Soccer and mainstream

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Left Seater
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Soccer and mainstream

Post by Left Seater » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:02 pm

I just flew a charter recently for some of the local soccer players. The guys were all great and we enjoyed getting to know each other over the course of four days. Turns out a few live in my area and we have scheduled a tee time in two weeks.

My question to them and this board is what can be done to make soccer even remotely popular in America? Maybe a better question is can it even happen? I haven't been to one MLS game despite having access to free tickets both when I lived outside of Boston and here in Houston. I could go to games for nothing and yet always turn down the tickets. In fact if I had the choice of going to a soccer game or shopping with my wife, I would take the shopping since there is a good chance I can find a bar or chain rest. with a TV and some other type of sports.

Further I should be the one driving the growth of soccer in this country. I grew up playing soccer as a kid and did very well. I understand the game, played it for 12 years, and now have no use for it at all. I am certainly not alone in this as almost 10 million kids played soccer in 2000. However, participation level by HS falls to 665,000 combined men and women. So less than 7% of participants stay with soccer by the time they reach HS. This isn't because of a lack of programs, but rather a lack of intrest. Some areas in Texas have suspended their programs for lack of numbers. Further only 1 of the many Texas universities has a mens soccer team, SMU.

Here in Houston we have the two time defending league champion and they manage to get about 60% of their seats filled in a 31,000 + seat High School Stadium. Houston is bouyed by having many hispanic americans in the area who enjoy soccer. Without them where would attendance be? The fourth largest city in this country can't get fans out to watch a 2 time defending champ? Hell, the AAA Aeros of the AHL attract more people over the course of their season. We also have three full time sports stations, but you won't hear a peep about soccer on two of them, and on the other you get one hour a week.

What does soccer do to solve this? Sure the MLS cares, but what about FIFA, USA soccer, etc. Is soccer a lost cause in the US? Is it destined to be just above the WNBA on the radar? Just wondering and not trying to start a flame war.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:41 am

Wow, where do I begin...

First the MLS (and in turn USA soccer) needs to get the fuck over its elitist stance and accept that the NASL is here to stay, is economically staying afloat, and has a number of teams that are not only competitive with MLS clubs but are better in some imnstances. Look at the clubs in Charleston and Orlando and what they have been able to do to MLS clubs...

That leads into #2. MLS needs to stop trying to play the sport, format wise, as though it is baseball, basketball, or football. Soccer should be a one table system that rewards play throughout the season. Toss the play offs! That's what the flippin' MLS cup is for for God's sake! People who are against soccer are going to be against soccer regardless. We need to be cultivating the soccer fans that are already here and allowing the youth to acclimated with the real sport of soccer. MLS needs to be the elite level of soccer in America; what I mean by that is that it needs to be the top 20 clubs in the country whether they were originally formed as MLS or NASL clubs. The NASL needs to be the lower 20 and so on. They need to relegate and promote clubs after each term just like in Europe. There is no excuse for Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA who half of the NASL clubs could and do kick the crap out of in open compition.

#3 Do away with all these regulations towards clubs and the spending of their money. There is a reason that Americans are buying European teams instead of American teams and that is because they have the ability to be allowed to actually run them as they see fit. Euros see the potential in America and that is why they are ibnvesting in American clubs. Lets allow this to occur in a more fluid manner.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Left Seater » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:21 am

accept that the NASL is here to stay
Who? What? I consider myself a huge sports fan and with my job I am all over the US and sometimes the world and I have never once heard of or read in a newspaper about this league.
We need to be cultivating the soccer fans that are already here and allowing the youth to acclimated with the real sport of soccer.
The fastest growing league for youth soccer is this Fair Fun Positive thing. Parents, coaches, and the league can't/don't keep score or any standings. Hell some parents have been bounced from games for cheering too loudly when little Johnny socred a goal. Apparently parents are supposed to reply to their kids as such when asked who won, "did you have fun, that is all that matters anyway."

http://www.ffps.org

They need to relegate and promote clubs after each term just like in Europe. There is no excuse for Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA who half of the NASL clubs could and do kick the crap out of in open compition.
Honestly I think this would kill soccer in the US, except among those born in other countries and living here. The Tampa Bay Rays haven't been relegated and replaced by the Round Rock Express. The Houston Texans aren't in any danger of being replaced any time soon. Put yourself in the place of one of the current MLS owners, why would you ever agree to possibly being sent down?

