Book Reviews : Long Range Goals - The Success Story of Major League Soccer


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For those of you interesed in reading good soccer related material I suggested reading Soccernomics a few weeks ago (Sam also previously recommended it in a post a while back).  Since soccer related books seem to be popping up with some frequency, mostly due to World Cup excitement, I've been searching for US and MLS related material to share and I've found a few good ones.

Long Range Goals - The Success Story of Major League Soccer by USA Today writer Beau Dure offers a format that traces the league's evolution from day one to it's current incarnation.  The book reads like a chronological history book that covers FIFA's mandate for a first division soccer league as a condition of the 1994 World Cup award, the single entity structure, the players lawsuit against the league, and all the major events including the advent of the Beckham Rule. 

The book includes insights, recollections, and quotes from most of the major players involved in the history and development of the league......Alan Rothenberg, Doug Logan, Sunil Gulati, Don Garber, Ivan Gazidis, Alexi Lalas, and many more are interviewed and provide running commentary throughout each chapter. 

The book also describes some of the inner workings and back table dealings that went into shaping the decisions and issues that MLS faced and in some cases continues to face.  Salary cap, relocation, television deals, expansion and contraction, MLS' relationship with SUM, and negotiations with the players are all covered along with a year by year recounting of the highlights of each season since 1996. 

The book doesn't have much inside information on the Fire or any other franchise in particular since it's focus is on the league and the big picture via the development and health of soccer in America but it's an easy and entertaining read that I would surely recommend to anyone who is interested in the background and evolution of the nation's top football division.  

You can find Long Range Goals by clicking here.

Filed under: Book Reviews

Tags: Books, MLS


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  • MLS is entering their 15th season and counting. Despite of the MLS contracted Tampa Bay and Miami franchise, they rebounded with teams like Real Salt Lake before they were MLS Cup Champions in 2010 and Chivas USA with the Hispanic fanbase that is delightful for the league. Down the road, hopefully big names like Ronaldo, Messi, Fabregas, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Ochoa and among others that will come to America to expand the fanbase. With the comparisons with the other leagues at each country, the MLS are infants that are getting used to this game; it doesn't grow on trees. The MLS needs another 10-20 year longevity to reach the capability of the other leagues outside the US. I was informed by someone that Puerto Rico is starting to catch on with the game despite having a USL team, the Puerto Rico Islanders. Like the United States, it is going to take Puerto Rico 20-30 years to put a descent product to compete in the World Cup with proper coaching and persuading kids to play soccer. One more comment....Is their a book on the story of the NASL?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I haven't seen a comprehensive, unbiased one but Clive Toye released one a few years ago called "A kick in the Grass, The Slow Rise and Quick Demise of the NASL". There are a few others but nothing that covers the entire league in the fashion it should be least that I'm aware of.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Another great NASL book (and documentary): "Once in a Lifetime". The focus is on the Cosmos, but they were the flagship team in the league, anyway.

  • RSL won in 2009...correction

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