Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup: A Historical and Cultural Reality Check was published in November 2019, two years after the calamity in Couva.
Before the book was published, I spent a decade at USA TODAY, where soccer was my most notable beat as a writer and online editor. For a few years, I wrote an online column called The Netminder, starting first by rounding up information that wasn’t readily available in the early Internet days, shining light on lesser-known competitions such as the U.S. Open Cup while offering analysis on controversial topics or giving a voice to MLS supporters and sometimes engaging in a bit of satire.
As the print and online sides converged at USA TODAY in the mid-2000s, I wrote much more for the paper. I caught up with Tim Howard at a crossroads at Manchester United, captured Cuban defector Maykel Galindo’s emotional decision to flee from his hotel, and did definitive stories on David Beckham and U.S. stars such as Brian McBride and Landon Donovan. I covered big games: Donovan silencing critics in 2006, several MLS Cups, and three qualification games for the 2010 World Cup — the quadrennial 2-0 win over Mexico in Columbus, a crucial rally past El Salvador in Utah, and the thrilling finale against Costa Rica. I occasionally covered soccer before that, including a high school thriller.
Since leaving USA TODAY, my focus has shifted to women’s soccer and youth soccer. But you’ll still occasionally see me write about MLS, the U.S. men, or the latest FIFA scandal — see my piece on the U.S. men being far beyond the point of being “fixed” with one simple solution.