Published: July 11, 2014

The World Cup has put the spotlight, once again, on Americans’ decidedly mixed relationship with soccer. Have Americans finally succumbed to the lure of the world’s most popular sport? Or do we like to stand apart when it comes to international contests—whether in soccer or other sports?

In this episode, we dig into the history of Americans as competitors on the international stage, and explore what’s really been at stake when the games begin. What kind of sporting prowess has the United States shown over the years? Are international competitions a form of non-military conflict, or a chance to build a global community? And what does it all mean for pride and patriotism at home?