Brincadeira: a joke, a prank, a style of playing. There’s no American equivalent for it, but Gwen Oxenham tells the story of her experience of Brincadeira playing pro soccer in Brazil in XI Issue Two.
Former American college soccer player Gwendolyn Oxenham has written a book (pictured, Finding the Game) and starred in a movie (Pelada) about her experiences playing pickup soccer in over two dozen countries worldwide.
Before that now famous adventure, Oxenham experienced life as an American playing professional soccer in Brazil with storied Santos FC - heading to Santos for the summer and trying her luck there without knowing a word of Portuguese.
She tells us the story of this journey in Issue Two of XI Quarterly, themed around “Americans Abroad” discovering the game worldwide.
Pelé in the United States - not in the NASL, but playing for Santos against the NPSL’s Oakland Clippers in a friendly at the Oakland Coliseum on August 30th, 1967, in Oakland, California.
Here he is driving past the Clippers’ Trond Hoftvedt to score in the first half, later scoring again in the second half to lead Santos to a 3-1 victory in what was described as a “record crowd” of 29,162 in Oakland. (AP Photo)