View Poll Results: Will the USA ever be competitive internationally in soccer?

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  • Yes

    25 30.49%
  • No

    29 35.37%
  • Compete yes, but NEVER win a world cup

    28 34.15%
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  1. #41
    Mechagnome Televators's Avatar
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    Football will never be very popular in the United States for the reasons already outlined above and many of them are just cultural differences. Almost all football players switch to more popular sports where they have a better chance of playing in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and making a LOT of money if they are at the top of their game. There are small, fanatical groups of football fans here, but the sport simply cannot become as popular until advertising money is no longer important to broadcasters (good luck with that). Until that happens, you simply won't see football on American television with any regularity.

  2. #42
    A few things that need to be cleared up here. Soccer in the US does not need to be hugely popular in order for the US to be competitive on the world stage. Nor is the sport unpopular by an means. I want you to keep in mind a few things.

    1. Despite Hockey being a much smaller and less popular sport compared to Football, Basketball, and Baseball, Team USA is still considered one of the strongest teams in the world when it comes to that particular sport. This shows that the sport doesn't need to meet or exceed the popularity of the big 3 in order to be considered a world power in that sport.

    2. Soccer is very popular here in the States. Today Soccer is the most played youth sport in the 5-19 age bracket with over 3 million registered players in the country. That is an entire generation of children who are growing up with the game and developing talent.

    SOURCE: http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/media_kit/ataglance/

    3. MLS Soccer despite it's youth is growing fast with new teams and new stadiums being built almost every year. The rise of professional teams with more soccer specific facilities will pour more money into the league and pull more talent into it's roster which will only increase the pool of talented player to draw upon here in the US.

    4. There is a huge interest in Soccer among the general population, this is proven by many sold out crowds when international teams come here to play in expedition games. The FC Barcelona and DC United games which were hosted in Houston are a prime example of that. Huge sold out crowds of 70k+ being broadcast nationwide which means lots of ticket sales, lots of ratings, and lots of money.

    It will all boil down to time. The US is already considered a very dangerous team on the international stage. I don't think anyone would consider the USA pushovers anymore (Ask Portugal, Germany, Spain, or Mexico about how "weak" we are). The real question is how long it will take for Team USA to become a credible contender to win a WC. I think the answer to that may come sooner than later.
    Last edited by lizon; 2012-11-12 at 08:37 PM.

  3. #43
    Pandaren Monk
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    Are we including Women? Far as I recall our Women's team is pretty good.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Amsden View Post
    Are we including Women? Far as I recall our Women's team is pretty good.
    One of the best in the world, in fact.
    I am looking for the time when soccer would become more popular in the U.S.. Whether it is realistic or not, don't know.
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  5. #45
    Well, very dangerous I wouldn't say. I think every country on the WC is dangerous because that is the name of the game. Soccer is very unpredictable and the best team doesn't always win.
    However, if say Germany draws the US in stead of say Portugal or England for the quarter finals, they are relieved.

    I think it is most something like: 1. High chance of winning teams. 2. Off chance of winning. 3. Always dangerous but no chance to win the whole thing. 4. Can mess with you on a bad day but probably wont make it out of the group.

    The US is probably in number 3. Number 1 right now is probably Spain and Germany (always only a few countries).
    Brazil, Portugal, England, Netherlands, Argentina fall in number 2. This is a pretty big pot though.

    Now the US can once or twice beat a number 2 or even a number 1 country but the whole thing is almost impossible. So far the WC has never been taken by a team that nobody saw comming.

    At least this is in my mind is how I scale them . If we were to draw the US in our pool I wouldn't be too scared. What really top level player do they have? I think none right? Nobody that is the star of a very strong European team.

  6. #46
    Pit Lord tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizon View Post
    A few things that need to be cleared up here. Soccer in the US does not need to be hugely popular in order for the US to be competitive on the world stage. Nor is the sport unpopular by an means. I want you to keep in mind a few things.

    1. Despite Hockey being a much smaller and less popular sport compared to Football, Basketball, and Baseball, Team USA is still considered one of the strongest teams in the world when it comes to that particular sport. This shows that the sport doesn't need to meet or exceed the popularity of the big 3 in order to be considered a world power in that sport.
    Yes, but that's a sport where only six or so teams are ever going to be competitive. In football there are many, many more top quality teams.

