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Thread: MLS catches MLB (American naptime) in popularity with kids

  1. #1
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    MLS catches MLB (American naptime) in popularity with kids

    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/17...n-poll?cc=5901

    The American naptime is about 5 minutes from being passed by futbol in popularity for this country, permanently.

    Baseball= way, way too many games; too slow; boring;
    and 3.5 hour games that include stretches such as a pitcher stepping off the mound, checking the runner on first, having a conference with the catcher, then a conference with the manager, then checks the runner on 1st again, scratches himself, wipes his brow, then throws a ball. No action. Rinse and repeat. That snoozefest of a sport does not translate well to a generation of youth that moves quickly and have short attention spans. Above is the proof.

  2. #2
    Doesn't surprise me. Baseball is a much more boring sport IMO, and I'm a huge fan of both sports. They're probably my two favorites.

    MLS really is a growing league. It has come a long, long way since it's inception less than 20 years ago. I think it's only going to continue to grow, as I think soccer's popularity is going to keep increasing in the USA, for many reasons.

  3. #3
    when the best american athletes start making nfl/mlb money in soccer then you'll see it take off...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2foolish197 View Post
    when the best american athletes start making nfl/mlb money in soccer then you'll see it take off...
    It is taking off to an extent. I agree with you. When some of the best American athletes start footballing, the United States will have a league that is competitive with some of those around the world and the "sleeping giant" will actually be a threat to win a World Cup. I hope it happens in my lifetime.

  5. #5
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    that might be because more and more kids are becoming sissys.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetsfanfromtheBURGH View Post
    that might be because more and more kids are becoming sissys.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...thank-you-note

    Dear American Soccer Haters: We Don't Need You Anymore (A Thank You Note)
    By Dan Levy , National Lead Writer
    May 8, 2012


    In the vast landscape of American sports, soccer has still yet to make a significant impression. Frankly, soccer has always been treated as something of a sixth toe in the footprint of American sports, with many fans calling soccer—and anyone who has grown to love it—every name you can imagine.

    Soccer is boring. Soccer is for sissies. There isn't enough scoring. Just last week, I did a radio interview and mentioned an estimated 650 million people would tune in to the Manchester Derby, a statistic beset by comments like, "Soccer is only for people who weren't good enough to play real football."

    Clearly, the commenter was right. Half the planet must be a bunch of sissies.

    The good thing for soccer fans in America is that FINALLY, we no longer need people like that to care.

    So thank you, haters. We actually don't need you anymore.


    "They can watch us in America every week! In two languages!"

    It's true. Soccer fans who tried to convert general-interest American sports fans have been misguided for years. Forcing American sports fans to care about soccer cannot work from a fan level. It can only work from a TV executive level.

    We were misguided in our pleas, and now, finally, we've gotten to the point where we can stop, take a minute and realize how foolish we have been. The average American sports fan may not have been listening, but TV executives were.

    As the European seasons come to a close, the English Premier League has as much final-day intrigue as fans could wish. Not only is the EPL title still up for grabs, but so are two of the top four positions in the league table—to qualify for next year's Champions League—as well as the last remaining spot in the relegation zone.

    Survival Sunday.

    That's what Fox Soccer is calling this weekend's slate of matches, something it is taking very, very seriously.

    "More than a million Americans watched us beat Manchester United. On a Monday afternoon!"

    While ESPN2 will air Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers, the most important match of the weekend, Fox and its array of networks will carry every other match on live TV. It's unprecedented, and it's an American soccer fan's dream.

    City will bring home the title if they win, leaving QPR open to relegation if Bolton can beat Stoke. Should QPR win or draw, they will stay in the EPL next season, and the door swings open for Manchester United to beat Sunderland for the crown.

    And we can see it all. Fox is putting matches on all its cable platforms this weekend, including FX, Speed, Fuel and FSN. A lot of people who aren't expecting to see soccer this Mother's Day are about to get a big footy surprise.

    This weekend is a culmination of a dedicated effort by the American cable companies to provide more soccer content to fans in America. It's clear Fox, ESPN and even NBC aren't messing around.

    Soccer is big business on TV.


    "They can see us in America, sometimes on two different networks at the same time!!!"

    Not only have American fans been able to watch more soccer than ever this season with weekly matches on ESPN2, FoxSoccer Channel, FoxSoccer Plus, GOL TV, NBC Sports Network, ESPN Deportes and mobile apps like WatchESPN and FoxSoccer2Go, but soccer coverage has been expanding to more traditional non-sports platforms under those umbrellas as well.

