Soccer, the world’s sport. The most viewed sporting event on the face of the planet. Other nations go crazy for it, but here in America, that is not necessarily the case. In other parts of the world, soccer leagues have been around for hundreds of years. However, the MLS was started in the US only a short 12 years ago. Children in countries such as Europe and Mexico grow up with soccer. It becomes second nature, a religion to the masses that play. While these nations celebrate their game, the USA turns its head and ignores it. Maybe we don’t want to accept soccer as one of the greatest sports in the world. Or perhaps we are just not ready for it to be as popular here as it is overseas. But there is no denying the fact that soccer is one of the best sports created.
There are multiple reasons soccer is not extremely big in America. One consideration is the fact that the USA is a fast paced country. We go out for fast food, we get our info quickly off the internet, we can communicate with other civilians from hundreds of miles with the push of a button, and we enjoy our high scoring sports at a swift rate. NASCAR, a popular sport in America, is one of the quickset sports in the world. Basketball and football see multiple scores during a single game. Soccer, on the other hand, is not particularly a high scoring game. This could be one reason for the lack of viewers in the United States. Though it is a beautiful game to watch, Americans prefer a game in which many points are scored in a matter of minutes.
ESPN is without argument the biggest sporting network in the world. In the USA, sports fans tune into this network daily to get their sporting fix. ESPN broadcasts their shows nearly 24/7. Although, within this extreme amount of time on the air, soccer coverage barely scratches the surface. Jim Rome, one of the hefty columnists for ESPN and the #21 listened to radio show in the US, does not show any restraint when it comes to his dislike for soccer. On a couple of his past shows, he set aside a segment to talk about the stupidity of the game of soccer. With popular columnists such as Rome expressing their negative views on the game, its no wonder soccer isn’t as big here as it is in Europe.
High schools also play a part in keeping soccer from becoming popular. How can a sport get established in a country who neglects it from the time kids are young? This is the period they grow to love things. If it is not exposed to these kids, there is no chance for it to grow roots in the strong foundation of American sports. The funding for sports in high school is heavily leaning towards football. The football teams get the band, money, and pep rallies that let the school know about the game of football. By the time the game is started, the stands are packed and the crowd is cheering. At high school soccer games, it is exactly the opposite. The funding is low, and there is little acknowledgement of the team.
Unfortunately, it is a prodigious fact that soccer is not considered a significant sport among most Americans. Despite the evidence the rest of the world provides that soccer is a great game, America gives it the cold shoulder. Although this is changing for the better, it is not changing at a rate that is considered fast or respectable for the game of soccer. I believe soccer should be accepted more by Americans, and appreciated instead of neglected and ridiculed.