FanDuel - WFBC

February 17, 2013

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 7 comments

The Philadelphia Union preseason match drew 7,500 fans in Jacksonville Friday. I read that the average MLS preseason attendance is 1,500.

I'm psyched by the appetite for pro and international soccer here. The long-term hope of an MLS franchise would be tough to achieve, but the NASL map shows this city would be a good fit for U.S. soccer's second tier.

posted by rcade at 01:55 PM on February 17

Was reading something the other day saying that in 20 years soccer will have surpassed football as the number one sport in America. I doubt the veracity of that statistic but then there is the case that more parents are going that route because of the physical issues coming to light in football.

Regardless of what you think of the future of soccer, it'll be interesting to see just where this current growing trend of kids playing it puts the US in 10-20 years.

posted by Drood at 02:27 PM on February 17

Was reading something the other day saying that in 20 years soccer will have surpassed football as the number one sport in America.

I think we may be approaching the 40th anniversary of that projection (though with soccer replacing baseball back then). Basketball will replace football before soccer does.

posted by Etrigan at 02:57 PM on February 17

in 20 years soccer will have surpassed football as the number one sport in America

Soccer is actually the largest sport in Canada by numbers of participants.
Cost of participation is amongst the lowest of any sport.

Hockey, Football, and (gag) Curling are the largest spectator sports.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:41 PM on February 17

Hockey, Football, and (gag) Curling are the largest spectator sports.

Did you just disparage curling?

/drops gloves

LET'S GO!

posted by grum@work at 06:38 PM on February 17

I think we may be approaching the 40th anniversary of that projection

Lots of things that are tangentially related to the game have to change first, particularly the development system. It's been mentioned here and elsewhere before, but big league US sport is set up to identify talent at high school, develop it at college (or in baseball, the minors) and dish out pro contracts to 20-year-olds after the NCAA has taken its cut. That's too late for soccer, which is one reason why Klinsmann has brought German-born players into the national squad.

The infrastructure to get talented kids into academy systems is growing, but the relatively small professional base can only stretch so far, even with the assistance of the world's scouts. It's a fair guess that the US has 2026 World Cup-winning talent in suburban U-10 rec leagues right now, getting bored and disillusioned because there's not a well-defined path to higher-level play for them or for their parents.

posted by etagloh at 06:52 PM on February 17

The most popular sports in the U.S. used to be horse racing, boxing and baseball. I wouldn't be surprised for soccer to eclipse football at some point, given how popular soccer is as a youth sport. There are four million youth soccer players and 730,000 in high school, as of a 2010 NYT piece.

posted by rcade at 11:34 AM on February 18

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