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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
We All Wore Blue by Emerson Robbins is an impactful story about a team of players brought together by their love of football that sticks together and achieves great things because of their sense of brotherhood. It is also an inspiring example of what can be achieved when people put aside their differences and appreciate the value each person adds to the group. Robbins's first stint as a coach was while he was in high school. It was not until fourteen years later that he decided to take up coaching again after signing up his son, Ben, to play soccer. The family moved to Seattle where his other two sons, Tyler and Ryan, continued to play the game. Robbins began coaching Tyler’s team. From an obscure, poor-performing team, the players made their way into the Gold Division, the top division in recreational soccer.
We All Wore Blue follows the team’s story, their highs and lows, and their remarkable achievements. After reaching the Gold Division, the team now comprised of American and immigrant boys began to play club soccer. The change was also marked by a change of name from “The Mad Dogs” to “FC Shoreline International.” Through Robbins’s leadership, they navigated failure, racism, and personal struggles to win two state championships along with many tournaments and league titles. Robbins stands out in the story not only as a brilliant and strategic coach but also as a father figure and mentor to the players. He steps in, provides guidance, and supports the players including those from immigrant families. Not only was he interested in their performance but also in their personal well-being. Each player is described which allowed me to know them and root for them during each game. The team’s experiences also explore important topics such as racism, immigrant issues, and collaboration. We All Wore Blue by Emerson Robbins is not only a story about an inspiring team that defied the odds to reach extraordinary heights but also an illustration of teamwork, respect, and exceptional leadership.