Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do Americans really care about soccer?

The World Cup is over and Americans now have to ask ourselves one question: do we care? Sure, we all cheered as the US won their group for the first time in 80 years. Yes, the Donovan goal against Algeria was surely an electrifying moment.  However, the question remains: what now? Do we forget about soccer for the next four years just like we forgot about track and field? Or are we going to start watching the Premier League or, gulp, the MLS.

In my opinion it's not that we don't like soccer, it's that we don't like anything but the very best. This is America where you're either a winner or  loser.  There's really no in between. You don't see people watching Triple A baseball or D-league basketball do you? That's essentially what the MLS is.  What do you really expect when the professional product is a glorified minor league.  Sure. there are some really good players in the MLS, but on a whole the Premier League is, no pun intended, premier. 

Also, Americans like their stats. This is a country where we employ people to discuss fantasy sports.  We don't want 0-0 games, we want numbers.  We want a winner and a loser. Also, the flopping is a huge turn off. Americans love violence. We don't want people crying out in pain everytime someone touches them with their pinky finger. Some of the injures are legitimate, but most guys crumble in pain if they've been nicked in the foot. 

With that said, count me in as a person that is willing to give soccer a chance. First of all, HD has helped soccer more than any other sport. The grass is so freaking green. What can I say I'm easily amused. Second, with no commercials you know when a game will be ending. There is no suffering through the plethora of Cialis and car insurance commercials that take up so much time in other  sports. Also, it really is beautiful to watch when played at it's best.  I still don't know how it's possible to do all that stuff with your feet, but they are like magicians out there. 

In short, let's keep watching and more importantly, caring about soccer in America. We may just come to realize what the rest of the world already knows.


  1. Its not about the violence its about the passion. You think of loyalty and the home grown talent who would never leave their home town club for the bright lights of "Miami".

    The Steven Gerrards, The Alan Shearers.

    I think Joe Johnson is the only one trying to show loyalty and passion to his home team.

    The NFL is worse with players coming back to play for there home teams. I would love to see the Redskins filled with players from the DMV. Unfortunately D Hall is the biggest name.

    If this happened and the redskins would put up a good team. I think DC would feel more connected to the Redskins and the players would give there all for the team and the fans and this is the exact reason the world loves soccer or futball. Not all because of the highlight reel but because of the connection with the team and the players which causes loyalty.

  2. I personally don't follow soccer. I tried to get excited during the World Cup? (is that what they called it). I think you are right about why we really don't follow soccer like the rest of the world does.

  3. I would say we like scoring too. Not to an extreme degree but there are so few extremely exciting moments in the sport. The only time you see fans freaking out is when someone scores. Of course there is always the potential to score, but there is 0 down time until the goal happens, the half is over, or the game is over. People like football because there is a down and distance, after the snap its excitement followed by about a minute of absolutely nothing. I agree it would be nice for the United States to care more about Soccer because I would love the entire country to shut down during the world cup. If you're in DC, go to a DC United game and buy a special ticket to one of the fan sections, such as Barra Brava. I'm pretty sure you'll change your mind about soccer.....

  4. Another reason it is difficult for most Americans to get into soccer (other than reasons mentioned above) is that there isn't much coverage of it over here. If you want to get updates you generally have to seek it out. ESPN has picked up a bit more since they started a network in the UK. They currently have a "game of the week" type thing on Saturday mornings during the EPL season, as well as occasional highlights.

    Definitely agree though with the above comment - DCU games are a lot of fun when you sit in/near the fans sections!