The United States of Soccer: MLS and the Rise of American Soccer Fandom

The United States of Soccer MLS and the Rise of American Soccer Fandom In FIFA decreed that the World Cup would be played in the United States with the condition that the U S would start a new professional league The North American Soccer League had failed jus

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  • Title: The United States of Soccer: MLS and the Rise of American Soccer Fandom
  • Author: PhilWest
  • ISBN: 9781468312416
  • Page: 357
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1988, FIFA decreed that the 1994 World Cup would be played in the United States with the condition that the U.S would start a new professional league The North American Soccer League had failed just four years prior, and the prospects of launching a new league for Americans, who didn t share the rest of the world s love for soccer, were both exciting and daunting.ThIn 1988, FIFA decreed that the 1994 World Cup would be played in the United States with the condition that the U.S would start a new professional league The North American Soccer League had failed just four years prior, and the prospects of launching a new league for Americans, who didn t share the rest of the world s love for soccer, were both exciting and daunting.The United States of Soccer is the engaging history of MLS s bootstrap origins prior to its 1996 launch, its near demise in the early 2000s, its surprising resilience and growth in the following years, and its continued rise in respectability and recognition from soccer fans around the world.The book also explores the origin of a number of MLS s best known supporters groups the superfans responsible for setting the tone within MLS stadiums and defining what it is to be a North American soccer fan The book looks at how MLS helped develop the massive American audiences for the most recent men s and women s World Cups peaking at 27 million for the 2015 Women s World Cup finals even as it looks to expand its number of franchises and grow its audience in a sports saturated world.Phil West chronicles those fans voices intermingled with league officials, former players and coaches, journalists, and newspaper accounts to detail MLS s remarkable journey for those new to the U.S s top tier league, as well as those who think they know the full MLS story.

    One thought on “The United States of Soccer: MLS and the Rise of American Soccer Fandom”

    1. I wished for more, deeper reporting, comparable to almost anything else on my sports shelf. A decent chronicle of the league's early years, especially, nevertheless.

    2. If you've been a hardcore MLS fan since the league's inception in 1996, then Phil West's book may be redundant. Most anyone else will learn something about the league on or off the field, or how soccer culture has evolved in recent years. Notable for its breadth, the book provides a good overview of the major elements of the sport's growth in the U.S. over the last two decades. West frequently quotes relevant articles to capture the mood at the time, and he leaves the reader with a solid underst [...]

    3. Before 2016, my only real exposure to the game of soccer was a single season playing with a pack of other first graders on the fields near my childhood home. I lasted just one season because 1) I couldn't keep track of which goal I was supposed to be shooting at; 2) I didn't like people kicking at me; and 3) wet grass clippings stuck to my shoes and my legs and that was the grossest thing ever. Flash forward to the present. While I still don't like being kicked or wet grass clippings, I now have [...]

    4. This book is geared toward soccer die-hards who relish in game recaps and minutia (of which I do not). But I enjoyed learning about the history of each MLS team and team name. The author also explores the importance of supporter clubs and having a proper stadium. It's a quick read.

    5. If you are fairly new to MLS, this is a must-read. This should be acclaimed as "the Bible" for MLS' first 20 years

    6. @PhilWest wrote a fun little book taking a trip through MLS' history through a fan's eyes. He does a nice job pointing out the contrasting ways supports groups developed, and how they formed good partnerships (or not) with front offices. I've been a fan from before Day 1, and it's good to see the league treated with respect. Plus, fun to see a lot of names of players I'd nearly forgotten, and some league office folks who gave me little bits of help when I had a soccer site (before blogs were a t [...]

    7. A quick, fun read with the beginning and end of the book showcasing more in-depth reporting. The period from 2000-2010 seems slightly under-represented. Overall though, I really enjoyed reliving many moments that my family enjoyed as our kids grew up in soccer in the 2000's. The author has done a nice job of paralleling the growth of the league along with its supporters groups' growth along with it. A more in-depth history by the same author would be welcomed by this reader. Yes, I know the MLS [...]

    8. Overall a good book and even after being a fan of MLS for many years and closely following many of the teams for many years I still learned a lot. On the downside, in general the book is in chronological order but then almost randomly jumps a head a few years before returning back to the time line we were in. Also, there were a few instances I was looking for more info, like when the author talked about the weather of the MLS cup but didn't mention where it was held, or when talking about early [...]

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