Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer

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9780966985009: Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer
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A new book chronicles the adventures of minor league soccer in a way that has never been done before. Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer, follows the adventures of the Fairfax, Virginia-based Northern Virginia Royals, which made its debut during the 1998 season.

The Royals played in the D3 Pro League of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues, the lowest level of professional soccer in the U.S. Players in D3 can be paid, but the Royals players received no financial compensation for their efforts. Most worked full-time jobs while playing for the Royals.

Author Dave Ungrady has written a behind-the-scenes and honest account of the struggles athletes endure at the minor league level. Most sports fans see the glory and excess that prevail in the top levels of professional sports today. In "Unlucky", the reader will be exposed to the grit and sacrifice a minor league soccer player must endure.

Ungrady, a former collegiate soccer player and track athlete who turned 40 last year, also trained with the team the entire season with the hope of playing in one game. Part of the book documents his struggle to stay fit for a professional debut.

Never before has anyone written about minor league professional soccer while training with a team. Ungrady lived the team experience, attending meetings and road trips and practicing up to four times a week while working full-time. "Close access and time commitment were important to understanding the motives of the players," he said. "When you train with a team, you become part of the team. It's the best way to fully understand what the players feel and how they play the game."

Playing for the Royals helped Ungrady achieve a lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete. "I wish it happened when I was a lot younger," he said. "But, as a writer, it was one of the most gratifiying experiences of my life."

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About the Author:

Ungrady, who grew up in Trenton, New Jersey and lives in Alexandria, Virginia, was an all-Atlantic Coast Conference 800-meter runner at the University of Maryland in the late 1970s. He also played one year for the school1s varsity soccer team before an injury curtailed that career.

Ungrady is the Vice-President of Sports Publishing International (SPI), a Washington, D.C. area-based company. In that role, he is the editor of magazines for the United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. Youth Soccer Association. SPI also publishes newspapers for soccer state associations in Virginia, West Virginia and New Hampshire and publishes the Washington edition of MetroSports Magazine. SPI has offices in Alexandria, Virginia and New Market, Maryland.

Ungrady also has extensive experience in broadcasting. He is a former producer and reporter for CNN and ESPN and was the play-by-play announcer for radio broadcasts of D.C. United soccer games in 1997. He has also performed play-by-play, analyst and field reporter duties of college soccer television broadcasts on Fox Sports Net and for College Soccer Weekly.

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Ungrady, Dave, Ungrady, Dave, Ungrady, D
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