By Michael Lewis Editor

Many of us remember where we were for national or international moments of tragedy.

This writer was in a sixth-grade class in Plainview, N.Y. when the principal announced over the PA system that President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.

I was cleaning out a closet in my condo in Coram, N.Y. when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 (I had the television on).

After covering soccer for so many years, my life sometimes can be defined where and when I was covering a game or event when tragic news comes.

When I heard that Princess Diana had died, I was on my way home from a Rutgers University soccer game on Aug. 31, 1997, stuck on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens.

I watched her funeral in my hotel room in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 6, 1997, home day prior to the U.S. men’s 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier for France 98 (Tab Ramos, who recently returned from a knee injury, scored a spectacular goal).

And then there was this cab trip after the third-place match between the Netherlands on July 11, 1998. Washington Post writer Steve Goff and I shared a cab home after the match at Parc des Princes Stadium. We were in a good mood. After all, there was only one game remaining after our long day’s journey into France.

We passed the Eiffel Tower, and I joked that I could not visit a structure that was essentially a leftover – a leftover from the Exposition of 1888. Then we passed through one of those tunnels for which Paris is well-known.

The cab driver mentioned “Diana” and pointed to the left side of the tunnel and oncoming traffic. He didn’t have to say anything more. It was the site of the accident that took Diana’s life less than a year prior. I got goose bumps, and the cab went silent.

Today is the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death.

RIP, Diana.


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at