told, he can regain the others' confidence. By self-effacingly playing defense in place of an injured teammate, he does (in a game that also gives Terry, and the reader, a different perspective on the play). Altogether, Dygard has combined the soccer upsurge, the superiority of experienced foreigners, and the dethronement of an American standout to produce an unusual story with his usual strong fictional values.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow