The audio version of Generation Zero, the best-selling U.S. soccer history from author Hal Phillips, is now available via Amazon, alongside its print and eBook editions.

Published by Dickinson-Moses Press and released in July 2022, Generation Zero: Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories & The Making of Soccer in America details the game’s unlikely modern ascent, during the 1970s and ‘80s, after a century of false starts. Featuring period imagery from USMNT photographer Jon van Woerden, GZ is the definitive account of fútbol’s long-elusive mainstreaming in the United States. In his lively, meticulous, sometimes personal telling, Phillips fleshes out the cultural and sporting conditions that produced each and every member of the pivotal 1990 U.S. Men’s National Team and the 1991 world champion U.S. Women’s National Team.

“Those players are the narrative avatars of Generation Zero, because their on-field efforts laid a foundation for the 1994 World Cup, the 1999 World Cup, Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League — for the incredibly robust soccer ecosystem Americans enjoy today,” the author says. “This sport of ours famously didn’t gain a cultural toehold here for a century. Yet look where it is in 2024. What produced such change? The short answer: the 1970s, before nearly all those gains were lost during the 1980s. That roller coaster makes this generation distinct and historic. Golden, even.

“Yet this book also fixates on the broader soccer culture enabled by all the American boys and girls born in the 1960s and raised on the game during The Me Decade. These are the nation’s very first soccer natives. As adults, in their millions, they made MLS, NWSL and all these World Cups a success. Their eyeballs are the reason we enjoy so many fútbol broadcasts and streams in the 21st century, nearly seven days a week!”

Phillips continues to write on all matters soccer at the book’s companion site, His GZ-centric Instagram feed has evolved into a canny, digital museum and gallery dedicated to U.S. soccer ephemera from the 1970s and ‘80s. He posts on the world at-large at, and via Threads at genzero.halphillips.

The audio release of Generation Zero was enabled by AI technology from Kindle Digital Publishing. “This winter I was offered the opportunity to beta-test the Virtual Voice Studio, based on GZ’s sales performance, I suppose,” said Phillips, whose own voice is not featured. “Oh no. We went in another direction — a convincing homage to the inimitable Rebecca Lowe, minus the Palace support.”

Released May 15, the audio version also hits amid a new swirl of related publishing, academic and media activity: An indoor-centric excerpt from GZ, for example, was featured this month on Tim O’Bryhin’s superb Substack, MISL 1980s: The Story of Indoor Soccer.

During the Fall 2023 academic term, Dr. Andrei Markovits — the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan — included Generation Zero on the syllabus for his junior-level course, “Sports, Politics and Society.”

Starting in the Fall of 2023, Phillips has been busy researching and writing his follow-up book. In January 2026, Rowman & Littlefield will publish Sibling Rivalry: Why World Cup co-hosts U.S. & Mexico maintain International Soccer’s Most Heated, Geopolitically Fraught, Co-Dependent Derby.

“No one has ever seriously examined, in print, the richly complex associations, norms and neuroses these two nations share, cultivate and contest in and around this specific sport,” Phillips says. “Sibling Rivalry will detail the unflinching, speculative economics of post-modern fútbol that, today, send players, money and live streams north and south across our shared border. And yet, despite increasingly hysterical politics on and around that border, this book will illustrate exactly how those very economics, how events like World Cup 2026 and the Leagues Cup, how the respective evolutions of LigaMX and MLS have all conspired to draw these rival fútbol cultures and communities closer together, not further apart.”

Between now and publication of Sibling Rivalry, Phillips will also serve on a trilateral World Cup 2026 working group organized by The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, part of the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego.

“I was recommended to participate by two sources I had interviewed in the researching of Sibling Rivalry,” explains the author, whose day job is managing director of Mandarin Media, Inc., a brand-management, content- and digital-marketing agency serving sport-centered clients across North America, the UK and Asia-Pacific. “The mere existence of this cooperative effort — to better understand and promote North America’s shared soccer identity — certainly dovetails and validates my current subject matter. Once I was assured that I could report on the task force and this fascinating initiative, in the book, I was all in.

“The next World Cup isn’t the first to be hosted among multiple countries: Japan and South Korea co-hosted in 2002, and several European Championships have been administered this way. Yet World Cup 2026 remains a huge opportunity to leverage soccer in the deepening of our shared North American identity. Two-thousand twenty-six isn’t just the year we all host the World Cup. It’s the year NAFTA is up for renewal. I agree with our group chairman, Rafael Fernández de Castro Medina, who believes that, ‘in the increasingly volatile geopolitical environment, it behooves us to strengthen the concept of North America as a region.’ ”

Photographer Jon van Woerden captured this image in the bowels of T&T’s National Stadium, just after final whistle on November 19, 1989 — for U.S. soccer fans, the first day of the rest of our lives.