American Fiasco

14 EpisodesProduced by WNYC Studios

Join host Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers for this story of the U.S. men’s soccer team that swaggered onto the international stage and set out to win the 1998 World Cup in France. When they arrived, they faced only one serious opponent: themselves. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of ot… read more

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A Word From Rog

May 24th, 2018

2:31

Long before Men in Blazers, Roger Bennett was just a kid growing up in Liverpool with contradictory obsessions: soccer and America. He moved to the …

How Not To Win The World Cup

May 24th, 2018

2:28

Coming June 4: Join host Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers for this true tale of the U.S. men's soccer team's quest to conquer the 1998 World Cup. American Fiasco is a 12-part series based on over 30 interviews with the …

Episode 1: The Dream (On) Team

June 4th, 2018

27:20

Episode 2: Steve

June 4th, 2018

27:15

Meet Steve Sampson: the all-American regular guy who was plucked from obscurity to become interim head coach of the national squad. From living on a …

Episode 3: We’ll Always Have Paysandu

June 4th, 2018

28:02

What do you get when you put 22 soccer players on a plane headed to South America? A labor standoff with their bosses, and a team turning into a band of brothers. Plus: Expectations soar after the 1995 Copa América and …

Episode 4: Decisions, Decisions

June 4th, 2018

28:00

Fresh off their impressive showing at the Copa America tournament, the U.S. team was feeling ready to take on the world. Or, more specifically, the World Cup. That was coming up in 1998 and the players were primed to …

Episode 5: Captain for Life

June 4th, 2018

31:15

Two months before the 1998 World Cup, captain John Harkes is abruptly kicked off the national team. The reason for Harkes’ departure is kept under wraps. Twenty years later, the team opens up about what really happened.

Bonus Episode with Big Cat (Dan Katz) of Barstool Sports

June 4th, 2018

23:57

Episode 6: Final Roster

June 11th, 2018

23:58

The U.S. men’s national team had done it. They’d qualified for the 1998 World Cup. Now it was time to find out which teams they would face.

The World …

Episode 7: The Chateau

June 11th, 2018

23:45

When the U.S. men’s national team departed JFK International Airport for France on June 5, 1998, many players assumed they were headed straight into the heart of World Cup action.

Fourteen hours later, they arrived in …

Episode 8: The World Cup Begins

June 11th, 2018

29:27

On June 15, 1998, the U.S. men’s national team was waiting to kick off their first World Cup game. The players warmed up in the tunnel before taking the field at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Their German opponents …

Episode 9: The World Cup Ends

June 11th, 2018

30:17

So far, the 1998 World Cup was going pretty badly for the U.S. men’s national team. They’d just played the Germans, losing 2-0 when they’d been counting on a tie. The next two games, against Iran and Yugoslavia …

Episode 10: Injury Time

June 11th, 2018

25:35

What do you do after you’ve just crashed and burned in a World Cup?

That’s what the entire 1998 U.S. Men’s National Team was asking themselves, including the coach. The day after the team lost to Yugoslavia in its third …

Bonus Episode with Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics Radio

June 11th, 2018

25:05

After chronicling the rise and fall of the 1998 U.S. national team, Roger Bennett -- like Marty McFly in Back to the Future -- jumps into the DeLorean, sets the coordinates for present day, and blasts through space and …

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