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Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Beckham just one of many advances

Following up on my post of January 18, click here for a break-down of some of the reasons why the future is bright for the MLS. Beckham was just one of many significant developments.


I just do not see it because of the fan base in America. There is a world of differences between the interests of American fans and international fans. He may have a minor impact for diehard soccer fans but it will not turn the "average" sports fan away from the likes of football and baseball to favor soccer.
I also believe that it will have a negative impact on the International fan base as many international fans will look at Beckham as being a "traitor" for playing in the U.S. Also, the style of American soccer and international is different and is just not as exciting watching soccer in America as in Europe. Soccer is a way of life in Europe and in America it will always be a "kid's" game.
Just as american football will never be as huge of a hit in Europe as it is in the states, soccer will never be as huge in the states as it is overseas.

Anonymous tommie -- 1/23/2007 8:37 AM  

Tommie: It's entirely possible for a person to be a fan of more than one sport. Beckham will surely bring in curiosity seekers to MLS stadiums and A few of them will become fans of the game. He's already had an impact - there are tons of people who are only now aware that the US has a pro soccer league.

Blogger Oscar M. -- 1/23/2007 1:29 PM  

"You need to crawl before you can walk". It seems we Americans have always been rather elitist in the way we support professional sports, as we demand the best in everything. I believe that is part of our culture and I don't forsee that changing.
MLS is building the infrastructure needed to make this transition eventually take place. The more credible the league becomes the easier it will be to bring over and produce top talents. People aren't jumping on board now or in the past because those that truly love the game are watching the best leagues (english, italian, spanish) in the world on TV. However you eventually get these players to come to the US, combined with the fact that the US is not a bad place to live in the world, and you just might eventually (within 10 to 15 years) have a sport that can hang with the "big three - b-ball, football, and baseball" in this country. But it will take time and money to get it there.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/23/2007 4:40 PM  

I'm not sure that there really is all that much space for football to grow in the States and stand up to the three long-established national sports. Yes, you can, in theory, be a fan of more than one sport: but how many europeans do you know that follow football AND any other colective sport?

Football will only find it's place in America on the long-term, when the demographic shift that is now under-way (more latinos and asians) consolidates itself.

Anonymous Miguel Portela -- 1/24/2007 7:45 AM  

What about the growing international community in the States? Could they be targeted as the MLS fan-base?

Mexicans love football, Europeans love football, Brasilians even more so... And reportedly, there are more and more foreigners living in the U.S.

Anonymous Luis Cassiano -- 1/25/2007 7:30 AM  

Luis, I think a major dent that needs to be ironed out (if it can) is the style of soccer. For some reason the games are just plain boring in the U.S. (college or pros). Even the the lower level Euro leagues are fun to watch.

Anonymous tommie -- 1/25/2007 8:28 AM  

Well, I'm sorry Tommie but this "boring" argument I can't agree with, and it's one that Americans really like to use.
If football is boring, what can we say about baseball!? And American Football!? Even basketball, except for the last quarter of tight matches, can really be quite un-exciting.
So this is very, very subjective, and probably a cultural issue which is why there is a general opinion that football's future in the U.S. has to focus on the (growing) minorities rather than on the average white-male american.
Now wanting to change football rules, as Americans repeatedly seem to do (who can forget those running-ball shootouts from midflied to untie matches : ), will never be well taken by the worldwide football community, who likes to be pondered and take their time when changing the game - not revolutionizing it.

Anonymous Miguel Portela -- 1/25/2007 11:44 AM  

Soccer is not a real sport...

It's art...

Anonymous Siam Sport -- 1/26/2007 6:50 AM  

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