For issue #1 of XI, Andrew Guest is writing about the immigrant paradox, asking why it is that immigrants in the United States often do better in soccer than do non-immigrants. Here he talks about his article, titled “How to Make it in America.”
In issue #1 of XI Quarterly, Leander Schaerlaeckens and Pieter van Os explore Johan Cruyff’s years playing in the United States.
Their article shows how the time that the Dutch legend spent in the NASL formed the man that we know today as Johan Cruyff, as Schaerlaeckens discusses here.
A Dutch native, Leander Schaerlaeckens lives in New York and has written about soccer for such publications as ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, the Guardian and World Soccer. He has a one-sided love-hate relationship with Johan Cruyff.
“His skills would offend the opposition, often leaving them feeling foolish and flailing victims of Gil’s fancy footwork. 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.”—Gil Scott-Heron discussing his father’s soccer career in his posthumously published memoir. Gil Heron was the first black player to turn out for Glasgow Celtic’s first team in 1951, having built his career playing in Detroit and Chicago. Explore the story in the forthcoming inaugural issue of XI in an illustrated portrait of father and son.