7 Reasons Why Football (Soccer) Will Never Be a Success in the US

1.  Not enough statistics.

     I see the argument, but I don’t completely agree.  While it is true that the inner stat-geek is showing more and more today in the average sports fan, I’m not sold on this one.  Soccer does not have as many stats as American football or baseball.  Baseball is the statisticians sport, there is no denying that one.  So if you’re madly in love with crunching some numbers involving athletes, then I would direct you to a ball park nearest you. 

     But did you know soccer has its fair share of stats as well?  Sure there are more than goals and assists.  What about possession?  Who’s controlling the ball in the match?  Or successful passes?  The number of touches on the ball a player makes?  A pass is made and the controlling team loses the ball.  Was it a bad pass or was the ball not settled correctly?  They do track these things.  Maybe not in your little brother’s recreation league team on Saturdays, but these kind of stats are kept.

2. Other sports have had a head start.

     Again, while this is true, are we just giving up on the race?  Because that’s what it kind of sounds like.  Now I said I would be objective, will I ever live to see soccer be more popular than American football in the U.S.?  Not a chance.  But look closely around this blog and I’m sure you will find some evidence (or well written posts) that will tell you that soccer is catching up, slowly but sure, it is catching up.

3.  The USA is not very good at soccer.

     Whoa, whoa, whoa there…  While the Yanks (that’s soccer talk for Americans) are not yet world beaters in the game of soccer, things could certainly be worse.  The CONCACAF is theirs for the taking, aside from having zero luck at Azteca.  They have qualified for yet another World Cup, did you happen to see Sweden won’t be making the trip next summer?  Portugal, it’s a possibility they aren’t there either.  For goodness sakes, my beloved Holland national team did not qualify for the 2002 World Cup.  Does that make any of these teams not very good?  I beg to differ.  This all depends on ones definition of “good,” and that coud take awhile…

4.  Not enough stoppages for advertising.

     To be honest, I’m becoming a little more sceptical of Caught Offside as I go.  If you watch any soccer at all, you know that the large majority of soccer teams carry a main sponsors logo on the chest of their jerseys.  Look around the field, what’s that stuff surrounding the field…tah da! It’s advertising!  The Champions League is practically synonymous with Heineken beer.  I don’t agree with this one at all.  I know advertising money is important, I’m a journalist, you don’t have to tell me about needing advertising money.

5.  No full time buzzer.

     Now I just think their reaching for things to use here.  I may be in the minority here, and I don’t think I am, but how much does the lack of an end-of-game buzzer effect a sporting event.  When the match is over the referee blows the whistle, game over.  Do you really need a buzzer to help you with this one?  I don’t think so…

6.  Not enough cheerleaders.

     Have to be careful with this one.  But as far as I know, not even when I played high school soccer, did a soccer team have cheerleaders.  It’s true, sex sells.  I’m not sure soccer needs to go that route, and I hope they don’t.  Would you give the MLS more credit and respect if it turned more into the XFL?  So maybe that is a bit of a stretch on my part, but I think you get my point.  Soccer isn’t called the beautiful game because of the personnel standing on the sidelines.

7.  The love of other sports to great to allow another pastime to break into the big leagues.

     This is kind of the end result or conclusion to the past six reasons.  If this article is going to hold any credibility in the future for predicting the lack of success for soccer in the U.S., it will be because of this point.  This country loves it’s sports.  American football?  It’s in the name.  Baseball, “America’s favorite pastime”, need I go on?  I doubt soccer ever catches these two or even basketball.  But to one day be in range and be the clear cut fourth option for Americans isn’t so bad.


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