NEW Soccer in a Football World: The Story of Americas Forgotten Game by David Wangerin link without registering selling online ebookNEW Soccer in a Football World: The Story of Americas Forgotten Game by David Wangerin link without registering selling online ebook
The U.S. lost in the bronze medal game in the 2000 Olympics to Chile. Some of the players on that team, like Landon Donovan and Tim Howard would go on to be greats for the senior team and play at the highest levels in Europe. Yet according to Wangerin, the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2000 Olympics by losing to Guatemala.In a book loaded with historical facts, its easy to forgive a single mistake. But this fact is deeply ensconced in an argument about the ineffectiveness of one of MLSs youth development programs. Reading about Mexicos gold medal recently, you get the sense that this raised expectations for the Mexican senior team and Cameroons 2000 gold medal itself sparked much talk of a rising African game.So, one way to look at it is, ok a simple only minimally relevant mistake. Another is: uh oh. What else is wrong? What else was missed?What always confounds me about people writing about soccer in the US, be they more on the skeptical side like Wangerin, or more on the messianic future positive side like others, is that they always seem to belabor comparisons to baseball, football, and basketball. Dangling right in front of their face is hockey, a sport that is quite regional, has experienced its growing pains, has the only thing even remotely like the international connection soccer has in American sports, and yet has, by many metrics, thrived within its niche. Today, MLS has better attendance than the NHL (which also always seems to be talking about a great TV deal that never materializes) if lower total dollars in ticket sales.There are hints of this at the very end of the book where someone is quoted as saying that sports can be like Starbucks and microbrews. Great early 90s business sense, that! But there is a kernel of truth. Individuality isnt high on the list of things that cause people to like sports, to my mind. The communal sharing is. But, to be fair, there is a market for which community. I dont know how to make the US a World Cup winning team or how to make MLS the best soccer league in the world. Im not sure that I care. I enjoy soccer because its a game I play and I appreciate the act in itself without my mind being entirely absorbed by the score, and I appreciate low scores because it makes goals precious, rare, and therefore all the more exciting—a simple rebuttal to the libels of low scoring I almost never hear, nor the simple analogy to the nail-biting pitchers duels that everyone loves in playoff baseball.I enjoy soccer because of the international fellowship, because there are so many moving parts and so much complexity, and so many different ways to appreciate the skill involved, whether its the more pagan thrill of the goal scorer, the more intellectual merit of passing, or even the tough business of building a team as a manager. This complexity and unity is unmatched in anything else. It is the closing thing to be 11 dimensional chess.Therefore, I dont care if the US wins the world cup or if MLS is the best league. I just expect that they keep improving, arent corrupt or incompetent, and continue to develop the sport in the US. On all of those scores American soccer is successful.
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