CLEARWATER, Fla. - I want to tell you a story. One I still can’t believe. It’s the story of an MLS player with a unique talent hidden up his sleeve.

What You Need To Know

  • Jeff Attinella's "notes" gave him idea for books

  • He has now written 5 children's books

  • One of his books is about Tom Brady's 5th Super Bowl win

Clearwater native and Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella is best known for what he does on the pitch. But away from soccer he authors children’s books.

“I didn’t know it was going to be kids books,” said Attinella, via web interview. “I definitely didn’t know that, that wasn’t the avenue that I was thinking about with writing, but it has been a really fun path.”

These aren’t your traditional children’s books – they are stories designed to share some of the biggest sports moments with young fans.

“If you’re a sports family, if you’re kids love sports, if you want to read to your kids about sports – these are for you,” said Attinella, who found inspiration while at one of his favorite venues – Raymond James Stadium.

“I was going to a Bucs game and they were playing the Carolina Panthers and they were going for 8-8. This was 2016,” said Attinella (The Bucs were actually 8-7, but lost to finish 8-8). “I found out I was being traded to the Timbers and I am thinking how am I going to convince my daughter that this team all the way across the country is the team that she should be rooting for. “

Attinella began jotting down small notes focused on Tampa Bay sports. He quickly realized this could be a way to tell other sports stories. So he began a publishing company called “It Had To Be Told."

To date Attinella has published five children's books – including the story of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship and the Chicago Cubs’ ending a 108-year curse with a World Series title, led by former Rays’ skipper Joe Maddon.

“These are awesome stories that should be passed down from the grandparents to the grandkids.,” said Attinella, who believes every sports city and fan base has a story to tell.

But the one that now holds even more meaning in Attinella’s life is “Greatest Ever” the story of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and their 25-point comeback over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.  Seeing as Attinella is an avid Bucs’ fan, the thought of the GOAT leading Tampa to a Super Bowl title might just spark a new book.

“Man, I have gone down that rabbit hole, not even just the book, just as a fan, it’s helped me get through the quarantine how excited I am for Tom Brady be on the Bucs,” said Attinella.

It’s easy for Jeff Attinella to envision storybook endings. He knows there are plenty of sports moments to share with kids…even the one’s we still can’t believe.