FanDuel - WFBC

June 08, 2006

Will Soccer Ever Make a Lasting Impression?: Comcast SportsNet Editor, Vito Florenza laments Soccer's prospects in America. Will the World Cup 2006 really make a difference? Can the U.S. get a Team in the World Cup without hearing about how Soccer is not appreciate in the U.S.A.?

posted by skydivedad to soccer at 01:52 PM - 40 comments

Team USA members are going to play their hearts out for 295 Million Americans , of this I have no doubts. When they're playing I'll be watching. Hell, when I can get a World Cup Game on the tube or streaming video on my computer I'll be watching. I am a proud "Footie" Fan and paid money to watch the Chicago Sting at Comiskey Park many years ago. I learned way back then to enjoy the sport no matter it's popularity with the masses. I especially have enjoyed the Fantastic Soccer Post and Comments from knowledgable Fans here on SportsFIlter. Let the Games begin........

posted by skydivedad at 02:26 PM on June 08

Exlusivity! We are part of a select group no matter what the masses of Americans think about Soccer. I am so pumped for tomorrow.

posted by trox at 03:03 PM on June 08

My two sons and I are avid soccer fans, but in all reality i still think it will be some time before soccer really catches on here because there are so many choices. remember that in some of these countries soccer is all that they have and play it their entire lives so they generally get a more talented group by world cup age. My boys want nothing more than to play for DC and I am loving it but I personally dont think that 2006 will make too much of a difference because of too many other sports here in the U S. We will still pull for them though!!

posted by skins fan at 03:08 PM on June 08

Wow, he really doesn't think his readers are all that smart, does he? MLS is expanding after a few early missteps (they created a new league from scratch, so some things aren't going to work right out of the box), and those people filing the stadia for the club and international matches, and watching the games on TV, are coming from somewhere (why would ESPN scrap their schedule for a month to show every game of this thing if Florenza was right and no one cared?). He makes the all-too-common mistake of assuming that because he doesn't care to learn about something, no one else should care about it either. (Get this guy a Spofi account! We don't have nearly enough people like that here!) We get it, Vito. You don't care. Now get out of the way, you're blocking the TV.

posted by chicobangs at 03:20 PM on June 08

Exactly, Chico - this is vaguely reminiscent of the debate surrounding the popularity of hockey in the US. Those that are fans, simply do not care. Sure it be nice, but the futbol universe will continue to opperate with or without massive US interest. It is not a requiste for success.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:32 PM on June 08

Texas, my Texas.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:32 PM on June 08

Stupid column--his questions are meaningless abstractions. If the national team is ranked 5 (even if that's a political ranking and we're more in the 8-12 range), MLS can support 12 teams with an average attendance of 15,000/match and have reasonable expansion plans to 16 franchises, ABC/ESPN show all 64 World Cup games live plus a nightly highlights show, and Fox devote an entire cable channel to the sport, what more is necessary? Sure, wining the World Cup will be great and probably happen at least once before too long but otherwise, really, isn't this good enough? The money will continue to grow, meaning the MLS clubs will be able to spend more on players and therefore improve relative to other leagues but I don't see why the sport has to surpass NASCAR, NHL or the bigger brothers to "make a difference." Do you?

posted by billsaysthis at 04:00 PM on June 08

I've never really been the biggest soccer fan but hearing about all the excitement and insanity that comes with the World Cup that makes me really want to pay attention. I think I'll make it a priority to catch a few games on TV.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:14 PM on June 08

but I don't see why the sport has to surpass NASCAR, NHL or the bigger brothers to "make a difference." Do you? No. The "numbers" shouldn't effect our enjoyment whatsoever.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:23 PM on June 08

Not a real big soccer fan but the last time I said something negative about the world cup on spofi I got chewed out by everyone and thier mother. Being fairly new to spofi I found that alot of you know what your talking about and even though I dont always spell words right or use caps like some people like (TBH) I am a very smart guy. So, if the majority of you say world cup is good and worth watching I will watch. Besides nothing goes better with beer than sports!

