A Time for Champions

1 p.m. Sunday, November 21, at the Tivoli


A Time for Champions
Directed by Patrick Murphy

St. Louis is known as a baseball town, but locals know that's only half the truth. Sure, we love to watch baseball, but the sport we actually play is soccer. A Time for Champions is a valentine to soccer in St. Louis, going back to the Irish, Italian, German and Eastern European immigrants who brought the game here at the turn of the twentieth century. Naturally, the story of the 1950 World Cup, when the U.S. team featuring five St. Louisans upset England, is trotted out yet again, but the bulk of Patrick Murphy's documentary is devoted to the great Saint Louis University dynasty that won ten NCAA championships between 1959 and 1973. Improbably, the 1959 crew was Saint Louis University's first-ever varsity soccer team and its coach, Bob Guelker, learned the game from reading a rule book. Sports movies tend to be sentimental, and this one is no exception, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. And how nice is it to see Yogi Berra in an interview during which he admits he stuck to baseball because he was so lousy at soccer?

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