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A tantalizing account of the triumphs and travails of the U. S. men's soccer team in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, set within the historical context of American soccer on the global stage The U. S. men's soccer team was a huge disappointment at the World Cup in 2006, but a newly constituted team exceeded all expectations in June 2009 with their inspired play at the Confederations Cup in South Africa--where they upset the number one team in the world, Spain, and lost late in the championship game to a supremely talented Brazilian squad. Their impressive showing gave fans, including the ever-loyal Sam's Army, a renewed sense of hope that when the team plays up to its capabilities, the Americans can compete with anyone in the world. InChasing the Game, Filip Bondy describes the U. S. team's path to qualifying for this year's World Cup--to be held on the African continent for the first time ever, in South Africa in June 2010. Bondy also reveals the back-and-forth saga that resulted in the hiring of Bob Bradley as the American coach, and serves up engaging profiles of several core players, including the U. S. national team's all-time leader in scoring and assists, Landon Donovan, acrobatic goalie Tim Howard, hip-hop devotee and opportunistic goal-scorer Clint "Deuce" Dempsey, up-and-comer Jozy Altidore, and the coach's son, the reticent yet dependable Michael Bradley. Chasing the Gamealso recounts the glorious highlights of past World Cup matches, like the U. S. men's team's stunning 1-0 victory over England in 1950 and the 2002 team's advance to the quarterfinals, as well as heartbreaks like the fiasco in 2006, when the U. S. mustered only four shots on goal in three games. Finally, Bondy also traces the origin of soccer and the evolution of the game in the U. S. , chronicling how soccer academies like the one in Bradenton, Florida, have impacted the game at both the youth and national levels. It's all here for the first time in one book--the complete story of American soccer on the global stage.
The 1984 NBA draft is one of the most controversial in NBA history. Teams were losing games very suspiciously during the regular season to enhance their draft position. And who wouldn't, when the draft featured four future members of the Top 50 NBA Players of All Time team-Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Michael Jordan. But this draft is most often remembered as the one where Michael Jordan slipped to third and was a reason the lottery system was introduced the next year. How could the experts have been so wrong and, even more astoundingly, how could the Portland Trailblazers, who held the second pick, pass on Jordan and choose the injury-prone Sam Bowie? Filip Bondy sets out to answer that question and many more. Talking to general managers, coaches, and players, Bondy provides the entire back story of the draft: trades that were never made; wrong-headed assessments of players like Charles Barkley and John Stockton, and how Bobby Knight, coach of the 1984 U. S. Olympic team, played a major role in advising certain teams about key players.
A hilarious celebration of the worst in baseball history: The boneheads, cheats, jerks and losers who make the grand old game so fun Libraries and Internet sites are filled to groaning with debates about who the best ballplayers of all time were--but how many times can you argue about Mantle vs. Mays? Since baseball is a game of failure, it's much more fun to dive into the fray and explore baseball's worst: who was the lousiest pitcher of all-time? the biggest goat? the most despicable owner? the greatest cheater? Filip Bondy wields formidable research, advanced sabermetrics and his considerable wit to provide this indispensable guide to the less glorious side of our national pastime. Each chapter is filled with rich and colorful stories of the players unfortunate enough to be chosen in each category and is followed by a handy top-ten list, such as Most Overpaid Yankees. From a delightful survey of batters who fell below the dreaded "Mendoza Line" to a rundown of managers who had long careers distinguished by relentless losing to a roster of players who took steroids but still stunk, Who's on Worst? is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of the personalities who deserve their place in baseball history as much as the immortals.
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