General soccer

(Also see women’s soccer and youth soccer)

lrg15Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major League Soccer arrived in bookstores the same day the 2010 World Cup kicked off. I’d like to say I planned it that way, but that would be too perfect. Besides, I was going through a conventional publishing house (Potomac Books), and I doubt we could’ve arranged that.

The book is available at Amazon in hardcover and Kindle form, and at Barnes and Noble in hardcover and Nook.

Selected clips

Recent posts at Ranting Soccer Dad

  • Is soccer declining in the United States?
    “Oh, soccer is doing fine!” you may argue. “It’s the Federation that stinks.” It’s entirely possible that the second statement is true while the first statement is false. A couple of metrics look very bad: World Cup ratings are […]
  • What youth soccer can learn from karate
    Following up on my School of Rock post, here’s another one about a youth program that offers a few good lessons for soccer to follow … 1. Run afterschool programs. Elementary-school parents balk, with good […]
  • Bruce Arena vs. the world (book review)
    It’s easy to be petty. It’s more difficult to make a larger point that overrides the pettiness. Bruce Arena (with Steve Kettmann)’s book What’s Wrong With Us?: A Really Long Subtitle Follows is certainly petty at […]
  • Creating opportunities for all U.S. youth
    In a vast country, how do you make sure everyone has an opportunity to go as far as he or she can go in soccer? Not an easy question. Today, a lot of the focus […]
  • Why coaching youth soccer is impossible
    There’s something funny about listening to a chat between the great soccer coaching gurus John O’Sullivan and Sam Snow while dodging baseballs lobbed over a bunch of Little League All-Stars and the right field fence […]
  • Why School of Rock is better than youth soccer
    We’ve made a decision in our household. Less soccer. More music. Don’t adjust Project Play’s dreary stats on quitting sports. We still have soccer players under our roof. (I’ll actually be the only non-player in […]
  • SafeSport, SUM and other U.S. Soccer issues
    Funny thing about engaging with Soccer Twitter: You can find yourself assigned a lot of volunteer work. A bunch of people who will never donate to your Patreon page or buy a book from your […]
  • The old “secret society” of soccer fandom and what we’ve lost
    Remember when the U.S. soccer community was all united and welcoming? No? Then you’ll have to trust me. It did indeed happen. If you don’t trust me, trust Michael J. Agovino, author of The Soccer Diaries: […]
  • American exceptionalism and other things that aren’t great but are
    Am I understanding “American exceptionalism” incorrectly? Yesterday, I tweeted the following: Reminder: “American exceptionalism” is not the belief that the USA is *better* than everyone else. It’s the theory that we’re *different*. — Beau Dure […]
  • A U.S. youth soccer reform update (FourFourTwo piece and beyond)
    My FourFourTwo piece from yesterday gave a multi-part plan for rescuing youth soccer from the pit of despair or some other dreary place of your choosing, and it features input from Kyle Martino, Kevin Payne […]


thumb-gesoBefore 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.

Full clips by topic: soccer, mls