With the rise of the internet and satellite television, seems like there’s been a surge of interest in international soccer in the United States the past decade. But is that really applicable to the mainstream American sports fan?
(Clip & Save)
I don’t think so. Not there yet, and probably never will be. The cultural sports divide is just too wide to overcome in this country. It’s akin to the NHL failing in southern cities. Also why the MLS will never be more than a minor league sideshow.
(USA got jobbed in 2002 against eventual runner-up Germany - 3:52)
Not saying there aren’t plenty more soccer sophisticats stateside than there were 10 years ago, but they’re still a decided minority in this country. Knowing EPL soccer snobs who’ve never set foot on the British Isles - as we all do - that’s a good thing.
I myself will be glued to the World Cup, and in particular the U.S.A.’s early match against England. Especially in light of the LONDON SUN’s hilariously inaccurate headline today about its country’s early grouping. Knowledgeable England fans knows from experience that anything can happen when it comes to The Lions.
It’s also impossible to predict how the Americans will fare. 2006 was a disaster (believe me, I was there) but in 2002 we played eventual runner-up Germany to a standstill and could’ve easily extended the match to extra time if not for a botched referee’s call.
Because of key injuries, the Yanks probably won’t advance past the quarterfinals, but after our 2006 showing, I’ll take that. Anything beyond would be borderline astonishing.