We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.
See that's the other problem. Average Americans are more likely to hear "Chelsea" and see
As long as the "best" American players are internationally mediocre and have to travel to foreign countries to "achieve", I don't think Americans will view soccer, nationally, as a viable high level sport. Our national zeitgeist is such that, perhaps as a relic of the pan-generational cold war competition with the soviets, in which our very system of life was on trial in every international competition, we have to be the best.
Americans can't/won't do second fiddle.
Freddy Adu, Ghanian-born
He has matured incredibly this past year. At 17, he is maybe the most technically gifted player in MLS.
I think you're right, Ochre. I don't think soccer will become a mainstream professional sport in America; at least not in our lifetimes.
The required upward mobility of American talent to Europe is so important and set in stone to progress ones career both from a skill and economic viewpoint... it is next to impossible to expect anything different for a long time.
You mean like France:
On the 2006 French national soccer team, 17 of the 23 players were members of racial minorities, including many of the most prominent players. The team features players from the overseas departments and players who are themselves immigrants or the children of immigrants from former French colonial possessions. Among them, Zinédine Zidane, William Gallas, Nicolas Anelka and Franck Ribéry are Muslims; Zidane is the child of immigrants from Algeria; Lilian Thuram, William Gallas and Thierry Henry are all of Antillean origin, the first two coming from the overseas department of Guadeloupe and Henry the child of parents born in Guadeloupe and Martinique; Anelka's parents originate from Martinique; Florent Malouda was born in French Guiana; Patrick Vieira immigrated as a child from Senegal.
Random thoughts here:
Hey, if you're an import society, then import some sporting talent along the way. It's not like the sport of baseball wasn't built on the backs of players straight out of the immigration pool.
Flopping sucks and FIFA ought to get tougher on it. Perhaps they could take the penalty box concept from hockey and send anyone who takes an egregious flop into it for five minutes of game time.
In addition to the EPL, the flopping isn't so bad in La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France) or Der Bundesliga (Germany) either. Italy, Portugal and Holland seem to be the homes of fall down football these days. I'm partial to La Liga -- did anyone catch that Real Madrid-Barcelona contest last weekend? That was some serious beautiful game.
Until they start making golf a timed event with penalty laps for bogeys and time bonues for coming in under par, it won't be a sport.
Soccer's kind of sneaking into our cultural landscape. Note the "Jose, Jose, Jose" chants of Mets fans and the drum section at A's games. My guess is in the coming years savvy sports franchises are going to encourage their fans to adopt the high energy fanaticism of soccer fans.
MLS has become a decent league, but it's no longer the bargain it used to be in my neck of the woods. That's too bad because it affects the "bring your kids" market that the league should be courting.
My guess is the next breakthrough moment for soccer in the U.S. will be when a U.S. player goes overseas and stars there. Thanks to Fox Soccer Channel and other channels like it, a lot of folks back here will get to see it. Maybe it will be Freddy Adu or Lee Nguyen or Clint Dempsey. It's too bad goal keepers don't grab more attention because Everton, Reading and Blackburn are all having solid seasons in the EPL in no small part thanks to American keepers. How's that for irony? The least subtle nation on the planet and the first impact players we produce in soccer play in the net. Though Bobby Convey, Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra are all playing well in the EPL too.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
That was part of what I was getting at too, but in re-reading I obviously didn't state it explicitly. Every successful major professional sport that "works" in America crowns it's champion "World Champion". And even though there is a plurality of non-US players in Hockey, some of the very good ones are. Again, I don't think that could be said for soccer at this point. McBride, Reyna and a couple of Goalies are the only ones I can think of as having recently been affective in top tier oversees professional play.
Though it would force a team into a defensive shell for five minutes and football don't lack for ego, they want to be on the pitch. I'm guessing having to watch the game for a spell would drive most guys crazy.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
If a player goes down, and a trainer comes on the pitch, they are supposed to be taken off by stretcher and administered to on the sidelines while the game gets restarted. They can not enter the game again until the official allows them back...which is usually the first stoppage.
But for some reason this rule stopped being enforced, and the "flopper" gets to walk of his "injury" on the field.
I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.