World Cup Fever

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In 1999, when the USA finished dead last in the World Cup, soccer fans wondered whether the land of grand passions for baseball, basketball and Super Bowl football would ever make its mark on the "world's game."

American women had taken it all in soccer, but men — not close. Then in 2002, the US team upset Portugal and drove to the World Cup quarterfinals, and nearly beyond — leaving plenty of disdainful Europeans with a scare to remember.

Now, it's World Cup fever again. This year, it is in Germany. And a generation of Americans who grew up on soccer is taking the field.

Hear about the World Cup fever, and the American style of soccer.


Jeff "The Goose" Agoos, member of the 1998 and 2002 US World Cup soccer teams, and color commentator for the world cup on XM Satellite Radio

Grant Wahl, Senior writer for Sports Illustrated magazine

Bill Littlefield, host of NPR and WBUR's "Only A Game"

Tommy Smyth, soccer analyst for ESPN

Andrei Markovits, Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan and author of "Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism"

This program aired on June 6, 2006.


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