America the Beautiful Game is a podcast about soccer in the US and its relationship with Europe. Each week Dan Rutstein, a former sports journalist and diplomat and now head of International at Orange County Soccer Club, sits down with a new guest to discuss the sport and its growth in this country. We have current and former players, coaches, administrators and those from industries linked to soccer - betting, data, marketing and more. America the Beautiful game is a chance to see soccer in the US from a new angle. Please join us.
Matchday 31 - Gareth Ainsworth, Wimbledon legend and manager
We talk to former flying winger Gareth Ainsworth about his playing and managerial career.
He tells us about his literal baptism of fire at Wimbledon, what he learned there about culture and how he models himself on Diego Simeone.
Gareth talks about his desire to manage in the US, the away dressing room at Accrington Stanley and why Ryan Reynolds made such a brave choice at Wrexham.
We cover promotion and relegation, causing havoc against Newcastle and his love of music - and performances with The Cold Blooded Hearts.
A fun chat with a real character of the game.
Matchday 30 - Simon Leslie, owner of Eastbourne Borough FC
We talk to entrepreneur Simon Leslie who took the plunge and bought himself a non-league team.
He talks about transforming the business into a media company, bringing in celebrities and overcoming fan resistance.
Simon explains why he’s in it for the long haul, changing the badge and firing the manager and trying to bring some aspects of American sport to the National League South.
He tells us about his long term ambitions, how everyone told him not to buy the club and beating Manchester United to a new shirt sponsor.
Fascinating insight into sports ownership by an extraordinary entrepreneur.
Matchday 29 - Ashley Horsley, Sacramento Republic
I talk to Sacramento Republic boss Ashley Horsley. We talk about the excitement of running a soccer team, what a non-sports job can teach you about sports and what an Open Cup run do for a team.
We talk about women in sport, the public nature of the job and trying to conduct a business conversation during a match.
Data in sport, cheering the front office team up after a loss and growing the team in a tough business environment are all covered in our wide-ranging conversation.
Matchday 28 - Cody Cropper, goalkeeper Orange County SC
Today is Open Cup day and we speak to Cody Copper, former US Youth and MLS keeper now plying his trade for Orange County Soccer Club.
He talks about the magic of the cup, returning to an MLS stadium and why the USL is such a growing league.
He tells us about his time in England with Ipswich and Southampton, having bags of urine thrown at him in Guatemala and why America crowds are meaner to goalkeepers.
We talk about MK Dons and how much he knew about their franchise story, conceding 13 goals in two games for Mew England and which goals haunt him.
A fascinating insight into the mind of a goalkeeper with transatlantic experience.
Matchday 27 - Devon Kerr, Broadcaster/Analyst
We talk to ex-player and now leading commentator and analyst Devon Kerr.
Together we reminisce about Orange County's 2021 USL Championship victory, the growth of the US game and how much the young American player's experience abroad has changed.
We talk about cherishing victories, emotionless commentary and deep research.
Devon tells us about his time playing in Germany, training with great players and his move to the commentary box.
We talk passion for the game, the growth of the USL and a long discussion about promotion and relegation.
A great discussion with a genuine soccer enthusiast.
Matchday 26 - Mark Donaldson, ESPN commentator and Hearts fan
We talk to the hilarious and fascinating Mark Donaldson, long-time ESPN commentator.
We talk to editing radio with a knife, the first team ever to beat the New York Cosmos and writing four sports books.
He tells us about his love for Hearts, the importance of Succession to the club’s growth, covering American sports as a Scotsman and who will be the next USMNT coach.
Fun, fascinating and nostalgic in equal measure.