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Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup Hardcover – Apr 20 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (April 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306816067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816062
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g

Product Description

Review

Library Journal
Well known New York Daily News columnist Bondy tackles American soccer, from the heights of a 1950 stunner over England to the depths of 2006, when the U.S. squad could barely get a shot on goal. Bondy treats readers to an inside view of the current American team that will chase after World Cup glory in South Africa this summer—like players Landon Donovan and Joey Altidore, goal tender Tim Howard, and coach Bob Bradley. Placing soccer within a social, economic, and sporting context, the author provides readers with a fast-paced, enjoyable read about the game and the quest. A remarkable account; essential for all fans of the game. Highly recommended.

Library Journal, 5/15/10
“A remarkable account; essential for all fans of the game. Highly recommended.”

New York Times, 5/11/10
“…chronicles the evolutionary fits and starts of soccer in America, from the grass roots to the fields of South Africa.”

Los Angeles Daily News and San Bernardino Sun, 5/11/10
“Bondy's insights are meaningful whether a reader only pays attention to soccer once every four years or is a devoted fan…an excellent primer for those who want to understand American soccer's place in the sport and the world before the tournament begins.”

The Bleacher Report, 5/11/10
“An excellent recap of the USNT qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.” 

Global Post, 5/11/10
“A useful primer for both knowledgeable fans and those who, after a four-year hiatus from soccer, want to catch up with our lads…Bondy provides a remarkably comprehensive modern history of American soccer and its World Cup experience… exceedingly well written.”

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports, 5/13/10
“Highly recommended for soccer zealots.”

GQ, June 2010
“The odyssey of our national team, which is a lot weirder and more fascinating than you’d expect."

Barnes & Noble Review, 5/31/10
“Bondy entertainingly describes the highs and lows of soccer's beleaguered history in the U.S.”

Goal.com, 6/5/10

“A comprehensive look at the USA's journey in the sport in general, and the 2010 World Cup in particular.”

Washington Post Soccer Insider Blog, 4/21/10
“The outstanding columnist for the New York Daily News recounts the run-up to the World Cup and what lies ahead for the American squad.”

Global Post, 5/11/10
“Bondy provides a remarkably comprehensive modern history of American soccer and its World Cup experience…The book is exceedingly well written as it executes as complex a weave—back and forth in time—as any witnessed on a soccer field. But its greatest strengths are Bondy’s passion for the game—his Czech-born father raised him to prize soccer over all other games—and the fact that he witnessed most everything he writes about. He has covered every World Cup dating back to 1990 and has traveled to the remote outposts like Tegucigalpa and Port of Spain where the team earns its Cup qualification.”

San Bernardino Sun, 5/10/10
“Bondy's insights are meaningful whether a reader only pays attention to soccer once every four years or is a devoted fan…an excellent primer for those who want to understand American soccer's place in the sport and the world before the tournament begins.”

Bleacher Report, 5/11/10
“Whether you're rooting for the United States National Team or not, Filip Bondy's Chasing the Game is an excellent recap of the USNT qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.”

New York Times, 5/11/10
“The veteran journalist, a columnist who writes for The Daily News in New York, chronicles the evolutionary fits and starts of soccer in America, from the grass roots to the fields of South Africa.”

GQ, 6/1/10
“The odyssey of our national team, which is a lot weirder and more fascinating than you’d expect.”

Goal.com, 6/5/10
“A comprehensive look at the USA's journey in the sport in general, and the 2010 World Cup in particular… a valuable resource… Where Bondy excels…is in managing to put the campaign for 2010 into a historical context that goes back to the very first World Cup in 1930…Bondy doesn't report just the facts of the games, though. His careful observations about the way the USA soccer was marginalized and unsupported bolster a too oft-ignored truism—that the professional game in a country needs to be stable and successful in order for a national squad to consistently improve…
While it's a bit startling that the veteran sportswriter can fit so much about the journey of United States soccer into a tome that isn't of intimidating size, it's important that Bondy has produced it. Aristotle wrote, ‘If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.’ Chasing the Game makes it simple for the USA fan, novice and experienced alike, to do just that.”

Chicago Sun Newspapers,
6/13/10
“An excellent behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. team.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer,
6/13/10
“…the columnist for the New York Daily News writes well, and is impressively steeped in the history and politics rolling around the spotted ball…”
 
The Washington Post Book World, 6/20/10
“Filip Bondy shows how the U.S. team may be able to make a run—with a little luck—deep into the tournament.”
 
BigSoccer.com, 6/19/10
“Excellent.”
 
BiblioBuffet
“[Bondy] does a nice job profiling the team’s players and their path to South Africa. The book’s real valuelies in how Bondy shows soccer’s slow, steady assimilation into an already crowded sports culture. It’s a reminder that every sport has an infancy period.”

About the Author

Filip Bondy is a columnist for the New York Daily News and author of Tip-Off, among other books. He lives in New York.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An entertaining and informative look at the U.S. National Team April 28 2010
By Todd Knox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that the U.S. Men's National Team is my favorite sports team to follow, so I'm coming at it from that angle - I follow the team and the individual players fairly closely. The reason I point that out is that even though I try to read and digest everything that I can find about the team, there are a lot of great details and background stories that I discovered while reading this book.

