Playing at the non-League level in England over two decades ago, Florida-born goalkeeper Justin Bryant was yelled at – a lot. In more recent times, Pasco, Washington’s Preston Zimmerman just didn’t understand what was going on during practice in Darmstadt, Germany.
Down in São Paulo, playing for Santos FC’s women’s team a few years ago, Gwendolyn Oxenham was far from her then-home at grad school in chilly Notre Dame. She soon realized that it was her style of play that did not translate, in a place where messing around was the right way to practice. In Taiwan for work in 1997, Vermont native Chris Gaffney also struggled to communicate in the native language, but unlike Oxenham in Brazil, faced a different challenge: finding a game at all.
By contrast, Californian Mary Harvey – the goalkeeper on the USWNT’s 1991 World Cup winning team – was fluent in the four required languages at FIFA headquarters in Zurich during her time there as the first American and first female Director of Development at the world’s governing body. In 1970s Glasgow, Hugh O’Neill broke a very different barrier, as the Kearny, New Jersey-resident became the first “admitted” Catholic to join Rangers.
In issue two of XI Quarterly, we hear stories from and about all of the above amongst the eleven pieces exploring “Americans Abroad.” Issue two will be released in December, and is available via a subscription to XI.