posted by PGHTOS at 05:13 PM on June 08

I was in the US for the 1998 Cup, when it was confined to a group of international students gathered in the mornings and afternoon in a single pizza place in Athens, Ga. Eight years on, I see a greater interest, and the old-school hacks are sounding more and more tired. As others have said, the interest is coming from somewhere, even if it's not the journalistic establishment. I miss the lead-up excitement, but in a way, I'm glad that I'm not surrounded by tabloid jingoism. What does the US need? I'd say a media infrastructure is important. Engaged reporters; talented commentators and analysts. I'm hoping for sweeps in the NHL/NBA finals, and for the US to sneak out of the group -- something that's more likely than I suspected, after looking at the group on a match-by-match basis -- so that the generic 'sports fans' can focus on it. Frankly, I'm glad that the game is growing organically, rather than through a bandwagon effect. Though it would be fun if Jim Rome were forced to talk about it as if he understood the rules.

posted by etagloh at 06:01 PM on June 08

Every time I even click past Jim Rome's show, suddenly my living room smells like cocaine and burnt hair. It's only a matter of time before he gets caught with a 12-year-old or a goat or something.

posted by chicobangs at 06:13 PM on June 08

Personally, I look forward to the USA going 3 and out. The bigsoccer.com spazzos need a serious wake up call.

posted by salmacis at 07:07 PM on June 08

boys and girls, it's time, time to watch the most exciting event in the WORLD. for those not interested, too fking bad, its on and there's nothing you can do about it, so shut the hell up and watch something else and don't bother us. we are ready for the games to begin, three games a day of world class futbol, it s awesome baby...no commercial breaks for 45 mins, come on, you gotta love it, unlike the stupid nba, which is the slowest game, watching the final three minutes is liking wathing the grass grow, painful. i like our chances in the group, it will be tough but i think keller will be the mvp of the team. go usa

posted by sauceysays at 07:09 PM on June 08

Not a real big soccer fan but the last time I said something negative about the world cup on spofi I got chewed out by everyone and thier mother. Being fairly new to spofi I found that alot of you know what your talking about and even though I dont always spell words right or use caps like some people like (TBH) I am a very smart guy. So, if the majority of you say world cup is good and worth watching I will watch. Besides nothing goes better with beer than sports! Go to a bar where some people from other countries are watching. It's impossible to not get excited. You'll like it. Also, welcome aboard, bub.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:37 PM on June 08

Personally, I look forward to the USA going 3 and out. The bigsoccer.com spazzos need a serious wake up call. I don't. It was funny in 1998 when Iran turned them over and they finished 32nd. What I want is for them to have a performance that accurately reflects their ability, and a result or two that make the headlines. Given the Italian tradition of One First Round Shocker, it might come with a huge 'home' support from the US military in Kaiserslautern.

posted by etagloh at 07:39 PM on June 08

i expect the US to be bounced out the first round.i dont like it but i have to face it...group of death...need i say more.

posted by stevenrb100 at 07:44 PM on June 08

Oh Jeez. I didn't know what you were talking about until I checked out the forums on bigsoccer.com. Ugh. This shit reads like the guy is texting everyone to come to a party on the Jersey Shore.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:46 PM on June 08

I want to dig soccer, I really so but for Americans what else is there besides the World Cup? MLS is a pretty much a joke still isn't it? Is the EPL televised in the states at all? One tourney every four makes it kind of hard to get into but because of good folks lie y'all I am game this year and will give it a serious shot. In regards to the number of fans, who really gives a shite (this is not intended as a a pot shot against the thread) I'm a big time NHL from thje states so I know what it's like to have your game shit all over but ignorant asses, it has never once diminished my enjoyment of the game. I found this site to find other hockey becuase I have only one friend on the island who digs hockey. Go to a bar where some people from other countries are watching. It's impossible to not get excited. I have two Argentinian friends who learned me a little soccer and you really can't help but get into with them over mas empenadas and tecates. The strange thing was that the teams didn't have names like a typical sports team, they were wearing soft drink and beer jerseys.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:16 PM on June 08

