Book review: On The Field With USWNT stars

When I looked at the background of author Matt Christopher, what struck me was the depth of his work. He published over 100 books, almost entirely on sports. Some of his previous books were on athletes I admired when I was growing up, so I immediately appreciated where his new book focuses and why.

While I may have missed it in his massive catalog, this is the first time a nonfiction book in his series focused on multiple athletes. That decision raised in my mind a question.

On the Field with Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh gives the stories of four stars of the 2019 World Cup winning team. Three of the names are obvious choices for a book like this: Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe. Each gets a biographical sketch colored with quotes from the players themselves, coaches, and other players. The fourth player is Mallory Pugh. Her inclusion is interesting since she barely featured in the World Cup and recently was not invited to the Olympic training camp due to performance. The book includes post-France updates, so the inclusion is even more confusing.

The book is written for a younger audience, and is meant to inspire young soccer players to keep practicing and playing despite adversity. The language at times is very stilted, splicing soccer terms with language that sounds like someone trying to describe a match who has never watched one. In addition, quotes from announcers and journalists go unsourced, which is not a major omission but an odd omission. Based on the writing, the book is really aimed for a 4th to 5th grade reading level so the language used is not a deal breaker.

This book would be a good gift for a younger child who needs a boost of inspiration to work harder to succeed. Any adult reading the book is likely to be bored and unimpressed. But knowing Matt Christopher books, this should not be a surprise.

On The Field With Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Mallory Pugh is available via Amazon and all fine booksellers.

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