    ESPN has put many games on ABC during big international competitions. Fox has put Champions League semifinals matches on FX—available in many more homes than FoxSoccer—and routinely puts the Champions League final on Fox.

    NBC has added coverage as well, with games not just on its sports network, but also slated for NBC, taking top MLS matches and a select number of U.S. international contests for the network TV audience.

    Soccer fans in America finally have what they have always wanted: access.

    "Who are they calling sissies?"

    Somewhere along the way, American soccer fans thought if they could convince more Americans to like soccer, the ratings would go up and the networks would respond by making soccer more accessible. That logic has led to far too many arguments about who is or isn't a sissy. It's enough.

    Soccer TV ratings are significantly higher in America than ever before, buoyed by the recent success of both the men's and women's U.S. national teams. While MLS still struggles to find a television foothold, the international game is more popular than ever in America.

    Clearly the advent of technology has helped bring the beautiful game to America. Fox and ESPN have been able to use pay services and mobile apps to bring more games to American fans, adding to the overall number of eyes watching soccer every week. Now, we are able to get more and more games over regular TV. This weekend, we can get all of them (at least from England).

    Oh, right, it's not just England. Did you know you can watch virtually every match in Serie A week in and week out? You can watch almost every match from La Liga or the Bundesliga or a host of leagues in Mexico and South America, if you know where to look.

    "Stop. Who did he just call boring?"

    Just over a decade ago, you could turn on the TV, and the only soccer you could find was maybe one game from England and a host of Spanish-language matches. Now, you can literally watch more than 30 top-flight matches on cable or mobile platforms every week.

    Now that soccer fans have finally convinced the networks there is an ever-deepening, dedicated audience in America for international soccer, fans can finally stop trying to convince other people to watch.

    We don't need the haters anymore.

    Besides, more and more fans have found the game to be better than expected. (Note: I recently realized this about MLS, which has a much higher quality product than I snobbishly assumed.) American sports fans generally like what's popular. If ESPN convinced us that poker was popular, it shouldn't be too hard for it convince people to watch an actual sport.

    And that's the great part: It's not up to fans anymore. The networks have so much money invested in soccer, it's on them to convince people to watch. During this summer's Euro12 tournament, SportsCenter will be littered with highlights from matches. Soccer will be unavoidable on ESPN. We can just sit back and enjoy it.

    This column is sincere. I'm not trying to troll people into a fight just to convince them how awesome soccer can be. The fact remains, soccer is boring. (I cannot get through a Serie A match without falling asleep.) There often isn't enough scoring or fluidity. I get that it's not for everyone.

    "Not enough...what?!?! Scoring?!?!"

    Sometimes, a scoreless draw in soccer is the most exciting match of the week, and sometimes, it makes soccer fans want to rip out their eyes. It can be a lot like a pitcher's duel in baseball that way—were the pitchers great or the offenses anemic?

    Like baseball, there is a lot of nuance in soccer, and that can be hard for people to appreciate unless they've watched a lot or played the game. Trapping a ball served from 60 yards away is probably one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, but world-class players make it look routine, so the level of skill does become hard to appreciate when there aren't headline-grabbing goals or game-saving stops in net.

    Tactical soccer isn't exactly sexy.

    Wait...enough of this! I'm falling into my own trap of trying to excuse the intricacies of the game to convince American fans to give it a shot. That's precisely NOT what I want to do!

    If you think soccer is for sissies or people only play soccer because they aren't tough enough to play a "real man's sport," you have serious problems. Dial down the machismo and grow the hell up.

    But if you are like most American fans and just think soccer isn't for you...that's fine! Forget about all the other stuff about nuance and tactics. Seriously, please, it's totally fine if you don't like soccer.

    We don't need you anymore, so we will stop begging you to care.

    At least I will. This season, culminating this week and into the summer, is a clear indication the TV networks are finally on our side. Save your energy for game day.
    Last edited by RoadFan; 03-26-2014 at 09:52 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...thank-you-note

    Dear American Soccer Haters: We Don't Need You Anymore (A Thank You Note)
    By Dan Levy , National Lead Writer
    May 8, 2012


    In the vast landscape of American sports, soccer has still yet to make a significant impression. Frankly, soccer has always been treated as something of a sixth toe in the footprint of American sports, with many fans calling soccer—and anyone who has grown to love it—every name you can imagine.

    Soccer is boring. Soccer is for sissies. There isn't enough scoring. Just last week, I did a radio interview and mentioned an estimated 650 million people would tune in to the Manchester Derby, a statistic beset by comments like, "Soccer is only for people who weren't good enough to play real football."