The narrative flows smoothly from chapter to chapter. For example, there's the chapter about Landon Donovan that dovetails nicely into the chapter about our rivals team south of the border - Bondy even references the hilarious Mexican lottery commercial with Landon sneaking across the border because "it's easier to win in Mexico." (If you haven't seen it, find it - it's great.)

Because of his general reticence in talking to the media, it was great to get to look a little deeper into Bob Bradley's history and thoughts about the game. Even better, Bondy takes a thorough look at a lot of the personalities and history that have helped influence the culture of soccer in the country, and specifically with the national team.

For someone like me who is already very interested in the national team, it's a must have - there's no question about it. But even for those who just want to read an engaging book about the state of the game in this country, I'd highly recommend picking it up. It's well written and keeps you interested in the people and topics being discussed, and if you weren't familiar with some of the names and events that Bondy writes about, you'll enjoy learning about them - it's a great read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent concise history of US soccer July 5 2010
By tikcuf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-researched, exceptionally enjoyable book on the history of US soccer and the US men's soccer team. It covers the span from soccer's inception in this country in the late 1800's up to the World Cup draw in 2010 and everything in between. It's most intensive focus, however, is the most recent World Cup cycle. Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is its emphasis on the backroom politics of US soccer - and there are plenty of them. This back story of US soccer is fascinating and has been largely ignored or misrepresented in the mainstream US media, yet has had tremendous impact in the transformation of US soccer to one of grudging international respect.

The author, Mr. Bondy, also nicely covers the sociology of US soccer, tracing it's origins in immigrant hotbeds such as St. Louis and New Jersey, through the present and the attendant battles for the allegiance of players who, due to their heritage, had the option of playing for either the US or other countries (e.g. Guiseppe Rossi, a world class American talent, who ultimately chose to play for Italy). This aspect of the book also covers the political battles of the US Soccer Federation to restructure developmental soccer along academy lines - as is the case in much of Europe - and wrest control from the US Youth Soccer federation and the "attorneys and dentists" - soccer parents whose egos and money ultimately have sabotaged player development.

And last, but not least, Mr. Bondy does a commendable job dissecting the on-field strategies of the US international soccer game itself. For example, the book provides analysis of the historical underachievement of the US national team against relatively less talented national teams from central and eastern europe.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A great read on any day, A MUST READ BEFORE THE CUP! May 4 2010
By Jeffrey G. Gass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on impulse over the weekend and could not put it down. This is a great history of the US National team, the story of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign and informative player and coach profiles all wrapped into one. Well written and full of in depth information, this is a must read.
So so book... Aug. 12 2014
By T. Luo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Book rotates every chapter from a mix of background stories and match summaries of past and recent US Soccer matches. The match summaries were not very interesting because many of the matches follow the same boring format of location, weather, cards, fouls, goals, aftermath format, most are done in 1-2 paragraphs and you can arrive at the same conclusion by looking at the match stats. The personal stories were good to read since most are probably not known to the average fan.

I felt like certain elements were not properly researched - one example was the US getting Colombia in the 1994 WC group draw, the author said "Colombia was ranked well below Brazil or Argentina". Colombia just beat Argentina twice in qualifying including a 5-0 win in Argentina about 2 months before the world cup draw and Brazil is in a 20 year WC drought.

I think the author was over ambitious and tried to cover too much and as a result wrote a very bland book.
A quick, solid read for US soccer fans, nothing groundbreaking April 19 2011
By Steve Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a decently written book about two things: The run-up through World Cup qualification for the 2010 US National Team, interspersed with a scattered, less comprehensive story about the history of US Soccer, from its earliest origins in the country through the 1934 and 1950 World Cups to our re-emergence for 1990 in Italy. To be clear, the content in this book ends somewhere between the World Cup draw and the Cup itself, so if you're looking for a detailed behind the scenes look at qualification AND the 2010 Cup, this is not the book you're looking for.

It reads more like a long series of magazine articles than a book, as I sped through it in a day and a half or so. It feels pulled together by someone knowledgeable about soccer and the US team, but without close access behind the scenes. Buzz Bissinger, this ain't. Most of the quotes and interviews with the current players and staff seemed to be culled from other sources or legacy material, though some of the former players (Ramos, Berhalter) were interviewed directly. There were a large number of pretty unforgivable typos and errors, like a book that was rushed through production and not copyedited too closely. ("Francisco" Torres, now of Chelsea, Brazil's young player "Nilmar", Sacha Kljestan's name misspelled, etc.)

If you're a new to intermediate fan of US Soccer and looking to find out more about the team and the players that you watched in the World Cup last summer, you'll really enjoy this book start to finish. If you could recognize Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey on the street but couldn't point out Maurice Edu in a police lineup, you'll learn a lot in this book.

If you're someone who reads every postgame story on FSC and ESPN and Soccer By Ives, you probably won't find a whole lot here you didn't know already. But there are definitely some little nuggets for even the most diehard follower, like the Donovan commercial that aired in Mexico and some choice quotes from Gulati and other USS folks about the players that got away to other countries.

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