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They play faster, make more decisions and spend more time on the field than any baseball or football player in North America. Still, soccer players are at the bottom of the pay scale when it comes to professional sports. But then, there is more to life than money, right?

O'Neill Brown is one of those kids who grew up with soccer. Today he is a defender with the Edmonton Drillers. "I started at a grass roots level and continued to play throughout high school," he says. During the season Brown spends part of every week day in the gym and on the field practicing. Sometimes he and his teammates will have a promotional appearance where they sign autographs and get their pictures taken with fans. "You get to meet a lot of new people and rekindle old friendships. I also love working with kids and being around kids." And the feeling is mutual. Kids love soccer. It's the most popular organized sport with young girls and boys all over the country.

Learning the rules of the game is just the beginning for anyone who wants to play pro soccer. "During the game," says Brown, "you have to react and think quickly because the game is always changing. You have to observe something and adjust to it quickly." A quick brain is especially essential for a soccer player because it is the only sport where the players make all the decisions on the run. Unlike football, there are no planned plays in soccer. There are no time outs, and no one shouting advice from the sidelines

In addition to a quick mind, a fit body is also important. Players run an average of seven miles during a game. Even with trainers working on prevention, sometimes a player does get hurt. "That's a big negative with this job," says defensemen Brown. "injury and lack of security. Your evaluation is based on recent performance. It's a 'what you done for me lately' type of job." But Brown is lucky. When he can't play anymore, he has a college education to fall back on and lots of jobs inside the pro soccer organization to choose from.

So whether you start out as a player or a fan, an interest in soccer can really take you places. And how many people can say they get a real 'kick' out of their job and truly mean it.