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.