Chivas USA
How many people even know where this team is located? Hell, how many people in LA know where this team is located?
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Left Seater wrote:
accept that the NASL is here to stay
Who? What? I consider myself a huge sports fan and with my job I am all over the US and sometimes the world and I have never once heard of or read in a newspaper about this league.
We need to be cultivating the soccer fans that are already here and allowing the youth to acclimated with the real sport of soccer.
Meant USL LOL, NASL is the league from the 80s...
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Mac22 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:24 pm

i think the FFP is what kills numbers for future players, since like AYSO it doesn't foster the competitive attitude. it's crap to say that at ages past 10 (even 16-17!) that everyone plays the same amount, no score, trophy for everyone, and sing kumbaya instead of the national anthem. you can't build high school or college programs from these players. the kids that play in these leagues then attempt to go on to the next level really aren't on the same level as other players, so they can't/don't play anymore, which is why the numbers drop so much.

sure FFP and AYSO have their place, but they are not the ones to look to in order to help build up the sport in this country. softening the game to appeal to everyone does not make the sport better.

my soccer experience started off in AYSO. we wanted to win. i guarantee all of our coaches (including a Lutheran minister) were there to win, and only appeared to seem that everyone played the same amount. i know that for sure, because i never left the field, while others basically kept trading places with the other weak players and the bench.


don't even get me started at how coaching in a southern border town where soccer should be king, yet gets no support from the state HS association or the schools, even though it's got more participation than all the winter sports combined.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by socal » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:54 am

The only way to get soccer into the mainstream is to sustain growth over the long term and get kids involved. Take them to games. High school, collegiate, MLS, USL, MNT, WNT, whatever. Have 'em watch games on television and get a favorite team or player to follow and become loyal to.

A more important question is how will the US field a competitive team in the World Cup?
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:39 pm

socal wrote:The only way to get soccer into the mainstream is to sustain growth over the long term and get kids involved. Take them to games. High school, collegiate, MLS, USL, MNT, WNT, whatever. Have 'em watch games on television and get a favorite team or player to follow and become loyal to.

A more important question is how will the US field a competitive team in the World Cup?
Three names... Adu, Altidore, and Faberhagen. American soccer is improving. It wasn't a fluke with our juniors defeating Brazil in the quarterfinals of the U21 WC last year. We dominated the pitch against them! Our future is brighter than people think.
BSmack wrote:I can certainly infer from that blurb alone that you are self righteous, bible believing, likely a Baptist or Presbyterian...
Miryam wrote:but other than that, it's cool, man. you're a christer.
LTS TRN 2 wrote:Okay, Sunny, yer cards are on table as a flat-out Christer.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by RumpleForeskin » Thu May 01, 2008 6:29 pm

I think the MLS is headed in the right direction. The CONCACAF is a great way to spread MLS's name into the Mexican and Central American Leagues. I think another thing we need to keep doing is playing friendlies with EPL clubs. Its a work in progress and the attendence is rising here in the states. MLS just needs to keep doing what its doing and it will start to stick to the wall. The one thing I do want to see more of is marketing of the young players like SCS mentioned. Altidore, Dempsey, Adu, and Faberhagen are world class talented players. The more we pump these guys up rather than Becks, the more interest we will draw from young kids.

Lets face it, its tough getting the MLS to stick because the 3 major sports here in the US have a stranglehold on the calendar. I do think they have the schedule set correctly though. I'm sure when the US squad ever makes it to a WC final, the interest will grow exponentially.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by smackaholic » Tue May 06, 2008 1:56 pm

I think there is one way to get americans interested.

