The talented but young American men’s soccer team ran into an experienced and very skilled Dutch team in the World Cup and was eliminated from the tournament by the score of 3-1. But by all accounts, the amount of media attention that was paid to the American team was amazing and extraordinary.
But as the World Cup competition continues on without the US, the question now becomes: what happens next to America’s growing love affair with the sport? Or do we just forget about it until the next World Cup, which takes place in four years and will be hosted here in the US/Mexico/Canada?
Or are there other forces and factors involved in the sport that will help to maintain and drive its momentum here in the US?
I felt it was important to ask that question on my WFAN Sports Radio show this morning, and what I heard from the listeners was fascinating - that in short, thanks to so many European and Mexican soccer league games having been shown on American TV over the last decade, it’s our younger generation of soccer fans has now embraced the sport and are turning more and more to soccer rather than staples like, say, baseball or ice hockey.
The comments from the listeners were both insightful and important. The truth is, soccer has been here in this country for decades, but it’s only in the last few years that it has started to finally take root. Was showing the foreign leagues on TV the real reason why?