Often referred to as “The Beautiful Game”, soccer (or football, if you’re from anywhere other than the US) is the world’s most popular sport. It’s no wonder since all you need to strike up a game is a ball and two poles to form a goal. You don’t need all the football pads, lacrosse sticks, or leather mitts that other sports require. So even in underdeveloped countries, like the Congo where I grew up playing, the local schools can afford to field a team. We used to play barefoot. In fact, in a pinch we didn’t even need a ball…we just wrapped a bunch of plastic bags with string and made our own ball. I went on to play college soccer. But too many injuries forced me to move tennis (a less than full-contact sport) up on my priority list. Now, with the World Cup starting later this month, my attention drifts back to this great sport. I’ve photographed world class players like Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, and Julie Foudy. This is a shot taken for the Charleston Sports Insider from a recent game where our hometown team, the Charleston Battery, took on the Rochester Rhinos.