Passionate Soccer Love: Giveaway Winner!


Congratulations to Tiffany, winner of the Passionate Soccer Love giveaway! Tiffany says:

I too am a big soccer fan! I was happy to see this post up here, two of my favorite things coming together! I wish I were attending, but I am going to the US v Turkey game at Red Bull stadium on June 2nd to send my favorite team off to the World Cup.

Congratulations, Tiffany! Enjoy!


In the midst of all the sugar research and ramp love, I’ve been planning a trip. The Trip, really: the one I take every four years, the one that has found me for weeks at a time in France, in Korea & Japan, in Germany and South Africa. And now: Brazil.

It’s the Big Show, the Cup. The quadrennial reunion of friends – family, really – flung far and wide across the globe, we come together in one spot, to hope and pray, to sing and cheer, to smack-talk the opponent’s goalkeeper and yell at the ref. The beautiful game.

And in between those few precious weeks on the world stage? There are friendlies and tournaments. There are annual trips with friends to see US nationals who are playing their club ball abroad. And there is two years of qualifying, almost as nerve-wracking as the Cup itself, but with less exotic destinations: Columbus, OH; Kansas City, Salt Lake.

USmexIt takes hold of you, the soccer bug: I fell hard for my beloved Revolution back in 1997 and I’ve never looked back. It adds rhythm to the passing years: I mark periods in my life by World Cups. So do we all. My friend Tanya fell for soccer even earlier than I did, back in the early ’90’s when she was also falling for her husband-to-be, Doug. After the US World Cup in 1994, there was no looking back: she was hooked.

Fast-forward 20-odd years and Tanya has written a book, a memoir of her travels and tribulations through a glorious two-decade run of following and supporting the beautiful game. And, oh! Are there stories. I was there, for more than a few of them, so I know. You see, that’s my mug, front & center on the cover of the book, with Tanya and Prairie next to me (and with The Largest Forehead Ever. Note to self: do not be photographed from above). And there I am as well, in my face-painted glory, on the Passionate Soccer Love Facebook page. So trust me when I tell you: there are stories. My memories may be wrapped in a misty haze of football-induced euphoria and excessive applications of alcohol, but Tanya’s are crystal clear. In fact, I can’t wait to read the book so I can find out what actually happened on all of these trips!

While the world’s game is indelibly wrapped around the framework of our lives, Tanya’s book is about more than soccer: it is about following your passion, finding your tribe, and fighting to keep that love alive even through the tough times that life throws all of us. It’s about crafting a life full of memories: memories that you’re proud to carry with you, memories that, when you find yourself close to the end of your days, you’ll look back on, smile, and say, “I lived.”

flagWhy, you ask, am I going on & on about soccer here on my food blog? Funny you should ask! Tanya has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial print run of her book, Passionate Soccer Love, and a book tour to spread the love. She’s more than halfway to her goal already, but she needs a push to get to her funding goal. If you have any interest in soccer, or world travel, or simply crafting a life full of passion, won’t you check it out? You can pre-order a copy of the book, pledge to get Tanya to come speak in your town, or just toss a buck or two into the jar in the spirit of independent artists everywhere.

In sincere thanks for spreading the word, Tanya has offered a free copy of Passionate Soccer Love to one Local Kitchen reader (chosen at random by me). The giveaway is open to fans anywhere in the world: your copy of Passionate Soccer Love will ship once the initial print run is completed. The giveaway is open until midnight on Friday, May 23rd. Enter in the following ways:

Each action will get you a separate entry: be sure to come back here and make a separate comment for each like, share or tweet. Comments are moderated: be patient and yours will show up, I promise.

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl has this to say about Tanya’s book: “Tanya Keith has been traveling to U.S. soccer games since 1993, including seven World Cups, and her highly readable book is a revealing (and fun) window into the adventurous life of a hardcore U.S. fan and her family. The growth of U.S. supporter culture is one of the great stories in American sports, and Keith has been there to see it all. I couldn’t put this book down.” 

I hope you’ll join me in spreading the word and bringing Tanya’s book to fruition. Olé!



  1. Tiffany

    I too am a big soccer fan! I was happy to see this post up here, two of my favorite things coming together! I wish I were attending, but I am going to the US v Turkey game at Red Bull stadium on June 2nd to send my favorite team off to the World Cup.

  2. I just got back from a weekend in Western Mass in which my husband and I got to spend some time with some dear friends and it has reminded me just how passionate I am about people. Sometimes I let myself get isolated and stuck in my work, but there’s really nothing better than connecting with friends, both old and new!

  3. Funny… I remember clearly when you went to South Africa; am starting to measure time periods with you by the distance between world cups..

    We fell out of love with our TFC and they show signs of maybe sneaking back into our heart. I miss the days of cheering for them against your Revolution!

    I can’t imagine how amazing a world cup (or the type of experiences your friend has written about) and, though it must pale in comparison to being there, Toronto has been an amazing place to experience the world cup. Many Canadians identify themselves as Canadian second (Italian-Canadian, French-Canadian, Somewhereelse-Canadian) and have built vibrant communities within our city. Those communities are great fun to visit during world cup – you can travel the world by subway and watch the game in an entire community of loyal fans…

    PS I don’t think your forehead is that big – don’t worry where the photographer is. 😉

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