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Fundamental Soccer Blog


Reviewed by Jay Engeln, past President of United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA)

Relentless . . . by author Tim Schum is a powerful collection of stories and interviews that captures the commitment, dedication, and challenges faced by the collective American soccer coaching community over generations of the sport’s evolution.  Incorporating stories, interviews, fascinating moments, and memorable photos, Schum brings to vibrant life the history of this beautiful game in America.  Through the power of personal narratives, he creates a vivid portrait of the growth of soccer from its early years to the present day.  This book creates a compelling narrative while detailing the geographical development of the sport from coast to coast. 

Drawing on his intimate involvement as a coach for over thirty years and a dedicated member of the United Soccer Coaches for sixty years (including serving as its president in 1982 and 1983), the author draws upon the deep well of his personal experiences to fascinate and highlight previously untold stories that showcase coaches’ love of the game and their monumental efforts in transforming the sport in the United States.  Collectively, Schum makes a case that soccer coaches have had, thus far, an underappreciated role in that momentous sea change.

Relentless also focuses on the significant impact individual coaches have had in terms of cultivating “coaching trees.” As these pyramids of coaching expertise developed and were shared from generation to generation, they helped transform soccer into the beloved sport it is today.  Thus the passion, knowledge, and love of the game have been carried on in the hearts and minds of those coaches who followed in the footsteps of their mentors.   

Relentless is a rich celebration of soccer coaching history in America and repeatedly illustrates the keystone element of coaching; the true essence of mentorship.  The stories told by players of their coach’s powerful, lifelong impact on them are a common thread repeatedly throughout the book.  The players’ stories underscore the truism that caring coaches, who nurture those under their charge, will set the conditions for long-term success in any endeavor. 

For coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone deeply immersed in soccer, Relentless is an invaluable resource and a captivating read. It offers a rich celebration of the history of soccer coaching in America and highlights the fundamental essence of mentorship.

About the Reviewer:

Jay Engeln, a past president of the United Soccer Coaches (2000), received its Honor Award in 2009 and the High School Robert Robinson Long Term Achievement Award in 2017.  

Don’t miss out on this remarkable book. Get your copy of ‘Relentless’ today and experience the captivating stories and insights that will inspire and deepen your appreciation for the beautiful game.


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