Soccer in a Football World

The Story of America's Forgotten Game

David Wangerin
Book Cover

PB: $24.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-885-2
Publication: Jun 08

Ebook: $24.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-886-9
Publication: Jun 08

360 pages
5.25 x 8.5
19 halftones

The circuitous journey of soccer in America


David Beckham’s arrival in Los Angeles represents the latest attempt to jump-start soccer in the United States where, David Wangerin says, it “remains a minority sport.” With the rest of the globe so resolutely attached to the game, why is soccer still mostly dismissed by Americans?

Calling himself “a soccer fan born in the wrong country at nearly the wrong time,” Wangerin writes with wit and passion about the sport’s struggle for acceptance in Soccer in a Football World. A Wisconsin native, he traces the fragile history of the game from its early capitulation to gridiron on college campuses to the United States’ impressive performance at the 2002 World Cup. Placing soccer in the context of American sport in general, he chronicles its enduring struggle alongside the country’s more familiar pursuits and recounts the shifting attitudes toward the “foreign” game. His story is one that will enrich the perspective of anyone whose heart beats for the sport, and is curious as to where the game has been in America—and where it might be headed.

Table of Contents

Preface to the US Edition
Careless Hands: Introduction
1. A Game of its Own: America's path to football isolation
2. Tangled Roots: The first American Soccer League
3. Strangers on a Boat: False dawns and hard landings for the national team
4. 'We will be phenomenal': Ambition and folly in the Sixties
5. Moving the Goalposts: Pele and the Cosmos
6. Shootout to the Death: The collapse of the NASL
7. A Foot in the Door: Harsh lessons at Italia 90
8. Revenge of the Commie Pansies: The World Cup comes to America
9. Clash and Burn: MLS: back to square one
10. Momentary Insanity: In and out of love with the women's game
11. Take Me Out to the Soccer-specific Facility: The 2002 World Cup and beyond

About the Author(s)

David Wangerin (1962-2012) was born in Chicago and grew up in Wisconsin. Two years after coaching his high school's soccer team to a debut season of unbroken defeats, he moved to England, partly to be nearer to Aston Villa. He was a contributor to the British soccer magazine When Saturday Comes since 1988, and lived in Scotland, where he developed an affection for Raith Rovers.