Earlier this week we suggested five books that you should add to your summer reading list. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one about the New England Revolution. This got us thinking about who would write the most entertaining autobiography. Here are top choices.
Seth: Shalrie Joseph
If someone is going to write an autobiography, they better have stories to tell. After 12 seasons in MLS, I have no doubt that Joseph's book would be a must-read.
Joseph has had many accomplishments worth boasting about and while I'd like to learn how he felt when he was drafted, the emotions that came with losing four MLS Cups, and the pride felt when he became an American, I'm more interested in the juicy stuff.
I want to hear about the nixed transfer that would've sent him to Celtic FC in 2007 and the 2011 night when he got arrested for trespassing. I want to read about the rocky relationship that he had with coach Jay Heaps that lead to a trade with Chivas USA. I'm even interested in knowing what it's like to play for PDL side FC Boston at age 39.
Joseph always carried himself with a certain swagger, which makes me confident that he'd write a compelling autobiography.
Jon: Matt Reis
When I sit down to read a book about soccer, I want to do one of two things: Feel inspired or laugh. An autobiography by Reis is guaranteed to provide both.
The perpetual jokester of the Revs' locker room during his spell from 2003 to 2013, the goalkeeper must be chalked full of stories. Plus you gotta admit, who wouldn't love the return of Luis “El Lobo” Fangoso, Reis' famed alter ego and the source of Major League Soccer's best April Fools' Day joke?
He was part of both the Steve Nicol and Jay Heaps eras, too, so it'd be interesting to hear his varying perspectives on those. And for any long-term New England fan, a lasting memory is Reis' retirement press conference, one where tears flowed and he wore his heart on his sleeve. Purely from a passion standpoint, Reis' book would be worth it.
Jake: Taylor Twellman
There's not just one great chapter to Twellman's soccer career, there's nearly a half dozen of them. Starting out in Germany, being an MLS MVP in New England, missing out on a World Cup squad and then the concussion issue that forced him to retire. But that's not where Twellman's story ends, in fact there's two major directions in can go from there.
First, his activism with concussions as a whole and his personal quest to raise awareness for such a polarizing topic is probably worthy of an entire book itself. Second, his career as a broadcaster with ESPN and the games and tournaments he's gotten to cover and do color analyst for are remarkable for any former athlete. Taylor's background aside, which includes his playing days, growing up in St. Louis and his immediate family that played in the NASL in the 70s are all the start of a pretty remarkable career on and off the field. The depth of information in a Twellman biography could be staggering, and I'd probably read it in a matter of hours or days.
Nick: Diego Fagundez
The Revolution Academy has forever stressed quality over quantity, an approach that started with Fagundez. Shy of 16 years old, the Uruguayan midfielder became the team's first-ever homegrown signing in 2010. He went on to play his rookie season beside five players who were more than twice his age: Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, Ilija Stolica, Didier Domi and Ousmane Dabo.
Of course, none of that fazed Diego, as he scored twice in six appearances in his debut season. Now just 22 years old, Fagundez has already played six-and a-half seasons for the Revolution, perhaps none better than 2017.
And though he has a long career ahead, these accomplishments would make for an engaging autobiography. His experience as an Academy standout, his goal in his pro debut, his recognition as club MVP at 18-years old—all of these events must be surrounded by great stories. Add in a forward by Shalrie Joseph, who's career was winding down as Diego’s was ramping up, and the book becomes a must-read on my list.