Oh man, the perfect thread to vent my spleen. And to an appropriate audience too. I am fucking SICK of these asshole websites like Boing Boing (which WAS on my daily visit list until the other day. I've now nuked it due to their attitude) who act superior because they don't care about the World Cup, and make asinine remarks at the expense of those of us who are. We're somehow idiots for caring about it, "so let's list a whole lot of things that are more interesting than watching soccer". You know what? FUCK YOU! I happen to love the World Cup. It shows that, perhaps, this planet isn't as fucked as it appears. it IS possible for nations to meet, on the pitch, and play a GAME. No politics. No violence. No wars. No oil. No bullshit. The world can come together as one to crown the world champion of soccer. I think that's fantastic, and gives me a little bit of hope for the future. How DARE you supercilious, odious little bastards look down on us for caring about it so much, as if you're so much better than us. While you're all busily whining about the latest trivial nonsense to hit the net, or throwing around buzzwords nobody gives a shit about (since it's almost universally geeks that are so vocal about hating sports), we'll be enjoying a veritable feast of something that matters a hell of a lot more than whether you think we're beneath you or not. We're know we're not, but if you want to delude yourselves, you go right the fuck ahead. You know, I pride myself on being a geek. Which makes the attitude of my fellow geeks all the more despicable. Sports loving geeks seem to be a rare breed. Apologies if this is a little off topic, but this has REALLY been making me angry, and this seemed like probably the best place to vent. 15 hours until the first ball is kicked... BRING IT ON!

posted by Drood at 08:27 PM on June 08

If you want to follow soccer in the US, you have several options. The main is Fox Soccer World I believe it's called now. (Was Fox Sports World.) http://soccertv.com/ That's probably the easiest place for you to see where all the soccer goes in the US. Of course you're out of luck now, as all the regular seasons are done for a couple of months now.

posted by Drood at 08:29 PM on June 08

Hater 187, MLS isn't nearly as much of a joke as you may think...It also isn't nearly as good to watch as Spanish or English or Italian soccer. If you get them, Fox Soccer Channel (613 DirecTV , 149 DishTV , varies on cable) and GolTV (614 DirecTV , 407 DishTV , once again varies with cable) show tons of these games. So you can watch those leagues without ever having to catch an MLS game. A good side to these games are the Spanish and Italian games are typically the Yankees of their leagues. The English ones vary, but all the teams are capable of playing beautiful soccer. Another plus is these leagues run for 40 - 45 weeks so there isn't much downtime like there is with American sports. Also ESPN2 carries Champions Leaugue games (which is a tournament open to all club teams in Europe, usually the best ones make it to TV coverage), but those games are much fewer and far between. There are more options available than you may think (provided you get the above channels, but most basic cable comes with them now).

posted by Ricardo at 11:19 PM on June 08

Is the EPL televised in the states at all? Yes. As Paul Mariner noted in an interview to Observer Sports Monthly, you can watch more of the weekend's matches in the US than at home, especially if you fork out for PPV and get the 3pm Saturday kickoff. In essence, FSC gives you the pick of Sky's lineup -- no lower league matches, no Primera Liga, but FA Cup, French, Italian, German, South American, etc. And Fanzone on Thursday nights. Plus, you get the Champions League on ESPN and Mexican games (in Spanish) on Telemundo.

posted by etagloh at 11:42 PM on June 08

HATER - FWIW, the attendance at MLS games is comparable to a swath of what you'd find in European football. Not up there with the regular attendance of the top clubs but 12,000+ compares well to most of the rest of European football. It seems.

posted by gspm at 06:49 AM on June 09

Also ESPN2 carries Champions Leaugue games I think I caught one of these last night (Chivas vs Galaxy) not sure if this is the same league you are talking about but it was on ESPN2. One of the guys on the Chivas delievered a sweet one-timer (or the soccer equivlent) and another goal was scored a mere six minutes later. I have no problem with the pace of the game but the ball does seem to get jammed up in the middle of the field quite often.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:19 AM on June 09

gspm: MLS attendance figures are a crock of shit. They count tickets distributed, which is just a way to paper the figures. A team can announce whatever attendance it likes, just by sending more tickets (whether wanted or not) to local youth soccer organisations or sponsors. Some teams are worse than others *cough*Metrostars*cough* but they're all doing it, so some degree. In England, the attendance listed is the number of people through the turnstyles, so there really is no proper comparison. BTW, the term 'spazzo' on bigsoccer.com has a very specific meaning. It refers to those loathsome "USA uber alles" cheerleaders, who happily proclaim that America has the best athletes in the world, or that America can dominate any sport it turns it's mind to, or get their panties in a twist over hilarious perceived "lack of respect" from foreign media. It really is quite pathetic to watch, and I for one can't get enough of it. Check out the "Dumbest Posts" thread on World Rivalries.

