When Kyle Martino talks about his roots in Westport, Conn., the excitement in his voice raises a notch or two. He talks about the "pride and passion" he felt playing for Staples High School, where he was named Gatorade National Player of the Year in 1999. There are stories of playing indoor with the Latino community on Friday nights, then with the Jamaican community on Saturday nights. The 36-year-old even mentions playing club soccer for Beachside, where Mickey Kydes was his coach, and those Staples alumni games around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Westport was a place where, in Martino’s words, a "soccer culture" existed at every turn.
"The game has taken me all over the country, all over the world," Martino said, "but I keep finding my way back to Westport, Connecticut."