    Clearly, the commenter was right. Half the planet must be a bunch of sissies.

    The good thing for soccer fans in America is that FINALLY, we no longer need people like that to care.

    So thank you, haters. We actually don't need you anymore.


    "They can watch us in America every week! In two languages!"

    It's true. Soccer fans who tried to convert general-interest American sports fans have been misguided for years. Forcing American sports fans to care about soccer cannot work from a fan level. It can only work from a TV executive level.

    We were misguided in our pleas, and now, finally, we've gotten to the point where we can stop, take a minute and realize how foolish we have been. The average American sports fan may not have been listening, but TV executives were.

    As the European seasons come to a close, the English Premier League has as much final-day intrigue as fans could wish. Not only is the EPL title still up for grabs, but so are two of the top four positions in the league table—to qualify for next year's Champions League—as well as the last remaining spot in the relegation zone.

    Survival Sunday.

    That's what Fox Soccer is calling this weekend's slate of matches, something it is taking very, very seriously.

    "More than a million Americans watched us beat Manchester United. On a Monday afternoon!"

    While ESPN2 will air Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers, the most important match of the weekend, Fox and its array of networks will carry every other match on live TV. It's unprecedented, and it's an American soccer fan's dream.

    City will bring home the title if they win, leaving QPR open to relegation if Bolton can beat Stoke. Should QPR win or draw, they will stay in the EPL next season, and the door swings open for Manchester United to beat Sunderland for the crown.

    And we can see it all. Fox is putting matches on all its cable platforms this weekend, including FX, Speed, Fuel and FSN. A lot of people who aren't expecting to see soccer this Mother's Day are about to get a big footy surprise.

    This weekend is a culmination of a dedicated effort by the American cable companies to provide more soccer content to fans in America. It's clear Fox, ESPN and even NBC aren't messing around.

    Soccer is big business on TV.


    "They can see us in America, sometimes on two different networks at the same time!!!"

    Not only have American fans been able to watch more soccer than ever this season with weekly matches on ESPN2, FoxSoccer Channel, FoxSoccer Plus, GOL TV, NBC Sports Network, ESPN Deportes and mobile apps like WatchESPN and FoxSoccer2Go, but soccer coverage has been expanding to more traditional non-sports platforms under those umbrellas as well.

    ESPN has put many games on ABC during big international competitions. Fox has put Champions League semifinals matches on FX—available in many more homes than FoxSoccer—and routinely puts the Champions League final on Fox.

    NBC has added coverage as well, with games not just on its sports network, but also slated for NBC, taking top MLS matches and a select number of U.S. international contests for the network TV audience.

    Soccer fans in America finally have what they have always wanted: access.

    "Who are they calling sissies?"

    Somewhere along the way, American soccer fans thought if they could convince more Americans to like soccer, the ratings would go up and the networks would respond by making soccer more accessible. That logic has led to far too many arguments about who is or isn't a sissy. It's enough.

    Soccer TV ratings are significantly higher in America than ever before, buoyed by the recent success of both the men's and women's U.S. national teams. While MLS still struggles to find a television foothold, the international game is more popular than ever in America.

    Clearly the advent of technology has helped bring the beautiful game to America. Fox and ESPN have been able to use pay services and mobile apps to bring more games to American fans, adding to the overall number of eyes watching soccer every week. Now, we are able to get more and more games over regular TV. This weekend, we can get all of them (at least from England).

    Oh, right, it's not just England. Did you know you can watch virtually every match in Serie A week in and week out? You can watch almost every match from La Liga or the Bundesliga or a host of leagues in Mexico and South America, if you know where to look.

    "Stop. Who did he just call boring?"

    Just over a decade ago, you could turn on the TV, and the only soccer you could find was maybe one game from England and a host of Spanish-language matches. Now, you can literally watch more than 30 top-flight matches on cable or mobile platforms every week.

    Now that soccer fans have finally convinced the networks there is an ever-deepening, dedicated audience in America for international soccer, fans can finally stop trying to convince other people to watch.

    We don't need the haters anymore.

    Besides, more and more fans have found the game to be better than expected. (Note: I recently realized this about MLS, which has a much higher quality product than I snobbishly assumed.) American sports fans generally like what's popular. If ESPN convinced us that poker was popular, it shouldn't be too hard for it convince people to watch an actual sport.

    And that's the great part: It's not up to fans anymore. The networks have so much money invested in soccer, it's on them to convince people to watch. During this summer's Euro12 tournament, SportsCenter will be littered with highlights from matches. Soccer will be unavoidable on ESPN. We can just sit back and enjoy it.

