VOICE OF THE GAME, 60min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Tom McCabe, Kirk Rudell
In 1963, a humble young German immigrant — a factory worker, with a special love for soccer — arrived to America’s shores. Quietly, over decades, his unique coaching approach and life philosophy, has inspired countless of his “students” to achieve playing and coaching success at the highest levels of the sport in the United States and beyond.
Five years or so ago, Kirk, the LA-based writer and producer, and Tom, the New Jersey-based historian and teacher, reunited to tell an American soccer story. The former college teammates "teamed up" to write and produce SOCCERTOWN USA, a tale about how three childhood friends from the same small town made it to two World Cups. People enjoyed the story of the town and the friends, but they also loved discovering that the world’s game is an American game. Fans of soccer in the USA are often made to feel like second-class supporters—we don’t call it football, our culture is grafted from other countries’ traditions—but the fact is the game has been played here almost as long as it’s been anywhere. We are both passionate about telling the story of soccer through an American lens: the immigrant story, the underdog story, from big cities to factory towns to hardscrabble border clubs. Voice of the Game, and the enduring legacy of Manfred Schellscheidt, is one of those stories.