Soccer Is Here to Stay in America
Mike Kent wrote an article concerning the popularity of soccer in America and the MLS expanding into 18 teams. While American football (I like the Dolphins), basketball (I like the Heat), and baseball (I'm a fan of the Marlins) will remain the dominant sports in America for the time being, soccer is here to stay.
No one thought that the USA could host a World Cup in 1994 and begin to adopt soccer. We are in an era of globalization of sports. If there are NFL teams in Europe with their fanbase, there are US as well as foreign soccer clubs with American fans.
The Cold War between the USA and Mexico (so named because this 2010 FIFA World Cup Classifier game was played in Ohio) is one of the living proofs about the presence of soccer. The stadium where the game was played was packed.
Every time the New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, Chivas USA, and others play, the stadiums are packed with people waving American flags or flags of their state. Who can forget that the United States women's soccer team won a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China?
I could still remember a story of a Manchester United Supporter from Phoenix, Arizona who drove all the way to Seattle, Washington to watch his team play. Afterwards, the same supporter drove from Washington State to Chicago, Illinois when the team went to play in the Windy City.
In the year 2007, I saw the game between the Miami FC and Charleston Battery of the USL (another league different from the MLS) in Miami, Florida. The stadium at Tropical Park was packed to the point that people were standing during the game.
In Miami, people gather at restaurants such as Hooters and Applebee's to see the United States soccer team accumulate victory after victory. Soccer has also been popular among high schools, and there have been trades of soccer cards in the same way other sport cards have been traded.
Another reason why soccer is also becoming popular is the same reason why the other sports in America are popular—people want to escape from the bad news and financial situations that affect our lives.
I can only say one thing to the United States Soccer Federation and the supporters of the game (myself included): We have come a long way.
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