It’s November 2004 in Siler City, North Carolina. Siler City is a small town -- population 7500 -- in the center of the state. Poultry processing drives its economy. Siler City’s high school, Jordan-Matthews, is about to play for the boys 1-A state soccer championship.
Now, to be clear, high school championship games are commonplace. They happen every year, in 50 states.
But this one is different. It’s different because of the coach of the Jordan-Matthews team. His name is Paul Cuadros, and when the 2004 season is over he will write a book about it. Cuadros’ book will be about more than soccer. It will be about the Latino immigration that transformed Siler City, and much of America, at the millennium. It will be about the young Latino immigrants who played on his team. His book will be called “A Home on the Field” and it will provide a window on the issue that most perplexes America in the second decade of the 21st century.
Photo: Paul Cuadros coached Los Jets, the soccer team of Jordan-Matthews High, to the North Carolina 1-A state championship in 2004. Cuadros wrote about it — and Latino immigration that transformed America — in “A Home On The Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America.”