A guest article, written by Daniel Andrews, on the growth of the world’s game in our country.
Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, I wait patiently for the time in my life when soccer gets some recognition in the States.
Soccer is a sport that is loved and cherished by many throughout the world. It’s a sport that brings people together from every nation to share the love and passion for the game. It’s the world’s sport, and nothing will take that reign from it.
In the United States though, you won’t see soccer being the top sport, yet alone a top three sport. Where is soccer in the USA?
The States are dominated by the American football, basketball, and baseball teams; rightfully so, due to the fact we pretty much “started” all of these sports. But none the less, soccer is nowhere to be found.
Of course soccer won’t ever compete with the American football that is the highlight of our nation, of the basketball that runs our inner-cities, or the baseball that is our pastime; but don’t you think that soccer can take a step forward and make a push towards the top and finally get some love throughout the states?
As a diehard soccer fan, I’ve noticed growth in this amazing sport just in the past couple years. The following facts can justify my point:
2011 Women’s World Cup Final:
– ESPN’s Most-Viewed and Highest-Rated Soccer Match
– Sixth Most-Viewed Soccer Telecast in U.S
– The second most-watched daytime telecast (Monday – Sunday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.) in cable history, behind the Rose Bowl on ESPN (20.557 million viewers on Jan. 1, 2011).
– The sixth most-watched cable telecast of the year (2011)
– Excluding NFL games, the fifth most-watched sports telecast on ESPN, trailing only the 2011 BCS games
– The MLS began in 1996 with 10 teams; now in 2011 there are 18 teams, with 2 teams in Canada. In 2012 there will be 19 teams with 3 teams in Canada.
– The 2011 ESPY award for best play was award to Abby Wambach’s 122nd minute goal vs. Brazil to send the game into PK’s. A play of which was added 3 days prior to the ESPY’s live nominations. There were 3 total soccer plays in the running.
After that being said, you can see soccer is growing within the United States. Never do I think it will overcome American Football; but I realistically see the sport potentially becoming a top three sport. Obviously it will never be as big, or as competitive as other countries, such as England, Brazil, Spain and Germany; but we can see the game continue to grow and build in front of our eyes.
Soccer is a lifestyle to many; kids grow up dreaming to be a big time player, dreaming to bend it like Beckham, to dribble like Ronaldo. This inspiration, this excitement, is just the water that will help nourish the seed that our national teams have planted for us. Now we get to let it grow, and get bigger, and grow strong. Continue to spread the love; continue to speak your opinion on such a marvelous game. A old game to us is a new game to many. Soccer ‘til I die!