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Soccer: the "other" football's growing status in America

Updated on May 26, 2009

Around the world, the well-loved game of football is played with a round black and white ball. In the United States, however, soccer (the American term for this international game) is trumped by American football. Soccer is making a comeback as an American sport, though.

Major league soccer, started a little over 10 years ago, already has fourteen professional teams. That is only two less than either of the football conferences. Most of the teams are located in the East and Southwest regions of the U.S. There is talk of forming teams in other regions of the country, but it is being met with resistance from people who think that soccer is overrated.

Practically every schoolchild in America learns to play soccer as part of the physical education curriculum. Most high schools have both a boys' and girls' soccer team. There are almost as many colleges with soccer teams as with football or baseball teams. So, why is there so much resistance to professional soccer teams?

First of all, soccer and football are generally played in the same season. There are summer soccer leagues, but it is most often a fall sport. The reason that football and baseball games are so well-attended is that they are played in opposite seasons. Fans of football can go to baseball games, and vice versa. Soccer fans have to choose between watching soccer and watching football during the same season. For games on tv, this can be solved by recording the game and watching it later. Most fans, however, like to watch their favorite teams live. This creates conflict. As football is considered more of a mainstream sport, it often wins fans over soccer if they have to choose which game to attend.

Secondly, since most of the soccer teams are located in certain regions of the U.S., if a fan from the Northwest, Southeast, or Midwest (with the exception of Chicago) wants to attend a game in person, they need to travel a long distance to get there, spend more money on hotel and gas than they do on a ticket, and usually take time off from work. These are all major drawbacks, especially in this economy.

Die-hard soccer fans will still watch soccer on tv if they have a cable channel that shows it, or go to a local bar to watch their team. If that is not an option, or even if it is, they will go cheer on their local college soccer team.

If there were more venues for professional soccer in America, these fans would turn out in droves to cheer the new teams on. The games could be scheduled so there would not be conflicts with major football games in the regions, which would allow football fans the opportunity to come to a soccer game or two to see how they like it. Considering how well-followed international soccer/football is, giving it a chance in more regions of America makes sense.

Are you a soccer fan?

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    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Voted up! Soccer is true football, and it is the beautiful game. I am glad it is making inroads in America. We have first hand knowledge of this as we were posted there for 6 years and our son learned to play the sport there. Played in one of the travel leagues in Northern Virginia and we would go to the DC United games. Here's hoping for the further success of the MLS and of the growth of soccer in the United States.

    • profile image

      Todd228 

      7 years ago

      Nice hub! We just got a new lower division USL team here. Word is starting to spread. There are long term plans to have something built for them here. Soccer is growing slowly but surely as many of us who played as kids are grown up and are still fans.

    • profile image

      Office Bags 

      7 years ago

      I appreciate your post, i learn few things in this post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

      office bags

    • Jordan Riley profile image

      Jordan Riley 

      7 years ago

      Fantastic information that you have presented. Will check out your other hubs

    • profile image

      David Marks 

      7 years ago

      soccer is my favorite sport and I think this is the best sport for youngster.

    • profile image

      ryankett 

      9 years ago

      Good hub. I am from England, so 'soccer' is my only football! feel free to check out my own footy hubs if you get a chance, I've joined your fan club.

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