For the second time in 12 months a miracle has struck English soccer, and this time the primary architect is an American.
David Wagner is a German soccer coach who completed an extraordinary journey on Monday, taking Huddersfield Town, an unheralded and underfunded team in the second-tier Championship division, into the star-crossed enclave of the English Premier League.
Wagner has never lived in the United States but did play eight games for the U.S. national team between 1996-1998, qualifying for selection on account of the heritage of his father, an American serviceman.
A talented forward, Wagner felt he didn’t get a fair shake under coach Steve Sampson, and when he drifted away from the program, U.S. fans never had cause to think much about him again.
Until now. Huddersfield’s victory in the Championship playoff with Reading at Wembley Stadium was effectively a $220 million shootout, such is the value that being part of the EPL and its massive television deal brings.