Steve Sparkes with balls for My Yute camp

It’s hard to catch Steve Sparkes these days between World Cup games, building a tasting room at Linden Street Brewery in West Oakland, and organizing a week-long free soccer camp for over sixty kids. Now in its third year, the “My Yute” soccer camp offers skills training to young players, while exposing them to the cultural diversity of the game and spreading, Sparkes hopes, his passion for the sport.

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At the cafes, pubs and bars of North Oakland, the World Cup debates have begun, and are sure to escalate throughout the month-long tournament — although the nine-hour time difference between California and South Africa means coffee may gain on beer as the favorite game-watching beverage.

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