Let me start out by saying I’m a soccer guy. I love the sport. My Dad introduced me to the sport as one of my first coaches. I have played and coached at many levels and my passion for the game is a strong one.
Yesterday, we had a World Cup Party at our home. We invited my U10 Clarence Inferno players and their families over to watch the US vs. Portugal World Cup match. I didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone watch the game or socialize outside on our patio with such a picture perfect weather day in Buffalo?
The game was exciting! The US team fell a goal behind very early in their contest. Uh oh, I thought so much for our guests interest in watching the rest of the match.
Boy was I wrong! All 50 of our guests were glued to the TV hooting and hollering with every exciting moment.
They were far from seasoned soccer fans but what surprised me most were all of their questions they were asking about the beautiful game.
How many substitutions are allowed?
Why does the sideline official hold up a sign during a substitution?
Why does the game clock start with zero and go up?
Why do they add extra time at the end of a half and towards the end of a match?
All great questions that I was more than happy to answer! They wanted to learn all they could. I was thinking to myself that 20-30-40 years ago it seemed nobody cared. The numbers back up my assessment.
US Youth Soccer Annual Registration of Players
1974 – 103,432
1980 – 810,793
1985 – 1,210,408
1990 – 1,615,041
1995 – 2,388,719
2000 – 3,020,442
2005 – 3,050,465
2007 – 3,123,698
2008 – 3,148,114
2009 – 3,094,868
2010 – 3,036,438
2011 – 3,025,551
2012 – 3,020,633
Today, we have Americans that have been exposed to the sport generic nolvadex. These Americans are now interested in following not only the US National Team but are now a part of a very successful Major League Soccer. The league is growing and expanding in cities across the US and has just recently signed a very healthy TV rights deal. International powerhouse franchises such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Milan, Roma and Juventus are all seeing dollar signs in this untapped market as they agree to play matches in sold out US stadiums for exposure. It’s great to see!
You know that tired old narrative about how Americans will never watch soccer, how they find it dull and incomprehensible and prefer homegrown sports? It’s finally, definitively dead.
“More Americans Watch the World Cup Than the World Series”
According to the overnight TV ratings and Mashable.com, “Sunday’s thrilling USA v Portugal game won more than 25 million viewers in the U.S. — despite the fact that it was only to be found on cable networks ESPN and Univision. Not only was that an all-time record for a soccer match, it also beat the average viewership for the 2013 World Series by 10 million viewers.”
Personally, I love coaching kids! It’s a way for me to give back to the beautiful game that has taught me so many life lessons and is finally getting the attention it deserves in America.