Generation Zero

Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories
and the Making of Soccer in America

Generation Zero

Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories
and the Making of Soccer in America

Like Riding a Bike: Garnacho Stirs Memories of Wonder Strikes Past 

By |2023-11-30T15:17:26-05:00November 30th, 2023|GZ blog|

Garnacho’s wondrous overhead golazo against Everton on Nov. 26 reminded the world soccer community of why we find the bicycle kick so damned compelling. It remains the most dynamic, daringly athletic maneuver in a game replete with them, and it doesn’t matter where on the pitch they might happen. Look at the image attached here: Defenders of all skill level react similarly when someone goes up for a bike: They back away slightly, because recklessly contesting may mean a boot [...]

Emma Hayes Will Preside over Massive USWNT Change. Expect Fireworks

By |2023-11-28T14:48:06-05:00November 20th, 2023|GZ blog|

Color me extremely curious when it comes to Emma Hayes’ pending tenure as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. She won’t take the helm until spring, when her season with Chelsea FC has concluded. Still, the timing of her hire drips with big-picture import, none of which has anything to do with pay equity (though it IS diverting to note that, because she will make exactly the same as her USMNT counterpart, we ‘ve learned that $475,000 [...]

Greenland to Join CONCACAF? Someone Should Warn Them

By |2023-11-30T14:48:45-05:00September 4th, 2023|GZ blog|

Welcome, Greenlandic soccer players, supporters and administrators! Your May 2022 application to join the Confederation of North American, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is duly noted here and across the diverse climatic environs of CONCACAF. Yes: The acronym is unfortunate, perhaps because those letters had never before been thrown together, in such a poorly branded sequence, until Sept. 18, 1961. That’s when the North American Football Confederation merged with the Confederación Centroamericana y del Caribe de Fútbol. Still, [...]

USWNT Fends off Alumnae Expectations ahead of Swedish Encounter

By |2023-11-20T15:55:36-05:00August 5th, 2023|GZ blog|

Soccer and the national team movement, here in the United States, have stumbled into very new territory Down Under, and I’m not talking about a lackluster group-stage performance. Not entirely. While the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) has failed to win World Cups and Olympic titles in the past, their rare missteps have never produced such widespread carping from former national team players. I’d frankly prefer Carli Lloyd talk more about how World Cup debutante Portugal — ranked no. 21 [...]

RIP, Hubie Vogelsinger: Youth Soccer Revolutionary, Icon & Enabler

By |2023-06-29T11:12:12-04:00June 28th, 2023|GZ blog|

Video evidence of the 1974 World Cup was not made available to me until July 1977. That was the summer I first attended overnight soccer camp, a veritable rite of passage for me and so many fellow members of Generation Zero, those American boys and girls born in the 1960s, then raised in the 1970s as this country’s very first soccer natives. The Puma All-Star Soccer Camp, where I matriculated three straight summers, was owned and operated by Hubert Vogelsinger, [...]

USMNT Photo Mystery Solved; Colosseum Shrugs Off Another Narrative Poseur

By |2023-07-01T09:03:28-04:00May 20th, 2023|GZ blog|

Let’s get straight to the point: It’s a fake. Each of the above images is a clever fabrication, but the team shot — commissioned by a certain sports outfitter to congratulate the 1990 U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) on its history-making World Cup qualification — was not taken on site, in front of the Roman Colosseum, during Italia ‘90. This admittedly minor historical ruse was confirmed by national team veteran John Stollmeyer (front row, second from left) in early May [...]

This Summer’s Women’s World Cup May Well Reveal a New Balance of Power

By |2023-09-13T11:11:52-04:00May 5th, 2023|GZ blog|

[Posted May 5, 2023] From the moment women’s international soccer formalized itself, during the 1980s, The American Way has prevailed. This not-so-controversial historical judgment has traditionally held water on the two fronts that matter most: In the competitive crucible, the U.S. Women’s National Team has proved the finest side in the world for more than 30 years. It has won four of the eight World Cups contested since the tournament was launched, in 1991. The USWNT also claimed four [...]

Only Now Recovering from ‘Berhalter Fatigue’? Time to Buckle Back Up

By |2023-06-29T15:53:14-04:00March 27th, 2023|GZ blog|

My own case of Berhalter Fatigue kicked in around Dec. 17, 2022 — a day before the World Cup final, 10 days into the Berhalter-Reyna Family Barbecue, and two weeks after Holland dumped the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) out of the tournament. The tawdry nature of Berhalter’s unprecedented bust-up with the Reynas could not be fully understood until last week, when the U.S. Soccer Federation released its third-party report. No one emerges unscathed from this full and seemingly [...]

Stamford Bridge 1985: Standing With Away Fans & Other Mistakes

By |2023-03-10T14:38:05-05:00March 9th, 2023|GZ blog|

Today, thanks to the stewardship of oligarchs both Russian and American, Stamford Bridge has been transformed into something of an all-seater jewel. I’ve heard older, more hidebound Chelsea FC fans deride it as a “bleedin’ galleria”. Back in the winter of 1985, when attending my first proper English match there, it was no such thing. Fans of Daniel Gordon’s superb “30 for 30” documentary on the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster would recognize the old Bridge for what it was: a [...]

Requiem for Match of the Day (and The Sanctity of Unspoiled Endings)

By |2023-02-17T14:40:55-05:00February 14th, 2023|GZ blog|

There’s a wonderfully prescient exchange in Whit Stillman’s 1990 film, “Metropolitan,” wherein the know-it-all main character is interrogated on all the works of literature he can’t stop referencing. “You don’t have to have read a book to have an opinion on it. I haven’t read the Bible either,” he reveals, by way of defending himself. “I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelist's ideas as well as the critic's thinking.” Befitting Stillman’s [...]


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