Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport
I haven't read the book, and I certainly don't know anything about soccer, but I doubt that the U.S. will become a consistent contender in the World Cup (men's division) over the next several quadrennial competitions. Sure, a lot of American youths get driven by their soccer moms to soccer practice several times per week, but the way you get really good as a child at dribbling the ball, Ronaldino-good, is to walk to soccer practice, and everywhere else, kicking a soccer ball. So, I'm not sure that upper middle class Americans are going to take the U.S. all the way to the top.
(Women's World Cup ... well, I suspect the U.S. will get relatively worse as other countries follow our lead and get into Patriotic Feminist fervors over their national women's soccer team, but perhaps if we can put her on the team, we'll scratch and claw our way to the top again.)
Second, there's a widespread assumption that 50 million Hispanics will have to make the U.S. a soccer superpower. Yet, with 110 million Hispanics, Mexico is only a middling power. And the last U.S. World Cup team had only 2.5 Hispanics out of 23 players (compared to 6 blacks).
Moreover, what happens to upper middle class white participation in soccer if the game comes to be seen by upper middle class parents not as elegantly European but as, uh, vibrantly Mexican?
Maybe something like what happened to the U.S. in international basketball. In 1992, the U.S. was overwhelmingly the best with a Dream Team of eight blacks and four whites, but since then it has been only marginally the best with virtually all black teams. White dads are now focusing their tall, athletic sons to be soccer goalies, quarterbacks, pitchers, and so forth.