You might remember Coach Wu from back when Kristy joined the softball team. It turns out that she also played soccer for UNC, which is where Mia Hamm went to school, and she's now the coach of the Stoneybrook Special Olympics soccer team. They take players with mental handicaps and partner them with other players. The handicapped kids are players, and the other kids are their partners. Abby signed up because she isn't getting the chance to play as much as she wanted.
Abby spends most of her first practice thinking about how she's so much better than all the other players. Erin, one of the handicapped players, is a lot better than Abby expected. When the coach assigns spots, she puts Abby in a defensive spot and gives Erin Abby's usual spot. Abby tells her that she's a striker and was the top scorer on her old team, but the coach remains unmoved.
Since she knows way better than anyone else, Abby decides that it's her job to show the coach how wrong she was. When that doesn't work, she says that Erin will just screw things up in the first game because she can't handle the pressure. Instead, Erin does a really good job. Erin works part time at an ice cream shop and takes the team there to celebrate. Abby spends the whole time pouting and thinking about how they all keep sucking up to her.
This makes her realize that she should implement something called total soccer, which is when all players take turns in different positions. Abby tries this during the next game, but everyone just stays in the positions the coach assigned. Even Kristy and Logan, who are watching from the bleachers, can't figure out what the hell she is doing. She approaches Erin after the game, brings up the whole total soccer thing, and Erin correctly points out that the other team scored because Abby was never in her position. That pisses her off and makes her storm away.
The two girls eventually have a fight where Abby uses the word stupid. Erin threatens to punch her and tells her not to call anyone stupid. The coach breaks it up and benches them for two games. Abby tells no one, but at the next game, Karen sees her on the bench and talks to her about how all players don't play all the time. Karen then goes to Erin, who tells her what happened. Karen runs back to tell Kristy, which embarrasses Abby.
Abby keeps trying to pretend that things are fine, even though she's extremely unhappy. The coach lets them play earlier than they should. They lose, but Abby realizes that she now watches the field like a defensive player. She goes for a run at Miller's Park and sees Erin running too. They turn it into a race but tie in the end. They actually talk things through, Abby apologizes for saying she was stupid, and they make up just in time for the season to end.
This one gets a few subplots. Abby's mom tells the girls that she wants them to spend the weekend with their dad's parent's and then visit his grave. Abby doesn't feel ready but acts like a huge spoiled brat about the whole thing. Even though she's benched, she lies and says she has to be there for the game. When her mom and Anna come back, Abby admits that she was upset. They talk things through, and they decide to go back in the future.
When they leave, she stays with Kristy. Kristy is so upset about Abby being benched that they barely talk. Even Mary Anne notices that they seem weird around each other. Abby finally talks to Kristy, and Kristy says she gets it because she wouldn't want people to know she was benched either. They talk things through and make up.
Since nothing can happen in Stoneybrook without the kids wanting a piece of the action, all the kids go soccer crazy. They go to all the games and start their own booster club. The team's sponsor dropped out at the last second, so they hold a car wash and somehow raise enough money to pay for all new uniforms for all the players. There's some talk about setting up a soccer team like the Krushers too, but we know that doesn't happen.
*Abby says that the coach made a mistake and that she should hasten to set her straight. Yes, you clearly know better than your coach.
*Abby makes a big deal out of the coach playing for UNC, but when she doesn't get her way, she says it was a long time ago and that the coach probably doesn't remember much about playing anyway.
*At one point, she says that on her old team, she would be right there in the middle of things but there's no room for her because of Erin. It's more like there's not enough room for her and her ego on the team. She also accuses Erin of being a show off while actually being a show off herself.
*When Mary Anne hears about the Special Olympics, she immediately wonders if Dawn knows and if they have a surfing team.
*Abby and Anna call their dad's parents grandmother and grandfather, which seems really formal to me.
*Their mom takes them out for dinner in NYC and orders an antipasto platter. It has some weird stuff on its like sauteed artichoke hearts and stuffed clams. I've never had an antipasto platter with that stuff on it.
*David Michael takes Shannon to a game, she gets loose, and runs out onto the field. The umpire laughs it off like it was a big joke, even though a player literally tripped over Shannon. It seems like it would be a much bigger deal.
*Abby gets off the bench and applauds for the goalie on the other team when the girl stops a shot. Given the way she acts in this book, it doesn't seem like something she would do.
*Claudia wears a green and blue crop top she sewed buttons on, black shorts, a blue sock, black sock, and Doc Martins with blue laces in one and green laces in the other. It gives me a headache.
*The BSC all show up in purple and white, the team colors. Claudia makes a shirt with purple and white soccer balls across the front and matching earrings.
*This book really makes me dislike Abby even more. I probably did a bad job of describing the way she acted, but she was really bad. She keeps hounding the coach about “her” position, whines every time there's a game, and is constantly pouting and avoiding her friends because she doesn't want to talk about how she feels.