I am not a fan of the bandwagon. There shouldn’t even be a wagon. You should either be on the journey, or not be on the journey. If you know me, the obvious discussion topic would be politics. I’m not going there….yet.
Let’s discuss US Soccer.
Soccer sits outside the top ten in viewership in America. The NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, NHL, Tennis, College Football, College Basketball, etc. Each of these sports rank above Soccer on the list of sports many Americans would list as their number one.
That is, until the World Cup/Euro Cup/Champions League Finals are on television. Then, all of a sudden, this slumbering mass of American Soccer fans awake from futbol slumber and remember that, despite conventional beliefs, Europeans don’t really care if Boston, Atlanta, New York or Los Angeles won the World Series. They don’t care if Buffalo, Chicago or Miami won the Super Bowl. And they generally don’t care whether or not Charlotte, Oklahoma City or Memphis won the NBA Finals. At least not as much as they care about futbol.
They care about whether or not ManU or Arsenal, Real Madrid or Barca, Inter or AC Milan show up in their match versus a rival. They care whether or not their National Team coach is legit. They care about whether or not their coach is using a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1. They care about which player on the market their club team will go after. They follow up on the u-17, u-19 squads to try and figure out who the next Ronaldo, Rooney or Messi might be. Yet in America, this past week Poker had more viewers than an MLS match. Seriously.
Around the world, people line up to watch their national or club teams the way Americans line the streets for an LA Lakers Championship parade. When the USMNT was qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, it hardly made a blip on the casual sports fans radar. It’s time to change that.
Get on board. There is no greater national sporting event in the world. No, the Olympics don’t beat the World Cup. Saddle up with the USMNT and pay attention to the squad in between World Cup tournaments. There are plenty of macthes; both “Friendlies” and qualifying matches. Follow the players from America on their respective club teams. EPL, Bundesliga, MLS, etc. Watch the games. Buy the jerseys.
But please, don’t get all excited about the World Cup and then ignore soccer for the next four years.