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On July 10, 1999, the world of women's sports changed forever as the U.S. defeated China in the Women's World Cup soccer final in front of 90,000 spectators at the Rose Bowl--and millions more watching on television around the world.
In The Girls of Summer, Jere Longman tells the story of the women's team, their rise to world dominance, and their struggle with the United States Soccer Federation (U.S.S.F.) for the support, respect, and salary they deserve. Drawing on extensive personal interviews recorded before, during, and after the World Cup, Longman offers up portraits of all the players on the team--Akers, Hamm, Chastain, Milbrett, Overbeck, and the rest. Longman also addresses some of the issues surrounding the team and the Women's World Cup--how U.S.S.F. and the national media seriously underestimated the level of interest the tournament would generate; the questions of race and sexuality; and the positive role models these women provided to a nation of young girls--showing them that they, too, could achieve their dreams.
Some of Longman's statements ring false--millions of Europeans would be appalled to hear soccer described as a "Third World sport"--but overall, Girls of Summer is a fine tribute to the world champions. --M. Stein --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Soccer fans and even the uninitiated are unlikely to forget last summer's extraordinary game when the U.S. women's team defeated China for the world championship. Who doesn't recall the seemingly endless overtime plays and the victorious Brandi Chastain tearing off her jersey? With the 1999 team etched into sporting history, a reprise of the winning season was inevitable. The stories of the team members are particularly evocative, especially the struggles of individual players to overcome physical hardship. (For example, Longman eloquently describes Michelle Akers's severe chronic fatigue syndrome, which frequently caused her to collapse after games.) But excerpts of fans' conversation and naysayers' commentary appeal less. Longman, a sportswriter for the New York Times, interviewed coaches, players, fans and members of the competition for this detailed account of the championship season. Soccer fans wanting to savor the games and learn of behind-the-scenes events will probably enjoy this book. Yet Longman tries to cover so much ground -- from the biographies of the players to the political aspect of the game to the fans' perspective -- that the work as a whole remains uneven. Photos not seen by PW. (July) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.