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x i q u a r t e r ly

summer 2012

volume one issue one

XI QUARTERLY Phone 1 619 335 8715 Web Email Twitter @xiquarterly Editors Tom Dunmore David Keyes Art Director Joseph Liam Murtaugh Copy Editors Daryl Grove, Dan Martin Contributors Elizabeth Cotignola, Paul Cuadros, Marty Groark, Andrew Guest, Jeff Kassouf, Michael Orr, Leander Schaerlaeckens, Pieter van Os, Steve Welsh Illustrator Rachel Anne Jones Print Angel Lithographing Sturtevant, Wisconsin USA Special Thanks Roger Allaway, Tim Dicus, Ethan FaurĂŠ, Colin Jose, Les Jones, Eric Kekeis, Benjamin Kumming, Liz Orras, David Read, David Ruse, John Turnbull, Scott Youmans This issue is dedicated to the memory of David Wangerin (1962-2012) a pioneer historian of North American soccer


Americans Abroad

autumn 2012

This is eleven, a north american soccer quarterly.

summer 2012


I Celtic’s Black Arrow A portrait of father and son: Gil (Scott) Heron Steve Welsh

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From the Editors II We Play Too Latina immigrants reshaping soccer and life in North Carolina Paul Cuadros


III Cruyff’s American Journey How Johan’s tenure in the NASL changed the Dutch legend Leander Schaerlaeckens & Pieter van Os


IV Making it in America Analyzing “the immigrant’s game” Andrew Guest


V Truth, Crushed To Earth, Shall Rise Again The Howard University soccer team’s journey of redemption Tom Dunmore


VI Crossing Borders Americans in Mexico, Mexicans in America Jeff Kassouf


VII The Scotch and English Game The founders of Soccer City U.S.A. Michael Orr


VIII La Conquête Commence Constructing the Montreal Impact’s unique identity in MLS Elizabeth Cotignola


IX Americanizing an Ethnic Game How youth soccer in Los Angeles redefined the sport David Keyes


About the Contributors


X The Archie Stark Story America’s 1920s Messi – in Kearny, New Jersey


XI Red, White and Blue Croatian soccer in Chicago (with added Eusébio) Marty Groark


At the Back

Coming to America x i q u a r t e r ly v o l u m e o n e i s s u e o n e

Dedicated to David Wangerin (1962-2012) a pioneer historian of North American soccer

Celtic’s Black Arrow

A portrait of father and son: Gil (Scott) Heron

Steve Welsh 4



ere in glasgow is a city about the size of Detroit, and it drops dead at 9 pm. Why, over in Detroit that’s just late afternoon; you start to enjoy yourself about then!” gil heron, 1951

In September 1756, Alexander Heron was born in Wigtownshire, a small town on a rainy coastal peninsula in the southwestern tip of Scotland. A few decades on and over 4,000 miles away, Heron and his son–Captain Alexander Woodburn Heron–had established one of the largest plantation holdings in Jamaica. A little under two centuries on from that, on August 18, 1951, one Gilbert Heron–the great-great-great grandson of Alexander– made his debut for Glasgow Celtic, returning the family line to Scotland. Heron was the first black player to turn out for Celtic’s first team, and on that day, he scored a goal in a 2-0 win. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Gil Heron had come to Scotland via Canada (where he served in the air force during World War II) and then from the United States, where he would become a renowned soccer player in Detroit and Chicago and a top scorer in the short-lived North American Soccer Football League and other regional competitions in the late 1940s. Heron was spotted by a Celtic scout, and moved on to Glasgow. He stood out. Sporting a zoot suit, trilby hat and yellow shoes, Heron played jazz, loved photography, wrote poetry and was a natural talent at multiple sports. His lightning pace earned him the nicknames the “Black Flash” and the “Black Arrow”; yet despite scoring regularly in the reserves for Celtic, he received few further first team opportunities, going on to play for fellow Scottish club Third Lanark and then Kidderminster Harriers in England, before moving back and settling permanently in the United States. Heron returned to America having chased his dream at a cost. He had left behind in the Midwest his infant son, Gilbert Scott-Heron, from whom he remained estranged until the famous radical musician was 26. Heron Junior was born in Chicago where his parents met at a bowling alley while his father played for the Maroons. ScottHeron had moved to the South with his grandmother Summer 2012