    This column is sincere. I'm not trying to troll people into a fight just to convince them how awesome soccer can be. The fact remains, soccer is boring. (I cannot get through a Serie A match without falling asleep.) There often isn't enough scoring or fluidity. I get that it's not for everyone.

    "Not enough...what?!?! Scoring?!?!"

    Sometimes, a scoreless draw in soccer is the most exciting match of the week, and sometimes, it makes soccer fans want to rip out their eyes. It can be a lot like a pitcher's duel in baseball that way—were the pitchers great or the offenses anemic?

    Like baseball, there is a lot of nuance in soccer, and that can be hard for people to appreciate unless they've watched a lot or played the game. Trapping a ball served from 60 yards away is probably one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, but world-class players make it look routine, so the level of skill does become hard to appreciate when there aren't headline-grabbing goals or game-saving stops in net.

    Tactical soccer isn't exactly sexy.

    Wait...enough of this! I'm falling into my own trap of trying to excuse the intricacies of the game to convince American fans to give it a shot. That's precisely NOT what I want to do!

    If you think soccer is for sissies or people only play soccer because they aren't tough enough to play a "real man's sport," you have serious problems. Dial down the machismo and grow the hell up.

    But if you are like most American fans and just think soccer isn't for you...that's fine! Forget about all the other stuff about nuance and tactics. Seriously, please, it's totally fine if you don't like soccer.

    We don't need you anymore, so we will stop begging you to care.

    At least I will. This season, culminating this week and into the summer, is a clear indication the TV networks are finally on our side. Save your energy for game day.
    I was only half joking. But let's call a spade a spade.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...thank-you-note

    Dear American Soccer Haters: We Don't Need You Anymore (A Thank You Note)
    By Dan Levy , National Lead Writer
    May 8, 2012


    In the vast landscape of American sports, soccer has still yet to make a significant impression. Frankly, soccer has always been treated as something of a sixth toe in the footprint of American sports, with many fans calling soccer—and anyone who has grown to love it—every name you can imagine.

    Soccer is boring. Soccer is for sissies. There isn't enough scoring. Just last week, I did a radio interview and mentioned an estimated 650 million people would tune in to the Manchester Derby, a statistic beset by comments like, "Soccer is only for people who weren't good enough to play real football."

    Clearly, the commenter was right. Half the planet must be a bunch of sissies.

    The good thing for soccer fans in America is that FINALLY, we no longer need people like that to care.

    So thank you, haters. We actually don't need you anymore.


    "They can watch us in America every week! In two languages!"

    It's true. Soccer fans who tried to convert general-interest American sports fans have been misguided for years. Forcing American sports fans to care about soccer cannot work from a fan level. It can only work from a TV executive level.

    We were misguided in our pleas, and now, finally, we've gotten to the point where we can stop, take a minute and realize how foolish we have been. The average American sports fan may not have been listening, but TV executives were.

    As the European seasons come to a close, the English Premier League has as much final-day intrigue as fans could wish. Not only is the EPL title still up for grabs, but so are two of the top four positions in the league table—to qualify for next year's Champions League—as well as the last remaining spot in the relegation zone.

    Survival Sunday.

    That's what Fox Soccer is calling this weekend's slate of matches, something it is taking very, very seriously.

    "More than a million Americans watched us beat Manchester United. On a Monday afternoon!"

    While ESPN2 will air Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers, the most important match of the weekend, Fox and its array of networks will carry every other match on live TV. It's unprecedented, and it's an American soccer fan's dream.

    City will bring home the title if they win, leaving QPR open to relegation if Bolton can beat Stoke. Should QPR win or draw, they will stay in the EPL next season, and the door swings open for Manchester United to beat Sunderland for the crown.

    And we can see it all. Fox is putting matches on all its cable platforms this weekend, including FX, Speed, Fuel and FSN. A lot of people who aren't expecting to see soccer this Mother's Day are about to get a big footy surprise.

    This weekend is a culmination of a dedicated effort by the American cable companies to provide more soccer content to fans in America. It's clear Fox, ESPN and even NBC aren't messing around.

    Soccer is big business on TV.


    "They can see us in America, sometimes on two different networks at the same time!!!"

    Not only have American fans been able to watch more soccer than ever this season with weekly matches on ESPN2, FoxSoccer Channel, FoxSoccer Plus, GOL TV, NBC Sports Network, ESPN Deportes and mobile apps like WatchESPN and FoxSoccer2Go, but soccer coverage has been expanding to more traditional non-sports platforms under those umbrellas as well.

