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

August 2023

USWNT Fends off Alumnae Expectations ahead of Swedish Encounter

By |2024-01-21T10:29:52-05:00August 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 [...]

June 2023

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

By |2024-01-05T11:29:28-05:00June 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, [...]

May 2023

USMNT Photo Mystery Solved; Colosseum Shrugs Off Another Narrative Poseur

By |2023-12-18T13:25:00-05:00May 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 [...]

March 2023

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 |2024-05-08T12:54:26-04:00March 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 [...]

February 2023

McKennie Transfer Seals EPL Baton-Pass: FFC to Leeds

By |2023-09-05T09:18:29-04:00February 1st, 2023|GZ blog|

[Ed. — In 2007, I ventured to the SW6 section of London to report on the Fulham FC phenomenon for That piece lived a good long life online but sadly, now it's gone. Or I cannot find it (!). Either way, it has been reprinted below — just in time to serve as an EPL bookend, as Wes McKennie joins comparably Yank-infused Leeds United] ... LONDON — There are moments, sublime moments, when spectators sitting in the Johnny Haynes [...]

January 2023

Help Wanted: Creatures of the Federation Need Not Apply

By |2023-02-06T16:18:19-05:00January 28th, 2023|GZ blog|

The departures of Men’s National Team Sporting Director Earnie Stewart and General Manager Brian McBride represent a post-World Cup housecleaning, but they also underline the stubbornly clubby, insular nature of soccer administration in this country. The installation of former players to coach and direct national team programs, to head up entire federations, is not uncommon in world futbol. For too long, however, U.S. Soccer has promoted strictly from within. For a time, this was the only option. In 2023, in [...]

Dr. Rose, Abdul & the Cheeseburger Sub to End All Cheeseburger Subs

By |2023-01-11T19:08:44-05:00January 11th, 2023|GZ blog|

In the pages of Generation Zero and here on the book’s companion site, we’ve spent a good deal of time and space examining exactly when, how and by whose efforts American soccer came of age. Before GZ was but a twinkle in my eye, I engaged with these important questions in an altogether different way when Dr. David Rose called my office, out of the blue, with a question: You remember that time we watched that World Cup game together, [...]

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