posted by salmacis at 07:30 AM on June 09

HATER 187, Chivas vs Galaxy was a MLS match. American soccer teams, minus the best players who are in Germany for the WC. Hope you enjoyed watching the match.

posted by Folkways at 07:49 AM on June 09

I did enjoy what I saw (Mavs vs. Heat and Yanks vs Sox last night as well so I couldn't watch the whole game) I am pretty unqualified to determine the quality of a match but what I saw was pretty exciting. My anti MLS rhetoric is just stuff I heard from the other kids at school.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:55 AM on June 09

I want to dig soccer, I really so but for Americans what else is there besides the World Cup? MLS is a pretty much a joke still isn't it? Is the EPL televised in the states at all? The MLS isn't up to par with English football's best, but it's a watchable sport, especially when the games are being played in front of a fired-up crowd. I'm enjoying FC Dallas this season. Get Fox Soccer Channel if you want to follow the EPL, the FA Cup, and other leagues. I saw around 20 EPL games this season, and I'm hooked. The best things about watching soccer on TV are the lack of commercials or the goes-on-forever overtimes. When you sit down to watch a match, you know you're not making a 4-5 hour committment with 1,000 commercial breaks.

posted by rcade at 08:10 AM on June 09

Attendance data on the English leagues and other European leagues for comparison.

posted by squealy at 08:37 AM on June 09

I should point out that England has 92 professional teams and a population of 50m whereas the US has 20 (?) and a population of 350m (?). I don't think these my dad's bigger than your dad arguments matter much though. In fact with the World Cup starting in two hours and my fortnight off starting in 45 minutes nothing much matters at all. :)

posted by squealy at 08:58 AM on June 09

If you like it support it. If you don't like it, don't support it. Wat the hell is the big problem?

posted by joromu at 09:28 AM on June 09

Nice. Drood - love the passion. Sometimes, I get fed up with the implied superiority in sporting taste, too - however, I often find those that express those opinions are desperate for other people to acknowledge that they're correct, since they don't want to admit that they don't get what everyone is impressed about. It's pathetic. (Note - must now never disparage NASCAR in thread. Hypocrite alert.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:32 AM on June 09

(Note - must now never disparage NASCAR in thread. Hypocrite alert.) posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 9:32 AM CDT on June 9 One down, approximately 13,000 to go.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:20 PM on June 09

NO.

posted by tommytrump at 07:17 AM on June 10

Thanks for sharing that insightful opinion, tommy.

posted by chicobangs at 10:39 AM on June 10

The Champions League games run almost concurrently with the English Premier League games Hater187. The final was only weeks ago so they won't be showing any of those again until September (I think but close either way). Most of the European Leagues don't play during the summer months (June July but they kick off sometimes mid to late August). I'm glad you enjoyed the MLS game you watched also. They really are starting to put on a decent show and hopefully we can catch up a little better to the rest of the world if for no other reason than we have a huge population to choose from (wonder why China doesn't do better). In theory, this should work like an AAAAA high school being better than an AAA one.

posted by Ricardo at 02:09 PM on June 10

you're welcome chico.

posted by tommytrump at 03:09 PM on June 10

The Trinidad and Tobago versus Sweden game is definitely not one of those games that is going to win over fans. I watched the first half of England's game today (first time in a while) and in my opinion Beckham is amazing. I hear that there are better players, and I look forward to being able to see that in the future.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:29 PM on June 10

England's midfield disappear in the second half of the game, so you were probably wise to stop after the first 45. The switch to the 4-5-1 gave Cole and then Lampard some space, but Gerrard and Becks were mostly anonymous after the break.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:08 PM on June 10

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