We All Wore Blue

Non-Fiction - Sports
209 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2021
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Author Biography

Emerson “Skip” Robbins coached youth soccer for over thirty-five years, named Coach of the Year for the City of Seattle in 2007, Coach of the Year for the State of Washington in 2008, COY for the Western United States and runner-up for National Coach of the Year in 2009.
His FC Shoreline International teams won consistent league titles, countless tournaments and two State Championships. The catalyst for writing the book was the result of politicians speaking disparagingly about immigrants, referring to them as criminals, drug dealers and rapists, etc. As Robbins writes, "the vilification of immigrants was especially hurtful to me, as I’d grown so close to our players and their families. I found it no different than someone denigrating my own family, I took this all personally.

After coaching the International team and retiring from business, he and his wife Sherri, moved to Whidbey Island where he coached the local high school boys’ soccer team for many years.
Though now finally retired from coaching, Emerson continues to root for his home-town Seattle Sounders.

    Book Review

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.

George Smith

Soccer can unite the world
Reading the book makes you feel like you're sitting on the bench with another parent, reminiscing about the good old days.
The importance of structured childhood athletics is exemplified in this narrative.
"We All Wore Blue" provided a platform for young men from all over the world to be exposed to cultures they would never have encountered otherwise. The lads appear to form deep bonds and acquire important life values such as being prepared, supporting one another, and giving it your all until the last whistle blows.
"We All Wore Blue..." is a timely narrative about how, despite our differences, we can work together to achieve a common objective.