The Striker and the Clock: On Being in the Game

Riverhead. Jul. 2024. 208p. ISBN 9780593714881. $27. MEMOIR
Unlike many sports memoirs that focus solely on the achievements and challenges within the game, former professional soccer player Cloepfil’s book intertwines reflections about her personal growth with the narrative of her career in a uniquely crafted format. Structured in 90 short chapters, one for each minute in a soccer match, her book artfully parallels the ebb and flow of the game with details about her personal and athletic evolution. From the exhilaration of new beginnings to the bittersweet conclusion of her career, each passage captures the essence of her journey as it highlights the joys and challenges of pursuing excellence in a competitive field. Her nomadic experience playing for six years on six teams in six countries offers insight into the life of a professional women’s soccer player. The book celebrates the beauty of soccer while showing the sacrifices elite athletes make to stay in the game.
VERDICT A thoughtful and engaging exploration of life on and off the soccer field. It will resonate with readers interested in the human side of professional sports and fans of When Nobody Was Watching by Carli Lloyd with Wayne Coffey, Abby Wambach’s Forward, and Raised a Warrior by Susie Petruccelli.
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