    2. Soccer is very popular here in the States. Today Soccer is the most played youth sport in the 5-19 age bracket with over 3 million registered players in the country. That is an entire generation of children who are growing up with the game and developing talent.
    But you're comparing that to countries where every single child will play football. If you are a boy growing up in England you will play football at some point, even if it's just in the park. This applies in Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and so on. Three million is obviously a substantial number but the US is going to be at a disadvantage to countries with a footballing culture simply because you will lose many talented athletes to other sports.

    3. MLS Soccer despite it's youth is growing fast with new teams and new stadiums being built almost every year. The rise of professional teams with more soccer specific facilities will pour more money into the league and pull more talent into it's roster which will only increase the pool of talented player to draw upon here in the US.
    MLS is part of the problem in my opinion. Obviously it is imperitive that the US has a quality legaue, however it cannot be a closed system, by that I mean you cannot run a league like the NFL. Football needs to be in every city, not just the 20 or so with an MLS franchise. If football is really going to take hold at some point there will have to be a complete overhaul of MLS.

    4. There is a huge interest in Soccer among the general population, this is proven by many sold out crowds when international teams come here to play in expedition games. The FC Barcelona and DC United games which were hosted in Houston are a prime example of that. Huge sold out crowds of 70k+ being broadcast nationwide which means lots of ticket sales, lots of ratings, and lots of money.
    This is obviously positive, but these are only for isolated games. The big European clubs get upwards of 50000 through their gates every single week, often despite having another team in their city. Most MLS teams average between 14 and 21 thousand a game. Considering the size of New York City the fact they are only averaging 18000 or so in a stadium for 25000 people is pretty bad.
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  7. #47
    The Lightbringer draynay's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of what you say tommy, in other countries the best athletes are playing football/soccer, which isn't the case in the US since there are other more lucrative leagues to lure away the multi-sport stars

    As an example, Jim Brown was a great lacrosse player at Syracuse, if anybody gave a crap about that sport he might be remembered as the best lacrosse player ever, but he went to the NFL because that was the only choice that had a future in it

    So a smaller less lucrative league like MLS is going to get the athletes who are most devoted to the sport, but so many other potential players are lost to other leagues that even with such a large pool of talent to draw from in this country, you are rarely seeing the most talented athletes on our national team as opposed to other nations where playing football/soccer is their best career as an athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by tommypilgrim View Post
    MLS is part of the problem in my opinion. Obviously it is imperitive that the US has a quality legaue, however it cannot be a closed system, by that I mean you cannot run a league like the NFL. Football needs to be in every city, not just the 20 or so with an MLS franchise. If football is really going to take hold at some point there will have to be a complete overhaul of MLS.
    Logistically I can't see something like this working, the US is such a large place it would necessitate a lot of semi-pro regional leagues to make travel work, maybe thats what you're advocating but I'm not sure, the size of the country makes it difficult to get a league in size beyond the 30ish we usually see

    NCAA sports function with 100+ teams if they constrain the bulk of the games to regional conference play then the travel is not such a deterrent

    but you're right, it requires a major functional overhaul of some sort whichever direction you take things, the US will consistently be at a disadvantage against other football/soccer powerhouse nations

    And lastly, in response to lizon, I don't know how other nations perceive the US team, but failing to qualify for the Olympics doesn't inspire confidence in me and I doubt it inspires fear in rivals

  8. #48
    Pit Lord tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    The league is most definitely going to have to be run on a regional basis, possibly with promotion/relegation to one or two super leagues, similar to the Spanish pyramid. Granted the US is significantly larger but it cannot operate a closed system, where there are only 500 or so major league players. There needs to be a significant push to get a professional or semi-professional team in every sizable American city, organise them into regional conferences, then try to make them all somewhat competitive, until then the talent pool in America will always be limited.
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  9. #49
    The Insane peggleftw's Avatar
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    as far as i know USA is not actually that bad a team, not much worse then England anyway :P football is basically dominated by a few western european countries and a few south American countries.

    and you Womans team is one of the best in the world.
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  10. #50
    Yeah I know our Womens team is good, but thats just because (correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell) not many other nations are very pro-women sports :O...

  11. #51
    Who cares, it's soccer.

    Even golf is more exciting than the boredom that is soccer. I'd rather watch mud dry.

    "Score 0-0 after 60 minutes of play! such a nail-biting exciting game!" LOL!!!!

