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The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days of the United Soccer Association by [Seese, Dennis J.]
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The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days of the United Soccer Association Kindle Edition

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Length: 308 pages

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Editorial Reviews


Soccer has had a foothold in the US since the late 19th century. By the mid-1960s, the United Soccer Association (USA) and the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) were battling for control of American soccer. Their bitter legal struggles and merger, as Major League Soccer (MLS), is Seese's subject. The popularity of the 1966 FIFA World Cup and the growing financial influence of television sport played a part. Seese discusses all this and elaborates on associations predating USA and NPSL, the many franchises that rose and fell, and key figures (owners, coaches, players). In chapters replete with statistics, game reports, facts, anecdotes, and interviews, the author looks at underlying problems: the ignorance of millionaire businessmen (many owners of other sport franchises) in soccer matters; failed marketing efforts; lack of sympathy for existing (ethnic) groups and clubs; crude attempts to Americanize the game; the subversive language, in the Cold War era, of an antagonistic press given to stereotyping, cliché, racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry; substandard playing fields and officials; and poor attempts at fan identification. Despite the success of the 1967 merger and the increased popularity of soccer, some racial, social, and class problems still exist, especially the perception that soccer is being marketed as a sport for white, middle-class suburbia. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (CHOICE)

Not many people take a deep look into the history of American soccer, but Dennis J. Seese does it remarkably well in The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America. . . .This book is a great compilation of research, some of which can’t be found anywhere else and some of which is well-known. His analysis and commentary on David Wangerin’s research is world-class. . . .Seese is a great storyteller, someone who gives the whole story and everything surrounding it without getting bogged down in the extraneous details. This is a great story for those that want a quick recap of American soccer history or those that are deep scholars of the game already. Everyone can find something that makes this worth the read. Remember history repeats itself and it is hard to understand where you are if you don’t know where you came from. That is certainly the case with the beautiful game here in America. (International Soccer Network)

This book leaves no stone unturned in tracing the footsteps of the sport’s history in the USA. . . .Seese’s in-depth research uncovers an evident reluctance from the government, public and established ‘American’ sports to take to the game. Whether it be issues with race and identity or a perceived threat to the country’s capitalist ideals, this book drags up a past which seems a million miles away from the MLS, which now attracts the likes of Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and David Villa to its league on the promise of better competition, competitive wages (for marquee players) and a burgeoning fan base. (Sport 360)

Dennis J. Seese’s supremely detailed and well-researched history of two 1960s professional soccer leagues . . . makes The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days Of The United Soccer Association a great addition to the canon of US soccer scholarship. . . .The book is both immensely readable and immensely detailed. The notes, sources, and references are comprehensive and it is clear from his allusions to other scholar’s work that he is extremely well-read in the subject matter. . . .[This book] has filled a gap in US soccer scholarship and is recommended to all who have an interest in US soccer history or in the history of US sport in that era. (Sport in American History)

Seese’s discussions and research on the 1967 season for the two leagues are exhaustive. He explores and utilizes countless historical primary source documents that have been little examined by past soccer historians. The book is filled with specific game results, number of spectators at a given match, notable moments of a game, and fervor among the fans. It is not just the voice of the players and managers but that of fans, business people, FIFA, and other soccer organization officials that fill every part of the work. The book, however, achieves more than just retelling a detailed history of a tumultuous season. Examining the politics around the leagues, the author successfully unearths the meaning of soccer in American society…. Many books—both popular and scholarly—now exist about soccer in the United States. The Football Scholars Forum lists dozens of such works. But no other books in the past have examined the conflict between the NPSL and the USA in addition to the days before and after the chaotic season. This detailed work is a valuable addition not only for soccer and sports historians but also for American historians, immigration historians, and sports business scholars. (The Journal of Popular Culture)

Seese’s book not only works as a solid piece of academic sports history/studies, but as something that can be used in later-year and master’s sports studies courses of various stripes: it is an historical monograph which is conversant with marketing, management, and development, and utilises media content analysis and theory. It adds another layer to the way in which academics and practitioners can analyse the uniquely American experience of soccer, a ubiquitous feature of many an American childhood that is still largely referred to as a new kid on the block. (

About the Author

Dennis J. Seese is a journalist, writer, and research librarian based in Washington, DC.

Product details

  • File Size: 1467 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (March 6, 2015)
  • Publication Date: March 16, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00UMTX67S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,225,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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on April 7, 2015
Format: Paperback
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