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Another Fiasco for American Soccer, and Praying for Tangier

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The 2018 World Cup begins this week in Russia, and America is taking a powder. The men’s team failed to qualify for the tournament after a stunning upset loss to Trinidad and Tobago, which is considered to be one of the worst teams in competition. Perhaps no fan was more upset than Roger Bennett, an English soccer commentator and new U.S. citizen, who has rather quixotically devoted himself to the sport as it’s played in America. Bennett is the co-host of the podcast “Men in Blazers” from NBC Sports, and recently hosted “American Fiasco” for WNYC Studios—a longform exploration of the epic U.S. failure in the 1998 World Cup. Bennett spoke with Michael Luo, the editor of, about why the same problems keep casting a shadow over the sport’s future in America. Plus, a visit to Tangier, Virginia. The island is washing out to sea, and its residents may be among the first American refugees of climate change. But that’s not how they see the loss of their island.

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