We need to have teams that play in the european leagues. As long as play here is limited to what is basically double or triple A level, there will be no success. Start with a NY based team that plays in the premier league. It will develope interest on both sides of the pond.

You might also have an LA team that plays against latin american clubs.

Eventually there could be enough interest to have an american league, but, it'll take awhile.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Goober McTuber » Tue May 06, 2008 3:34 pm

Put it on Fox. Those folks can apparently sell bad television to a significant portion of the population.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by BSmack » Tue May 06, 2008 4:58 pm

SunCoastSooner wrote:Wow, where do I begin...

First the MLS (and in turn USA soccer) needs to get the fuck over its elitist stance and accept that the NASL is here to stay, is economically staying afloat, and has a number of teams that are not only competitive with MLS clubs but are better in some imnstances. Look at the clubs in Charleston and Orlando and what they have been able to do to MLS clubs...

That leads into #2. MLS needs to stop trying to play the sport, format wise, as though it is baseball, basketball, or football. Soccer should be a one table system that rewards play throughout the season. Toss the play offs! That's what the flippin' MLS cup is for for God's sake! People who are against soccer are going to be against soccer regardless. We need to be cultivating the soccer fans that are already here and allowing the youth to acclimated with the real sport of soccer. MLS needs to be the elite level of soccer in America; what I mean by that is that it needs to be the top 20 clubs in the country whether they were originally formed as MLS or NASL clubs. The NASL needs to be the lower 20 and so on. They need to relegate and promote clubs after each term just like in Europe. There is no excuse for Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA who half of the NASL clubs could and do kick the crap out of in open compition.

#3 Do away with all these regulations towards clubs and the spending of their money. There is a reason that Americans are buying European teams instead of American teams and that is because they have the ability to be allowed to actually run them as they see fit. Euros see the potential in America and that is why they are ibnvesting in American clubs. Lets allow this to occur in a more fluid manner.
Aside from your confusion between the NASL and the USL, I couldn't agree more. Though the homer in me is obliged to remind you that it was the Rochester Raging Rhinos who first bloodied up the MLS back in 1999 when they swept 4 MLS teams to win the US Open Cup. In fact, from the Rhinos inception in 1996, they more than matched up against MLS teams as they made the Cup finals that year as well.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Wed May 07, 2008 11:35 am

BSmack wrote:
SunCoastSooner wrote:Wow, where do I begin...

First the MLS (and in turn USA soccer) needs to get the fuck over its elitist stance and accept that the NASL is here to stay, is economically staying afloat, and has a number of teams that are not only competitive with MLS clubs but are better in some imnstances. Look at the clubs in Charleston and Orlando and what they have been able to do to MLS clubs...

That leads into #2. MLS needs to stop trying to play the sport, format wise, as though it is baseball, basketball, or football. Soccer should be a one table system that rewards play throughout the season. Toss the play offs! That's what the flippin' MLS cup is for for God's sake! People who are against soccer are going to be against soccer regardless. We need to be cultivating the soccer fans that are already here and allowing the youth to acclimated with the real sport of soccer. MLS needs to be the elite level of soccer in America; what I mean by that is that it needs to be the top 20 clubs in the country whether they were originally formed as MLS or NASL clubs. The NASL needs to be the lower 20 and so on. They need to relegate and promote clubs after each term just like in Europe. There is no excuse for Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA who half of the NASL clubs could and do kick the crap out of in open compition.

#3 Do away with all these regulations towards clubs and the spending of their money. There is a reason that Americans are buying European teams instead of American teams and that is because they have the ability to be allowed to actually run them as they see fit. Euros see the potential in America and that is why they are ibnvesting in American clubs. Lets allow this to occur in a more fluid manner.
Aside from your confusion between the NASL and the USL, I couldn't agree more. Though the homer in me is obliged to remind you that it was the Rochester Raging Rhinos who first bloodied up the MLS back in 1999 when they swept 4 MLS teams to win the US Open Cup. In fact, from the Rhinos inception in 1996, they more than matched up against MLS teams as they made the Cup finals that year as well.
The USL's teams in Charleston and Orlando are the more recent and why I mentioned them...

