Soccer Culture in America

Essays on the World’s Sport in Red, White and Blue


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About the Book

What does the world’s favorite sport mean in the United States? Despite the common belief that it is only a women’s sport, an immigrants’ sport, a small kids’ sport—or that hating soccer is very American, the new essays in this volume attest that soccer indeed is a very American and very popular sport, around since the 1940s. The all-new essays address issues concerning the business of the game, the meaning of men’s and women’s professional, national, high school and youth soccer, the community formed by the game, the media, the referees, the hooliganism and the treatment of the sport in academe.

About the Author(s)

Yuya Kiuchi is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. His research interests include popular culture, youth culture, African American Studies, technology, and sexuality.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Yuya Kiuchi

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7155-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0435-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
A Note on Terms  xi
Introduction  1

Part I: Soccer as an American Phenomenon
1. Making the Mainstream: The Domestication of American Soccer by David Keyes  9
2. Individualism vs. Community: The Globally Strange Relationship Between the U.S. Soccer System and the U.S. School System by Andrew M. Guest  25
3. New Traditionalists: The Emergence of Modern America and the Birth of the MLS Coalition by Dennis J. Seese  43

Part II: American Soccer Economics
4. It’s All Fun and Games Until No One Gets Hurt: European Soccer Leagues, Capitalism and the Movement Towards a Socialist American Model by Cliff Starkey  71
5. A Resounding Soccer Success … in the U.S.? by Dwight Branch  84
6. “Fast-Kicking, Low-Scoring and Ties”: How Popular Culture Can Help the Global Game Become America’s Game by Benjamin James Dettmar  95

Part III: Soccer in American Society
7. Perceptions of Hooliganism in American Soccer by Cedrick G. Heraux  121
8. Becoming Apple Pie: Soccer as the Fifth Major Team Sport in the United States? by Glen M.E. Duerr  143
9. Pitch Perfect: How the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Brought the Game Home by Danielle Sarver Coombs  160

Part IV: Interviews
10. Scholarship and Soccer: Alex Galarza  179
11. Japanese Referee in the MLS: Toru Kamikawa  192

Conclusion  205
About the Contributors  207
Index  211

Book Reviews & Awards

“A fresh, timely look at the sport…recommended”—Choice

“Intriguing…the quality of scholarship…is solid”—American Studies