By Tim Grainey – The U.S. women’s national team has changed the way the game is played at every level in the U.S. and this week The Grainey Report gives a book review of New York Post Sports Writer Clemente A. Lisi book The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team: An American Success Story.
The second edition of the book (Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2013. 171 pages) has been recently released overviewing the 27 year history of the U.S. Women’s National Team and includes information on the U.S. National Team’s Gold Medal victory at the London Olympic Games last summer.
As someone who has followed the women’s sport since the first CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers in 1991 hosted by Haiti, this effort is a tremendous history of the team. Lisi takes us back to the times when the U.S. Women’s National Team members were reimbursed only small per diems for games and training camps were limited. He tells the story of major successes, like the 1991 and 1999 World Cup wins and four Olympic Gold Medals, with insights from key individuals such as Mia Hamm, Carla Overbeck, Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Anson Dorrance, Pia Sundhage and others.
Lisi explores some of the controversies which the team confronted, including player strikes and the infamous Greg Ryan/Hope Solo conflict at the China World Cup in 2007.
Lisi also discusses changes in the American’s style of play over time, in part from different coaching perspectives from Tony DiCicco and April Heinrichs for example, but also to adapt to opposing styles of play as the game expanded in other countries.
In summary, this short (171 page) book is a keeper and a fantastic reference to fans and administrators who are new to the sport. In the appendix, Lisi provides a useful year-by-year listing of all past games involving the U.S. National Team. Lisi knows the game of soccer and his research and fine writing has led to a fascinating story of how the U.S. National Team became a standard barrier for women’s sport and has continued to evolve to the present day.
Tim Grainey is a regular contributor to Soccer365. He is the author of the popular book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham