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New book tells the origin story of modern American soccer

Fans cheer on the U.S. during a World Cup watch party in 2014 at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. The arena is among those in contention to host matches during the 2026 World Cup.
Tony Gutierrez
/
AP
Fans cheer on the U.S. during a World Cup watch party in 2014 at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. The arena is among those in contention to host matches during the 2026 World Cup.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar later this month. The United States men's national soccer team will be one of the 32 teams vying for one of the most illustrious trophies in sports.

A new book by San Diego journalist Adam Elder looks back at the pioneering 1990 World Cup U.S. men's soccer team, and how they became the first modern U.S. team to qualify for a World Cup.

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Courtesy of University of Nebraska Press
The cover of Adam Elder's book "New Kids in the World Cup: The Totally 80s and early 90s Tale of the Team That Changed American Soccer Forever."

In "New Kids in the World Cup: The Totally Late '80s & Early '90s Tale of the Team That Changed American Soccer Forever," Elder writes about how the team managed to qualify for the soccer tournament despite meager resources and little fanfare during an era of political upheaval and change throughout much of the world.

"They saw democracy start to take hold in these countries and they were just sort of experiencing the world at a very unique time, as it was in part still hostile to American interests," Elder said. "Just as, you could say, American soccer was starting to participate more in the world's game."

Elder joined Midday Edition Tuesday to talk about the book, as well as San Diego's relationship and connection to soccer.

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