MLS goalkeeper Jeff Attinella authors sports-themed children's books

Posted at 2:23 PM, May 26, 2020

TAMPA, Fla — Jeff Attinella has an amazing talent on and off the soccer field.

The goalkeeper for Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers has authored five children’s books.

“The first line is always, ‘I want to tell you a story, one that I still can’t believe,’” Attinella said. “I didn’t know I had some talent for coming up with nursery rhymes, and tie it into sporting events.”

As the Clearwater-native and former USF keeper started a family, it inspired him to begin writing these Dr. Seuss-style books centered around iconic sports moments.

“When the Cubs won the World Series (in 2016) and my daughter was just born, I realized that her entire generation wasn’t going to be able to know the history or know what a big deal that was,” Attinella said.

Attinella has added four more books under his publishing company, ‘It Had To Be Told,' including one about the Alabama football dynasty, LeBron James returning to Cleveland to win an NBA title and “The Greatest Ever,” on the New England Patriots incredible Super Bowl comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots were led by quarterback Tom Brady, who is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Attinella is a huge Tampa sports fan. With Brady in town, he has three more books in mind.

“The books about the Tampa sports teams I am very excited to write,” Attinella said. “And I will write them very soon. I think the Rays are going to win one soon, as well as the Lightning and the Bucs. A nice trifecta of all the sports teams coming together.”

All in an effort to ensure his kids grow up cheering for the his teams.

“My kids will be Tampa fans, if I accomplish anything they will definitely watch Tampa sports with me,” Attinella said.

With the sports world at a standstill, Attinella has made the e-book versions free on his website.