Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup
A tantalizing account of the triumphs and travails of the U.S. men’s soccer team in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, set within the historical context of American soccer on the global stage
The U.S. men’s soccer team was a huge disappointment at the World Cup in 2006, but a newly constituted team exceeded all expectations in June 2009 with their inspired play at the Confederations Cup in South Africa—where they upset the number one team in the world, Spain, and lost late in the championship game to a supremely talented Brazilian squad. Their impressive showing gave fans, including the ever-loyal Sam’s Army, a renewed sense of hope that when the team plays up to its capabilities, the Americans can compete with anyone in the world.
In Chasing the Game, Filip Bondy describes the U.S. team’s path to qualifying for this year’s World Cup—to be held on the African continent for the first time ever, in South Africa in June 2010. Bondy also reveals the back-and-forth saga that resulted in the hiring of Bob Bradley as the American coach, and serves up engaging profiles of several core players, including the U.S. national team’s all-time leader in scoring and assists, Landon Donovan, acrobatic goalie Tim Howard, hip-hop devotee and opportunistic goal-scorer Clint “Deuce” Dempsey, up-and-comer Jozy Altidore, and the coach’s son, the reticent yet dependable Michael Bradley.
Chasing the Game also recounts the glorious highlights of past World Cup matches, like the U.S. men’s team’s stunning 1–0 victory over England in 1950 and the 2002 team’s advance to the quarterfinals, as well as heartbreaks like the fiasco in 2006, when the U.S. mustered only four shots on goal in three games. Finally, Bondy also traces the origin of soccer and the evolution of the game in the U.S., chronicling how soccer academies like the one in Bradenton, Florida, have impacted the game at both the youth and national levels.
It’s all here for the first time in one book—the complete story of American soccer on the global stage.
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1994 World Cup 2006 World Cup Altidore American soccer Arena athletes attacking ball Beasley became Beckham Bob Bradley Bocanegra Bradenton Bradenton Academy Bradley’s Brazil Bundesliga Caligiuri championship Clint Clint Dempsey club CONCACAF Confederations Cup Costa Rica country’s defender Dempsey Donovan El Salvador England fans federation field FIFA final football Fulham Galaxy Germany goal goalkeeper going Gulati guys Harkes head coach Hejduk Honduras Howard Italy Jersey Kearny kids Klinsmann Kljestan Korea Lalas lineup Meola MetroStars Mexican Mexico City Michael Bradley midfielder minute never officials Olympic Onyewu opponents penalty kick play players Premier League professional Ramos referee Reyna roster round Salvador Sam’s Army scored season semifinal shot side South Africa Spain sport Stadium star talent team’s teammates thing Tim Howard tional team tournament Trinidad U.S. national team U.S. Soccer U.S. team victory World Cup qualifier Wynalda yellow cards