Although soccer had long been the world’s game when Michael J.
Agovino first encountered it in 1982, here it was just a poor
cousin to American football, to be found on obscure UHF channels
and in foreign magazines. But as Agovino himself passionately
pursued soccer, Americans got wise and turned it into one of the
most popular sports in the country. Agovino’s love affair with
soccer is a portrait of the game’s culture and an intimate history
of the sport’s coming of age in the United States. Agovino’s quest
takes him from the unkempt field in the Bronx where he taught
himself to play to some of the sport’s most storied venues and
historic matches. With Agovino we travel from school fields to
Giants Stadium, then from England to Germany, Italy, and Spain,
along the way taking in the final days of the North American Soccer
League, the 1994 World Cup, and the birth of Major League Soccer.
Offering the perspective of fan, player, and journalist, Agovino
chronicles his obsession with the sport and its phenomenal