Closeup — Jacob Mulenga

Soccer hasn’t always been at the top of Zambian national soccer team member Jacob Mulenga’s favorite sports list. When he was young, he was addicted...

Closeup — Cyrille Domoraud

For Cyrille Domoraud, the 2006 World Cup represented both the greatest triumph and most difficult challenge of his career. In late 2005, Domoraud, then a...

Closeup — Fabio

Fans call Fabio “the blue wall” and consider him a hero. But for Brazilian goalkeeper Fábio Deivson Lopes Maciel, who has won numerous titles and...

Closeup — Lee Young-Pyo

When it was all over—the Fred Astaire footwork, the subtle wizardry, the impressive globetrotting—there was only adoration. As Young-Pyo Lee walked off the pitch for...

Closeup — Eddie Johnson

In 2001, at age 16, U.S. professional soccer player Eddie Johnson became one of the youngest players to sign with a Major League Soccer team....

Closeup — Isaac Díaz

From the time Isaac Diaz was a baby and had a soccer ball in his cradle, to playing as a professional athlete in packed...

Closeup — Ricardo Salampessy

King David has always been an incredible example in the Bible of giving thanks to God in good times and in bad. And when...

Closeup — José Luis Vidigal

The second of 12 children, including four who played soccer, José Luis Vidigal understands what it means to fight and jostle for attention. During an...

Closeup — Juan Carlos Valerón

Juan Valeron’s faith journey is a great example of how new believers often face trials early in their walk with Christ. As one of...

Closeup — Lúcio

Brazilian captain Lucimar Ferreira da Silva (or Lucio as he’s known throughout the soccer world) was reminiscing about Brazil’s 2002 World Cup victory, his...

Feature story — When Soccer Becomes An Avenue

To Japanese footballer Jun Marques Davidson, religion always seemed like far too complicated of a thing. The rules. The regulations. The structure. Raised in Tokyo,...

A Gracious Peace

With four knee injuries in his career, it would be understandable if Marcos Senna was burned out, discouraged or disappointed with soccer. But it’s quite...

Feature story – Breath of Life

Growing up in a family split in their religious beliefs, Alexander Samedov decided he would live his life in his own way and on...

Feature story — Fulfilling A Promise

Growing up playing in the streets of Gioia del Colle, Italy, Nicola Legrottaglie had one dream: To play soccer and play at the highest...

Unconditional Acceptance

Usually, performance leads to love. If you perform well in school, your teacher may tell you, “Nice job.” If you perform well in your career,...

Unmasking The World

It’s been a wild year for Colombian soccer star Radamel Falcao. Falcao, considered one of the top strikers in the world, was acquired by Monaco...

Breaking The Mold

Lying in bed for two months with a broken neck, 18-year-old Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite made a list of 10 goals. Nevermind the...

From the Archives — New York Times

Familiar words to a Frank Sinatra song became reality for Joe and Kim Girardi on a November day in 1996. After three years behind the plate for the Colorado Rockies, Girardi left the Mile-High City in a trade that sent him east to don the Yankee pinstripes. The Girardis had no idea what was ahead, but with excitement and a bit of anxiety they changed the message on their answering machine to greet callers with, "It's up to you, New York, New York." "I was in a comfort zone in Colorado," says Girardi. "Getting traded was a faith-builder, and as the season progressed I began to see what God was doing in our lives." This archived story was published in the May 1997 issue of Sports Spectrum magazine. Click here to read the rest of the story

Accepted as a Capstone

At DistinXion camps, we start our first character lesson by telling a story of a contractor that builds a house that will eventually become his retirement gift. Any contractor will tell you that in order to have the best-built house, only the best materials should be used. Similarly in sports, most coaches will advise that if you want the best team, you should recruit the best players. However, in Psalm 118, we are told that a rejected stone is turned into the capstone...