October 10, 2017. The U.S. men's soccer team loses in Trinidad and Tobago, and fails to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Winning soccer's greatest prize never seemed more distant. Immediate fixes--a new coach, a revamped professional league, a commitment to coaching education--won't put the USA in the global elite. The nation is too fractious, too litigious, too wrapped up in other sports, and too late to the game.
In Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup: A Historical and Cultural Reality Check, Beau Dure shows what American soccer is really up against. Using hundreds of sources to trace more than 100 years of history, Dure delves into the culture that only recently lost its disdain for the global game and still doesn't have the depth of soccer insight and passion that much of the world has had for generations. The difficulty isn't any single thing--the mismanagement of failed leagues, the inability to agree on a path forward, the lawsuits that stem from an inability to agree, or the unique American culture that treasures its homegrown sports. It's everything.
And yet, Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup is ultimately optimistic. Dure argues that with the right long-term changes, the U.S. can build a soccer environment that consistently produces quality players, strong results, and a lot more fun on the international stage. Soccer fans and skeptics alike will find this a fascinating examination of America's past, present, and future in the beautiful game.-- "CHOICE"
Fitting neither the mold of a traditional sports journalist nor that of a modern-day snark merchant, I spent a couple of decades with newspapers, the second one with USA TODAY. While there, I covered a lot of soccer, went to four Olympic Games, became the paper's first MMA writer, and wrote the book Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major League Soccer.