All over the world, soccer is known as “the Beautiful Game” and is the most popular sport. But in the United States, professional soccer still has a hard time catching on.
It has had some successes here. The American Soccer League of the 1920s, Pélé and other international stars in the North American Soccer League’s glamorous 1970s, the indoor soccer phenomenon of the 1980s, and the U.S. women’s win in the Women’s World Cup of 1999 all hinted that the American public is ready to embrace pro soccer.
In its short history, Major League Soccer (MLS) has survived and even started to thrive, drawing steady crowds and loyal fans. In Long-Range Goals, Beau Dure profiles teams and players, including D.C. United, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, and Coach Bruce Arena, who are all vital to MLS. Some of the triumphs include an expansion of the league and its ownership group, the contribution of MLS players to a strong U.S. World Cup showing in 2002, and the construction of soccer stadiums nationwide. At the same time, MLS has occasionally stumbled, during costly legal battles with players and seeing two teams fold, but its investors have remained strong, figured out how to make money, and support the league.
From the league’s formation in 1993 to the David Beckham era, this book reveals all the action on and off the pitch: the politics, the lawsuits, the management of its teams, and the savvy business deals that helped MLS rebound. It also revels in the big personalities of its stars, the grace of its utility players, and the obstacles the league faces in meeting its long-range goals.
“An extraordinary read. Not since Grant Wahl’s bestselling The Beckham Experiment have fans seen such an inside view of the league’s machinations and the personalities behind them.”
www.mlssoccer.com, July 20, 2010
“Longtime MLS fans will love this book, thrilled that the early days of the league have been captured for posterity so well. But if you’ve only recently become converted to soccer through the recent World Cup and want to know more about the continuing growth of American soccer, Long-Range Goals is the perfect place to start.”
http://popdose.com, July 12, 2010
“An excellent piece of work. Beau has contributed the first comprehensive overview of where the league has been and where it's likely headed.”
www.bigsoccer.com, July 14, 2010
“Dure expertly leads readers through the first decade and a half of Major League Soccer’s existence. Informative for diehards and newbies alike, Dure’s tome is a welcome addition to the small (but thankfully growing) MLS bookshelf.”
The Black and Gold Standard, June 22, 2010
“There simply aren’t many books about American soccer, and Long-Range Goals ably fills the gap of knowledge about the unique, zany, controversial, audacious, outrageous—and, yes, visionary—history of Major League Soccer. Nearly all the main figures in MLS spoke to Beau Dure, who produced a useful account for anyone who’s interested in fútbol American-style.”
Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of The Beckham Experiment
“Unfortunately, too much of our American soccer history has been poorly documented. Thankfully Beau Dure has given us an incredibly detailed, thoughtful, and entertaining exploration of the strange and beautiful adventure that is Major League Soccer. For American soccer fans, this is the definitive account of the league’s history.”
Alexi Lalas, National Soccer Hall of Famer