    ESPN has put many games on ABC during big international competitions. Fox has put Champions League semifinals matches on FX—available in many more homes than FoxSoccer—and routinely puts the Champions League final on Fox.

    NBC has added coverage as well, with games not just on its sports network, but also slated for NBC, taking top MLS matches and a select number of U.S. international contests for the network TV audience.

    Soccer fans in America finally have what they have always wanted: access.

    "Who are they calling sissies?"

    Somewhere along the way, American soccer fans thought if they could convince more Americans to like soccer, the ratings would go up and the networks would respond by making soccer more accessible. That logic has led to far too many arguments about who is or isn't a sissy. It's enough.

    Soccer TV ratings are significantly higher in America than ever before, buoyed by the recent success of both the men's and women's U.S. national teams. While MLS still struggles to find a television foothold, the international game is more popular than ever in America.

    Clearly the advent of technology has helped bring the beautiful game to America. Fox and ESPN have been able to use pay services and mobile apps to bring more games to American fans, adding to the overall number of eyes watching soccer every week. Now, we are able to get more and more games over regular TV. This weekend, we can get all of them (at least from England).

    Oh, right, it's not just England. Did you know you can watch virtually every match in Serie A week in and week out? You can watch almost every match from La Liga or the Bundesliga or a host of leagues in Mexico and South America, if you know where to look.

    "Stop. Who did he just call boring?"

    Just over a decade ago, you could turn on the TV, and the only soccer you could find was maybe one game from England and a host of Spanish-language matches. Now, you can literally watch more than 30 top-flight matches on cable or mobile platforms every week.

    Now that soccer fans have finally convinced the networks there is an ever-deepening, dedicated audience in America for international soccer, fans can finally stop trying to convince other people to watch.

    We don't need the haters anymore.

    Besides, more and more fans have found the game to be better than expected. (Note: I recently realized this about MLS, which has a much higher quality product than I snobbishly assumed.) American sports fans generally like what's popular. If ESPN convinced us that poker was popular, it shouldn't be too hard for it convince people to watch an actual sport.

    And that's the great part: It's not up to fans anymore. The networks have so much money invested in soccer, it's on them to convince people to watch. During this summer's Euro12 tournament, SportsCenter will be littered with highlights from matches. Soccer will be unavoidable on ESPN. We can just sit back and enjoy it.

    This column is sincere. I'm not trying to troll people into a fight just to convince them how awesome soccer can be. The fact remains, soccer is boring. (I cannot get through a Serie A match without falling asleep.) There often isn't enough scoring or fluidity. I get that it's not for everyone.

    "Not enough...what?!?! Scoring?!?!"

    Sometimes, a scoreless draw in soccer is the most exciting match of the week, and sometimes, it makes soccer fans want to rip out their eyes. It can be a lot like a pitcher's duel in baseball that way—were the pitchers great or the offenses anemic?

    Like baseball, there is a lot of nuance in soccer, and that can be hard for people to appreciate unless they've watched a lot or played the game. Trapping a ball served from 60 yards away is probably one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, but world-class players make it look routine, so the level of skill does become hard to appreciate when there aren't headline-grabbing goals or game-saving stops in net.

    Tactical soccer isn't exactly sexy.

    Wait...enough of this! I'm falling into my own trap of trying to excuse the intricacies of the game to convince American fans to give it a shot. That's precisely NOT what I want to do!

    If you think soccer is for sissies or people only play soccer because they aren't tough enough to play a "real man's sport," you have serious problems. Dial down the machismo and grow the hell up.

    But if you are like most American fans and just think soccer isn't for you...that's fine! Forget about all the other stuff about nuance and tactics. Seriously, please, it's totally fine if you don't like soccer.

    We don't need you anymore, so we will stop begging you to care.

    At least I will. This season, culminating this week and into the summer, is a clear indication the TV networks are finally on our side. Save your energy for game day.
    When you let 18 million soccer watchers in here illegally, thats what you get.

  9. #9
    Soccer has been popular with kids for decades, then they become teenagers and drop soccer for football, basketball, and baseball.

    MLS has founds it niche, but it has lower tv ratings than the WNBA. MLS will never be as popular as MLB because MLB is the best of the best and MLS are full of players not good enough or too old for Europe.
    Last edited by Tyler Durden 2.0; 03-26-2014 at 10:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden 2.0 View Post
    Soccer has been popular with kids for decades, then they become teenagers and drop soccer for football, basketball, and baseball.

