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World Cup: How U.S. Military Helped Shape U.S. Soccer

The Pacific Standard reports that “One could say with only the wryest of smiles that the Soviet blockade of Berlin was the most important event in U.S. soccer history. Once the blockade began, it was clear to the United States military that the Cold War would demand permanent bases in Germany. During the Cold War, there were hundreds of installations and nine major air bases in West Germany, including the U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters. The population of military bases, often numbering in the tens of thousands, would dwarf those of the small surrounding towns.”  

The piece continues: “For U.S. Soccer, these bases have proved fertile ground for new talent.”

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