- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"What did the referee say to you?"
"He said to be quiet," Pel� answered. He grinned. "So I went back to play."
At the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, Pel� used a free afternoon to fish from the balcony of his room, three stories above the harbor. The hotel manager provided a fishing rod and a bucket of salmon fillets for bait, and almost immediately Pel� hooked a small sand shark, which he hauled, wriggling, up to the balcony. A teammate bashed in its head with a table leg and Pel� cast again. This time he hooked a larger shark, which broke the line just as he got it up to the balcony.
"Fishing I like very much," he said. "And baseball. When I was a little boy in Bauru in Brazil, my father was a baseball coach. So maybe I should have played baseball?"
He was asked about the referee who had warned him and he shrugged. "I believe the referee made a mistake," he said. "But referees make mistakes all over the world. That was not the important thing. The important thing was the people of Seattle. They were a beautiful audience and they read the game very well. And Seattle is a very good team, the best team we have played against, I think."
In the Seattle game, Pel� had been marked heavily, often violently, but he still had no complaints. "It was a normal game," he said. "It wasn't rough. They played high balls because they are taller than we are and maybe it looked violent, but it was normal. They play the European style and they are very fair."
The Cosmos won in Vancouver in a game that did not count in the league table. On a cooler surface, wearing tennis shoes he had borrowed from the Seattle team, Pel� seemed much more in control of the ball than before. "I will be trying things differently," he said before the game. "I do not like this surface, but I must play on it."
In the 2-1 victory, Pel� set up one goal with a perfect pass and began to mesh better with his teammates. In time, Heifetz will tune the violin.
At a cocktail party given by one of the Vancouver owners, a group of Whitecap players watched Pel� socializing with the guests—until he noticed them and walked around the pool to speak to them. For the next two hours he talked soccer with the rival players, freely giving advice, recalling the time he played against one of them in Scotland.