    MLS has founds it niche, but it has lower tv ratings than the WNBA. MLS will never be as popular as MLB because MLB is the best of the best and MLS are full of players not good enough or too old for Europe.
    Agreed. Guys like Clint Dempsey, landon Donovan, etc are playing here so they don't get hurt for the World Cup. That should tell you everything.

    Also, take a look at the breakdown of cities where is is popular. Seattle? Mariners have sucked. LA? Northern Mexico. Kansas City? Washington? Toronto? Cmon. Its all relative.

    NY is going to have another team next year. I will say they or the Red Bulls move or fold within 5 years

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    It is taking off to an extent. I agree with you. When some of the best American athletes start footballing, the United States will have a league that is competitive with some of those around the world and the "sleeping giant" will actually be a threat to win a World Cup. I hope it happens in my lifetime.
    Not going happen. When the best American athletes start playing soccer they won't have dreams of playing for the New York Redbull or the San Jose Earthquakes. Our best players should and will go to Europe to play.

  12. #12
    Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...thank-you-note

    Dear American Soccer Haters: We Don't Need You Anymore (A Thank You Note)
    By Dan Levy , National Lead Writer
    May 8, 2012


    In the vast landscape of American sports, soccer has still yet to make a significant impression. Frankly, soccer has always been treated as something of a sixth toe in the footprint of American sports, with many fans calling soccer—and anyone who has grown to love it—every name you can imagine.

    Soccer is boring. Soccer is for sissies. There isn't enough scoring. Just last week, I did a radio interview and mentioned an estimated 650 million people would tune in to the Manchester Derby, a statistic beset by comments like, "Soccer is only for people who weren't good enough to play real football."

    Clearly, the commenter was right. Half the planet must be a bunch of sissies.

    The good thing for soccer fans in America is that FINALLY, we no longer need people like that to care.

    So thank you, haters. We actually don't need you anymore.


    "They can watch us in America every week! In two languages!"

    It's true. Soccer fans who tried to convert general-interest American sports fans have been misguided for years. Forcing American sports fans to care about soccer cannot work from a fan level. It can only work from a TV executive level.

    We were misguided in our pleas, and now, finally, we've gotten to the point where we can stop, take a minute and realize how foolish we have been. The average American sports fan may not have been listening, but TV executives were.

    As the European seasons come to a close, the English Premier League has as much final-day intrigue as fans could wish. Not only is the EPL title still up for grabs, but so are two of the top four positions in the league table—to qualify for next year's Champions League—as well as the last remaining spot in the relegation zone.

    Survival Sunday.

    That's what Fox Soccer is calling this weekend's slate of matches, something it is taking very, very seriously.

    "More than a million Americans watched us beat Manchester United. On a Monday afternoon!"

    While ESPN2 will air Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers, the most important match of the weekend, Fox and its array of networks will carry every other match on live TV. It's unprecedented, and it's an American soccer fan's dream.

    City will bring home the title if they win, leaving QPR open to relegation if Bolton can beat Stoke. Should QPR win or draw, they will stay in the EPL next season, and the door swings open for Manchester United to beat Sunderland for the crown.

    And we can see it all. Fox is putting matches on all its cable platforms this weekend, including FX, Speed, Fuel and FSN. A lot of people who aren't expecting to see soccer this Mother's Day are about to get a big footy surprise.

    This weekend is a culmination of a dedicated effort by the American cable companies to provide more soccer content to fans in America. It's clear Fox, ESPN and even NBC aren't messing around.

    Soccer is big business on TV.


    "They can see us in America, sometimes on two different networks at the same time!!!"

    Not only have American fans been able to watch more soccer than ever this season with weekly matches on ESPN2, FoxSoccer Channel, FoxSoccer Plus, GOL TV, NBC Sports Network, ESPN Deportes and mobile apps like WatchESPN and FoxSoccer2Go, but soccer coverage has been expanding to more traditional non-sports platforms under those umbrellas as well.

    ESPN has put many games on ABC during big international competitions. Fox has put Champions League semifinals matches on FX—available in many more homes than FoxSoccer—and routinely puts the Champions League final on Fox.

    NBC has added coverage as well, with games not just on its sports network, but also slated for NBC, taking top MLS matches and a select number of U.S. international contests for the network TV audience.

    Soccer fans in America finally have what they have always wanted: access.

    "Who are they calling sissies?"

    Somewhere along the way, American soccer fans thought if they could convince more Americans to like soccer, the ratings would go up and the networks would respond by making soccer more accessible. That logic has led to far too many arguments about who is or isn't a sissy. It's enough.

