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Under the Lights and In the Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer

by Gwendolyn Oxenham

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412615,103 (4.5)3
"Under the Lights and in the Dark takes us inside the world of women's soccer, following players across the globe, from Portland Thorns star Allie Long, who trains in an underground men's league in New York City; to English national Fara Williams, who hid her homelessness from her teammates while playing for the English national team. Oxenham takes us to Voronezh, Russia, where players battle more than just snowy pitches in pursuing their dream of playing pro, and to a refugee camp in Denmark, where Nadia Nadim, now a Danish international star, honed her skills after her family fled from the Taliban."--Jacket flap.… (more)
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This book talks about different things people had to do to continue to play soccer and make a living from it. The book starts by talking about Allie Long and how she became a player for USWNT (United States Women's National Team). She played in a underground league with a bunch a spanish guys who called her "la rubia" (the blonde). It then talks about Dani Oxenham who went to play for the women's league in Russia so she could become a pro player. It talks about the language barrier, how her coach treated her and her team horribly and how she had to eat mystery substances that her coach told her to. It talks about why the Portland Thorns are so popular compared to all the other NWSL teams.

I thought this book was really good. It was honestly one of my favorite books of the year. I would of done for my Movie poster project but I don't know what I would do for the poster part. The author did a great job about talking about the problems the players faced and what they had to do to fix them and move on. It did a great job of explaining the sport so you could read it even if you did not watch the Women's World Cup or have played before. ( )
1 vote SCornfeld.ELA4 | Jan 12, 2020 |
Oxenham is a former college soccer player, a sports journalist, and a women's soccer aficionado. In this book, each chapter tells the story of a different woman soccer player, or women's soccer topic. Portland plays a big role in the book (we are, after all, soccer city, and the promised land for women's soccer, given that our games typically draw 16,000 to 20,000 fans). She also gives an international perspective, covering players from Africa, South America and Europe.

I think that my favorite chapter was the one on Nadia Nadim, who is a professional soccer player and also a medical student. She was born in Afghanistan, and moved to Denmark as a refugee child. There she got involved in soccer, a perfect match for her intensity, and aggressive drive. She played last year for the Portland Thorns, and we loved watching her. Unfortunately, she left us to play for Manchester City.

The book really highlights the difficulties that women athletes have, and also the strength and drive they bring to the game. Women athletes are paid way less than men, even when they are super talented. It is also hard for women players to get the recognition, product endorsements, etc. ( )
  banjo123 | Jun 16, 2018 |
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"Under the Lights and in the Dark takes us inside the world of women's soccer, following players across the globe, from Portland Thorns star Allie Long, who trains in an underground men's league in New York City; to English national Fara Williams, who hid her homelessness from her teammates while playing for the English national team. Oxenham takes us to Voronezh, Russia, where players battle more than just snowy pitches in pursuing their dream of playing pro, and to a refugee camp in Denmark, where Nadia Nadim, now a Danish international star, honed her skills after her family fled from the Taliban."--Jacket flap.

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