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I Celtic’s Black Arrow when his father left for Glasgow, the boy just eighteen months old. Years later, playing his music on tours of Scotland, Heron Junior would look at the crowd and see Celtic colors dotted amongst those who remembered his father’s flash of impact on the Scottish game. In his memoir, published posthumously in January 2012, it becomes clear how often Heron Junior’s parents spoke to him of his father’s passion for soccer. He talks of his mother’s vivid recollections of the bruises Heron Senior collected for his efforts. She was “appalled by his injuries. Opponents tried to deliberately injure him, with high tackles and tackles when he didn’t even have the ball. It was inevitable when his team played groups from the surrounding areas.” The Herons attributed this to race, with Heron Senior a pioneer black sportsman (a contemporary of Jackie Robinson). “His skills would offend the opposition, often leaving them feeling foolish and flailing victims of Gil’s fancy footwork,” Scott-Heron recalled. “There were scoundrels in places like Skokie, a suburb of Chicago then primarily inhabited by Europeans, who treated soccer like an ethnic heirloom. My mother talked about incidents when opposing players had felt forced to foul, going for his legs instead of the ball, not trying to tackle him but to injure.” These assaults were unwise, for Gil Heron was powerfully built and fearless. “Bad move,” Heron Junior continued. “Gil would grab them and either overpower them with the strength that could be generated by his powerful legs, or while grappling face-to-face he would suddenly jerk his opponent toward him, forcing their face into his forehead.” Yet for all the bruises the sport brought his father, and the separation it caused, Heron Junior remembered his father’s love of soccer with dear affection and no little pride in his father’s talents. “Sometimes he was romantic and sometimes thoughtful, brooding over the quality of the competition and teammates who couldn’t get the ball to him when they were pressed. He loved to talk about soccer, past games, teammates, opponents ridiculed as their pointless, desperate pursuit of him ended the same way: Gooooooaaaaal!”


Coming to America

Summer 2012

x i q u a r t e r ly

From the Editors


Coming to America

Coming to America


hortly before this inaugural issue of XI went

to press, former United States Men’s National Team coach Alkis Panagoulias passed away at the age of 78. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Panagoulias was described in a 2006 profile by Jack Bell in The New York Times as “a naturalized United States citizen who waved the flag with the fervor of a native-born patriot.” When he took charge of the national team in 1983, the U.S. had not appeared in a World Cup since 1950. The experienced Greek coach, who had taken his native land to their first European Championship appearance in 1980 (and in 1994 would lead Greece to their first World Cup in his adopted home), had won three U.S. Open Cups with amateur team Greek American Atlas after coming to America in the 1960s. Yet even with his stellar reputation, Panagoulias had to fight for the national team to be recognized as a priority in the waning NASL era. “It was very difficult,” Panagoulias told Bell in that 2006 interview. “I first had to sell the league people and owners on the idea that the national team has to be the No. 1 team in the country. We needed their players. “I was almost crying when I talked about the national team. They looked at me like I was crazy.”


anagoulias no longer seems crazy today. By coming to America, millions of individuals like Panagoulias have helped establish soccer as a major sport from the grassroots to the professional level. Issue one of XI samples some of those stories from past and present, reminding us of the diverse roots continuing to shape soccer in North America.

Summer 2012

x i q u a r t e r ly

XI Quarterly Issue One Extract  

An extract of the first 14 pages of XI Quarterly issue one, including the first of eleven pieces. XI is a North American soccer quarterly,...

XI Quarterly Issue One Extract  

An extract of the first 14 pages of XI Quarterly issue one, including the first of eleven pieces. XI is a North American soccer quarterly,...