    Soccer TV ratings are significantly higher in America than ever before, buoyed by the recent success of both the men's and women's U.S. national teams. While MLS still struggles to find a television foothold, the international game is more popular than ever in America.

    Clearly the advent of technology has helped bring the beautiful game to America. Fox and ESPN have been able to use pay services and mobile apps to bring more games to American fans, adding to the overall number of eyes watching soccer every week. Now, we are able to get more and more games over regular TV. This weekend, we can get all of them (at least from England).

    Oh, right, it's not just England. Did you know you can watch virtually every match in Serie A week in and week out? You can watch almost every match from La Liga or the Bundesliga or a host of leagues in Mexico and South America, if you know where to look.

    "Stop. Who did he just call boring?"

    Just over a decade ago, you could turn on the TV, and the only soccer you could find was maybe one game from England and a host of Spanish-language matches. Now, you can literally watch more than 30 top-flight matches on cable or mobile platforms every week.

    Now that soccer fans have finally convinced the networks there is an ever-deepening, dedicated audience in America for international soccer, fans can finally stop trying to convince other people to watch.

    We don't need the haters anymore.

    Besides, more and more fans have found the game to be better than expected. (Note: I recently realized this about MLS, which has a much higher quality product than I snobbishly assumed.) American sports fans generally like what's popular. If ESPN convinced us that poker was popular, it shouldn't be too hard for it convince people to watch an actual sport.

    And that's the great part: It's not up to fans anymore. The networks have so much money invested in soccer, it's on them to convince people to watch. During this summer's Euro12 tournament, SportsCenter will be littered with highlights from matches. Soccer will be unavoidable on ESPN. We can just sit back and enjoy it.

    This column is sincere. I'm not trying to troll people into a fight just to convince them how awesome soccer can be. The fact remains, soccer is boring. (I cannot get through a Serie A match without falling asleep.) There often isn't enough scoring or fluidity. I get that it's not for everyone.

    "Not enough...what?!?! Scoring?!?!"

    Sometimes, a scoreless draw in soccer is the most exciting match of the week, and sometimes, it makes soccer fans want to rip out their eyes. It can be a lot like a pitcher's duel in baseball that way—were the pitchers great or the offenses anemic?

    Like baseball, there is a lot of nuance in soccer, and that can be hard for people to appreciate unless they've watched a lot or played the game. Trapping a ball served from 60 yards away is probably one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, but world-class players make it look routine, so the level of skill does become hard to appreciate when there aren't headline-grabbing goals or game-saving stops in net.

    Tactical soccer isn't exactly sexy.

    Wait...enough of this! I'm falling into my own trap of trying to excuse the intricacies of the game to convince American fans to give it a shot. That's precisely NOT what I want to do!

    If you think soccer is for sissies or people only play soccer because they aren't tough enough to play a "real man's sport," you have serious problems. Dial down the machismo and grow the hell up.

    But if you are like most American fans and just think soccer isn't for you...that's fine! Forget about all the other stuff about nuance and tactics. Seriously, please, it's totally fine if you don't like soccer.

    We don't need you anymore, so we will stop begging you to care.

    At least I will. This season, culminating this week and into the summer, is a clear indication the TV networks are finally on our side. Save your energy for game day.
    I like soccer. Fun to watch, takes incredible skill, and you have to be in great shape to play. But don't pretend it isn't for complainers, divas, and pretty boys. Besides, using an article that argues for "tactical" soccer as unsexy but interesting is the same argument MLB fans use. It's okay to be a puss sport--play rugby if you want to be tough.

    And as others have pointed out, MLS is getting more air time and gaining popularity because of the shifting demographics of the country. If MLS wants to really take off, it is going to need to attract better players.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden 2.0 View Post
    Not going happen. When the best American athletes start playing soccer they won't have dreams of playing for the New York Redbull or the San Jose Earthquakes. Our best players should and will go to Europe to play.
    The funny thing that most people don't realize is most of these MLS teams have Premier League teams as owners. Hmmmm do you think that Manchester City (part owner of the new NY team next year) is going to want a superstar play in the Bronx or in the premier league. The MLS is a farce. Premier league is using it as a minor league or send heir old stars here to make more money. Good luck over taking America's pastime

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden 2.0 View Post
    Not going happen. When the best American athletes start playing soccer they won't have dreams of playing for the New York Redbull or the San Jose Earthquakes. Our best players should and will go to Europe to play.
    Point taken. I am a "eurosnob" fan for the most part. I try to watch MLS on occasion but find it to be clearly inferior to the EPL and Champions League, which receive the most TV coverage. However, the MLS product has drastically improved over the last 5 years. I will keep trying to watch and hope it continues to improve.

