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Thread: Interesting opinion on soccer's future in the US.

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    Interesting opinion on soccer's future in the US.

    Saw this earlier today, and thought it was an interesting opinion from the Houston Dynamo's team President Chris Canetti

    "MLS is going to become the second most popular sport in this country at some point, behind the NFL. People don't believe me. They don't want to accept it. But I'm in the middle of it. I'm seeing what happens. We're thinking big here. We're not happy just being stable."
    http://www.chron.com/sports/dynamo/a...ng-3554333.php

    I'm sure he's basing his opinion on recent trends, in terms of TV contracts, TV ratings, and attendance figures. However, I wouldn't be surprised if people close to NASCAR had the same thoughts in the late 90's, when their sport was growing by leaps and bounds.

    IMO, it'll take at least one more generation of fans growing up following and playing the game, for the MLS to grow into the country's 2nd most popular, and profitable, sport.

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    now showing: MLS
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    It could happen in 30 years or so...The NFL's biggest problem is that its created an at home experience that is second to none...The NFL Ticket and Red Zone channel is fantastic, couple that with crazy expensive game day experience and more will stay home. MLB is losing kids at an alarming rate, the NBA is a niche sport as is hockey. I almost wonder though that as the sport of soccer gains in popularity here does it have to do with our shift in population base? There are a larger Latino population than ever and its still growing.....I myself will admit that I am late to the soccer movement but I do enjoy the European league games due mainly to the atmosphere. I think its great that ESPN is showing more EPL games but it almost does a disservice by following those games with MLS games....night and day

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjw11 View Post
    It could happen in 30 years or so...The NFL's biggest problem is that its created an at home experience that is second to none...The NFL Ticket and Red Zone channel is fantastic, couple that with crazy expensive game day experience and more will stay home. MLB is losing kids at an alarming rate, the NBA is a niche sport as is hockey. I almost wonder though that as the sport of soccer gains in popularity here does it have to do with our shift in population base? There are a larger Latino population than ever and its still growing.....I myself will admit that I am late to the soccer movement but I do enjoy the European league games due mainly to the atmosphere. I think its great that ESPN is showing more EPL games but it almost does a disservice by following those games with MLS games....night and day
    It'll definately take a couple of decades for the MLS to sit where the NBA does now, but the NBA is only about 30 years removed from tape-delaying their Finals.

    Unless something truely catastrophic happens to the NFL and football in general, they'll stay #1 for a long while. It's the perfect TV sport. Mostly played on Saturday's and Sunday's when the weather starts to turn cold and the days get shorter.

    I think you're right about the game atmosphere. The MLS has the opportunity to become unique it what it has to offer in that aspect. NBA and MLB games are a joke, when it comes to atmosphere. The biggest cheers are for when hot dogs are shot in the stands. With more soccer specific stadiums being built, the game-day atmosphere is getting better. It wasn't that long ago that nearly all MLS teams were playing in 70-80,000 seat football stadiums. Now, they are playing in soccer specific stadiums which help enhance the experience for those at the game, and in some aspect, those enjoying the game on TV. I get to watch all the Sporting KC games locally, and their home games are amazing, in terms of game-day atmosphere. Granted the level of play on the field is behind the BPL, but the MLS can't fix everything all at once. The stadiums are a good start, because it'll get the fans to come out, but increasing the quality of play will keep bringing them back.

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    Its only growing and with a larger hispanic population it will in fact move towards the top...
    Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season

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    ESPN is certainly doing its part to push soccer onto the US.
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    Actually they could do allot better in my opinion....


    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    ESPN is certainly doing its part to push soccer onto the US.
    Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season

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    won't take decades like other posters have stated...My guesstimate is 5-7 years TOPS.