  12. #52
    The Lightbringer Agoonga's Avatar
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    Soccer/football would be more successful if they started calling it "Woggabaliri" again.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by ewhenn View Post
    Who cares, it's soccer.

    Even golf is more exciting than the boredom that is soccer. I'd rather watch mud dry.

    "Score 0-0 after 60 minutes of play! such a nail-biting exciting game!" LOL!!!!
    I'd much rather watch Soccer than Golf. Hell I'd rather watch Soccer than Baseball.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewhenn View Post
    Who cares, it's soccer.

    Even golf is more exciting than the boredom that is soccer. I'd rather watch mud dry.

    "Score 0-0 after 60 minutes of play! such a nail-biting exciting game!" LOL!!!!
    quite obvious you don't understand the sport but thats okey, someone needs to be in the minority aswell.
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  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by ewhenn View Post
    Who cares, it's soccer.

    Even golf is more exciting than the boredom that is soccer. I'd rather watch mud dry.

    "Score 0-0 after 60 minutes of play! such a nail-biting exciting game!" LOL!!!!
    Footballs it more exciting than NFL, Baseball, Lacrosse. Pretty much every American Sport is boring compared to it.

    Also thinking about Americans playing Football made me think of this retarded headline from last world cup.



    "we tied, which means we win!" wut?
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  16. #56
    Epic! twistedsista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agoonga View Post
    Soccer/football would be more successful if they started calling it "Woggabaliri" again.
    like table tennis being called ping pong, you mean?

    my thoughts on the OP is, who cares?
    i voted no btw, as its nice to see the all swaggering, all conquering, "GO!! USA!!" bs that country constantly churns out, finally being put in their place & not being of any interest to the vast population of the world of football.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by twistedsista View Post
    like table tennis being called ping pong, you mean?

    my thoughts on the OP is, who cares?
    i voted no btw, as its nice to see the all swaggering, all conquering, "GO!! USA!!" bs that country constantly churns out, finally being put in their place & not being of any interest to the vast population of the world of football.
    In America Soccer is viewed as the sport that kids play if they aren't skilled enough for Baseball, tall enough for Basketball or big enough for Football. (I'm not saying any of the above is true, it's just viewed that way.)

    So no one is "being put in their place." Cause we just don't give a crap about it as a nation.
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  18. #58
    Moderator Northern Goblin's Avatar
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    The above front page of the New York times would disagree with that last statement.

    I'm also going to warn everyone, keep it civil. Refrain from nation bashing or comments posted purely to provocate and start a flame war. This has been a pretty good discussion, and I'd prefer to not have to lock it.

  19. #59
    Grunt
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    I've noticed a trend lately between ESPN and NBC where they are showing more European football or soccer. On ESPN2, they have already been showing premiere league games usually in the morning. For next year, NBC will be showing EPL games though I'm not sure if it's going to be live or on some type of tape delay. So, yea it's growing.

    Even when I was growing up as a kid back in the 70's and 80's in Mississippi, there were a lot of youth soccer teams. In high school, some of our best athletes were playing it. It was so competitive, they actually had to cut people from making the team each year. Where I'm pretty certain our high school football team didn't have a cut and would take almost anyone.

    I'll always remember us having an exchange student over from I believe it was Sweden back in High School. He played on our team and was by far and away our best player. We all thought he had been on some type of advanced or select team back home. When asked about that, he said he couldn't even make the cut for his school.

    Will it ever be as popular as the big 3 (baseball, basketball and football)? I don't know. As I said, its trending upward because MLS seems to have been structured with a good % of Americans mixed in with people from other countries. Landon Donovan imo has been a great role model for our youth. I think the MLS players are probably much more approachable since they don't have an inflated view of themselves like you see in the NBA and NFL.

    Can we ever win the World Cup? Right now I don't think so. I think there are times we can surprise other teams because our style can catch them off guard. I tend to think of us as having very good athletes running around but not having the cohesiveness you see like a team from Spain. Even the casual fan can appreciate the skill the European or Latin American teams have.
    Last edited by Oakshan; 2012-11-15 at 07:01 PM.

  20. #60
    I think you'll always struggle so long as other sports are so dominant at secondary school and university level, especially American Football. The English team should be a prime example these days that you need a good youth development program or you fade into insignificance and dreams of what once was.
    Last edited by Northern Goblin; 2012-11-15 at 07:22 PM.

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