    Even though the poll was conducted about MLS, I think it speaks more to a broader futbol fanbase. Those kids are playing FIFA and watching Real Madrid, Bayern, Arsenal, etc.
    Last edited by RoadFan; 03-26-2014 at 11:28 AM.

  15. #15
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    Call me old fashioned, but I feel bad for kids that play soccer. It's mainly played here in the Fall. Everyone knows that the Fall is for strapping on the pads and cleaning clocks, not slipping on a skirt and dancing around like some lawn fairy. JMO......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmat321 View Post
    Call me old fashioned, but I feel bad afor kids that play soccer. It's mainly played here in the Fall. Everyone knows that the Fall is for strapping on the pads and cleaning clocks, not slipping on a skirt and dancing around like some lawn fairy. JMO......
    The world plays their futbol seasons in the fall/winter. MLS plays much of its year in the summer. It knows that competing with the NFL is impossible. MLS also knows that it can compete with MLB. MLS hasn't won the war yet but is winning the battle in some major markets.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    Point taken. I am a "eurosnob" fan for the most part. I try to watch MLS on occasion but find it to be clearly inferior to the EPL and Champions League, which receive the most TV coverage. However, the MLS product has drastically improved over the last 5 years. I will keep trying to watch and hope it continues to improve.

    Even though the poll was conducted about MLS, I think it speaks more to a broader futbol fanbase. Those kids are playing FIFA and watching Real Madrid, Bayern, Arsenal, etc.
    MLS definitely isn't even comparable to some of the top leagues across the world. Not only in the top tier talent in the league, but also in the depth of rosters. Both due in large part to the league being in it's infancy stages, comparative to other leagues. USMNT is currently on par, if not a bit better, than Mexico, yet an MLS side has never won the Concacaf Champions League. It's always a Liga MX club.

    I've been watching MLS for 8 years now and in my second year of being a season ticket holder. The league has unquestionably grown significantly over that time, both in the product on the field and in popularity and stadium atmosphere. It's by no means an overnight transformation, but I'm optimistic that the league will continue on an upward trajectory over time.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmiekid91 View Post
    Agreed. Guys like Clint Dempsey, landon Donovan, etc are playing here so they don't get hurt for the World Cup. That should tell you everything.

    Also, take a look at the breakdown of cities where is is popular. Seattle? Mariners have sucked. LA? Northern Mexico. Kansas City? Washington? Toronto? Cmon. Its all relative.

    NY is going to have another team next year. I will say they or the Red Bulls move or fold within 5 years
    RBNY is a marketing chip for Red Bull's global lifestyle brand. They've built brand new, state-of-the-art facilities for the club. Both the stadium in Harrison and the training facility/Red Bull Academy in East Hanover. The club's market presence, attendance figures, etc. may not have grown as rapidly as they'd hoped, but they certainly haven't decreased. There may come a day that they decide to sell to a new ownership group, but there's no way the club folds within 5 years.

    NYCFC is still an unknown, it's hard to predict what will happen with them. They still don't even know where they will be playing their games. However, the NYC Metro market is enormous. There's more than enough room for these two clubs to co-exist. RBNY's fanbase is primarily NJ. The 5 boroughs are basically untouched by them, other than maybe a pixel of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The 5 boroughs are exactly what NYCFC are targeting.

    Don't quite understand your point about Dempsey, Donovan, etc. playing here to avoid injury for the World Cup? Whether they're playing here or playing in Europe, they're still playing.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/17...n-poll?cc=5901

    The American naptime is about 5 minutes from being passed by futbol in popularity for this country, permanently.

    Baseball= way, way too many games; too slow; boring;
    and 3.5 hour games that include stretches such as a pitcher stepping off the mound, checking the runner on first, having a conference with the catcher, then a conference with the manager, then checks the runner on 1st again, scratches himself, wipes his brow, then throws a ball. No action. Rinse and repeat. That snoozefest of a sport does not translate well to a generation of youth that moves quickly and have short attention spans. Above is the proof.
    MLS has definitely made great strides in this country, but this is a BS equivalency for a bunch of statistical reasons, but most notably because it is asking about AVID interest. While an indicator of the league's popularity increasing, it doesn't account for the majority of people who are passively interested in baseball (see MLB record breaking attendance figures not what's reflected in TV ratings, which while not high still crush MLS).

  20. #20
    Anyone who thinks its for sissies has never even seen a high school game.

    The way the NFL rules are going, soccer will be more violent soon.



    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...9c90/Faking-it

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