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    What will ultimately push Soccer to the front of the line is all the kids currently playing soccer on fields that no one pays attention to as they go past. There are College Exposure tournaments in places like Rockford, Illinois; Muscatine, Iowa; Kalamazoo, Michigan that no one knows about, except the kids and the parents. Funny thing, is that there are teams on waiting lists for these and other tournaments, to get their kids on the pitch, to get seen, and to play. I know, because I am one of those parents. I go to these out of the way places, and see almost a thousand cars attending these events. The last tournement my son played in had these age groups: 8U, 9U, 10U, 12U, 13U, 15U, 16U, 18U, & 19U. With a minumum of four teams per division, and most having at least 6, you can see how many people were there. That was just the boys groupings. So, I believe that the current graduating class, and future graduates, will push Soccer more mainstream. I would say that within the next 5-10 years, soccer will be a major sport in the USA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskers57 View Post
    won't take decades like other posters have stated...My guesstimate is 5-7 years TOPS.
    People have been saying the same thing now for years....It just isnt going to happen that soon....

    Soccer in the US will continue on the same path until a few things change:

    -TV ratings just aren't that good.....Yes, the MLS is pulling really good attendance, and the atmosphere at games is amazing......but that doesn't mean people are watching on TV
    -The best athletes are still playing the big 3 sports....In other countries, that's not necessarily the case
    -Even the best US players are playing overseas.....The best of the best in the World play in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.....it's the highest honor for those athletes.....We need to start keeping our players on our soil, while also attracting top players from around the world (and not in the twilight of their careers....).....but that's a tough call, because right now there's probably 3-4 leagues better than the MLS, so how do we continue to grow our top players against the top competition, while also wanting them stay local......a fine line for sure
    -Money.....if you're a great soccer player and a great football player, knowing you have a chance to make millions in the NFL, which sport are you going to choose?.....Soccer just doesnt match that locally, and it's just hard to do that internationally, not only because of the stigma of US born players, but also the transfer rules


    This last Saturday night is a prime example...I went to about 3-4 "sports" bars, and the places were packed with people watching the NBA and NHL playoff games....people were going crazy....come MLS playoff time, I'd have a hard time even finding a bar that shows the games.....

    Too many people still view soccer as a beginning sport....that sport that you put your 5, 6, or 7 year old just to get them involved in organized activities, and they play it for a few years until they can play a better sport....
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4evrHusker View Post
    What will ultimately push Soccer to the front of the line is all the kids currently playing soccer on fields that no one pays attention to as they go past. There are College Exposure tournaments in places like Rockford, Illinois; Muscatine, Iowa; Kalamazoo, Michigan that no one knows about, except the kids and the parents. Funny thing, is that there are teams on waiting lists for these and other tournaments, to get their kids on the pitch, to get seen, and to play. I know, because I am one of those parents. I go to these out of the way places, and see almost a thousand cars attending these events. The last tournement my son played in had these age groups: 8U, 9U, 10U, 12U, 13U, 15U, 16U, 18U, & 19U. With a minumum of four teams per division, and most having at least 6, you can see how many people were there. That was just the boys groupings. So, I believe that the current graduating class, and future graduates, will push Soccer more mainstream. I would say that within the next 5-10 years, soccer will be a major sport in the USA.
    But those tournaments have been around a long time.....I played in the Muscatine tournament back in 96 and 97 and it was the same way then....just packed.....When we traveled to places like KC or Texas or Arizona, you would have a hard time getting hotels because there were so many teams.....

    Yes youth soccer is getting bigger, but its been pretty big for a while now....We start losing kids come high school time, where different parts of the country play club soccer and high school at different times, and then college, we lose even more players because a lot of kids just aren't cracked up for the academic side of college....
    "There's three ways to do things, the right way, the wrong way and the way that I do it. " - Nicky Santoro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drozz View Post
    People have been saying the same thing now for years....It just isnt going to happen that soon....
    want to make a wager on this?

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    it will be interesting ...soccer usually grabs the attention of most Americans during the World Cup and the last World Cup, the US team did ok....and the sport seemed to grow in interest but only minimally at best...the next World Cup the US squad probably wont have as much "success" does that mean the sport as a whole in the US will or will not grow? I just dont see how it ever passes a major sport. At this point i would put it about pretty far down on the list of American interests

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    My pet peeve again.....'the MLS'.....I see allot of people say this....'The Major League Soccer'...it works with 'the NFL', 'the NBA' 'the NHL"......not so with 'the MLS' or 'the MLB'....

    TV ratings are getting better every season....the league is only 16 years old....they gave the product away for free 6 years ago....not anymore....got big $$ in the scheme of things from NBC...so yeah people are watching on TV......NBC and ESPN do not give $$ away.....my only gripe to them is show a few games that don't involve LA or NY and somewhat less Philly.....

    Other countries for the most part like, Holland, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy and yeah even England have only one major sport....so your point about other countries is not valid......and if you look at the talent we have coming up in the USA soccer is starting to get a decent share of the kids who play sports....

    How many foreign players play in the NFL? I bet you could count them on one hand.....the NFL is just not that popular except in the USA and Canada....it tanked with their league in Europe....now the NHL would have been a better example.....

    The US players that do play overseas do so for the $$ and not all of our best players are over their....Donovan, Beckerman, Gill and Shea come to mind....once MLS is fully realized and can pay the $$ the American players will stay in the USA....or once the European Leagues go bankrupt as they are trying real hard to do....the financial side of the game in Europe is a HUGE mess...not so in MLS....

    Yeah like too many people think Mike Bradley only played for the USMNT because of his dad....or that Kyle Beckerman isn't good enough.....sadly wrong in both cases.....

    With the influx of hispanic kids etc the game is growing and growing fast and its just a matter of time before it moves up....

    Your last paragraph is the sterotypical answer you hear all of the time....and its wrong....go and look at the stadiums that are being built in MLS....that in itself is a tell-tale sign that anyone who understands the sport would relaize how its growing....and the USA is starting to jump on the bandwagon....its not a matter of if we win a world cup its a matter of when....

    Quote Originally Posted by Drozz View Post
    People have been saying the same thing now for years....It just isnt going to happen that soon....

    Soccer in the US will continue on the same path until a few things change:

    -TV ratings just aren't that good.....Yes, the MLS is pulling really good attendance, and the atmosphere at games is amazing......but that doesn't mean people are watching on TV
    -The best athletes are still playing the big 3 sports....In other countries, that's not necessarily the case
    -Even the best US players are playing overseas.....The best of the best in the World play in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.....it's the highest honor for those athletes.....We need to start keeping our players on our soil, while also attracting top players from around the world (and not in the twilight of their careers....).....but that's a tough call, because right now there's probably 3-4 leagues better than the MLS, so how do we continue to grow our top players against the top competition, while also wanting them stay local......a fine line for sure
    -Money.....if you're a great soccer player and a great football player, knowing you have a chance to make millions in the NFL, which sport are you going to choose?.....Soccer just doesnt match that locally, and it's just hard to do that internationally, not only because of the stigma of US born players, but also the transfer rules


    This last Saturday night is a prime example...I went to about 3-4 "sports" bars, and the places were packed with people watching the NBA and NHL playoff games....people were going crazy....come MLS playoff time, I'd have a hard time even finding a bar that shows the games.....

    Too many people still view soccer as a beginning sport....that sport that you put your 5, 6, or 7 year old just to get them involved in organized activities, and they play it for a few years until they can play a better sport....
    Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season

  15. #15
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    Go look at the stadiums being built in MLS....tell-tale how fast the sport is growing in the USA....

    Six years ago the league was giving its TV product away....not anymore....signed a big deal with NBC for this season and expect to get a big boost in $$ from ESPN soon...

    And with the growth of the hispanic population its only going to bet bigger....

    Its the world sport...and its growing in this country....you look at where MLS was at its start in 1996 and where it is now and it has grown in leaps and bounds....


    Quote Originally Posted by mjw11 View Post
    it will be interesting ...soccer usually grabs the attention of most Americans during the World Cup and the last World Cup, the US team did ok....and the sport seemed to grow in interest but only minimally at best...the next World Cup the US squad probably wont have as much "success" does that mean the sport as a whole in the US will or will not grow? I just dont see how it ever passes a major sport. At this point i would put it about pretty far down on the list of American interests
    Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season







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