I really think the biggest problem right now is that the big money soccer people in America have invaded England. The Champions League may be all EPL but it's All American Ownership. :(
BSmack wrote:I can certainly infer from that blurb alone that you are self righteous, bible believing, likely a Baptist or Presbyterian...
Miryam wrote:but other than that, it's cool, man. you're a christer.
LTS TRN 2 wrote:Okay, Sunny, yer cards are on table as a flat-out Christer.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Dr_Phibes » Fri May 09, 2008 1:36 am

SunCoastSooner wrote: I really think the biggest problem right now is that the big money soccer people in America have invaded England. :(
You drop that comment in almost every post and I don't understand why. American ownership made up for the majority of four, now I think three premiership clubs. It's not indicative of anything, really.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Mon May 12, 2008 12:11 pm

Dr_Phibes wrote:
SunCoastSooner wrote: I really think the biggest problem right now is that the big money soccer people in America have invaded England. :(
You drop that comment in almost every post and I don't understand why. American ownership made up for the majority of four, now I think three premiership clubs. It's not indicative of anything, really.
Maybe because all four of those clubs are at or near the top of the EPL and two of them face off for the Champions league...
BSmack wrote:I can certainly infer from that blurb alone that you are self righteous, bible believing, likely a Baptist or Presbyterian...
Miryam wrote:but other than that, it's cool, man. you're a christer.
LTS TRN 2 wrote:Okay, Sunny, yer cards are on table as a flat-out Christer.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Dr_Phibes » Mon May 19, 2008 10:37 pm

So what's changed? They're not doing anything different now than they have been before with the exception of Derby, it doesn't matter whose money it is.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Tue May 20, 2008 12:26 pm

Dr_Phibes wrote:So what's changed? They're not doing anything different now than they have been before with the exception of Derby, it doesn't matter whose money it is.
It's the money they dumped into buying those clubs that I am reffering to moron! Not their performance on the pitch. Try and keep up with the conversation...
BSmack wrote:I can certainly infer from that blurb alone that you are self righteous, bible believing, likely a Baptist or Presbyterian...
Miryam wrote:but other than that, it's cool, man. you're a christer.
LTS TRN 2 wrote:Okay, Sunny, yer cards are on table as a flat-out Christer.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Dr_Phibes » Wed May 21, 2008 11:15 pm

So why did you bring up their position on the table? Do you think that if they weren't buying up shares in Manchester and Liverpool, they'ed be investing in the Columbus Crew?

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by SunCoastSooner » Thu May 22, 2008 12:37 pm

Dr_Phibes wrote:So why did you bring up their position on the table? Do you think that if they weren't buying up shares in Manchester and Liverpool, they'ed be investing in the Columbus Crew?

No, and that is my freaking point!

The real American money being dumped into the game is being tossed outside of the states. We need to change that some how!!! Jebus you're dense.
BSmack wrote:I can certainly infer from that blurb alone that you are self righteous, bible believing, likely a Baptist or Presbyterian...
Miryam wrote:but other than that, it's cool, man. you're a christer.
LTS TRN 2 wrote:Okay, Sunny, yer cards are on table as a flat-out Christer.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Left Seater » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:52 pm

The CONCACAF is a great way to spread MLS's name into the Mexican and Central American Leagues. I think another thing we need to keep doing is playing friendlies with EPL clubs. Its a work in progress and the attendence is rising here in the states.
While you are correct that attendance is rising, I don't see it rising across the demographics that will help make it a major fixture. The games here in Houston have been attended mostly by Mexicans. I don't mean people of hispanic orgin, rather Mexicans working here in the Houston/S. Texas area. These same people are not invading Robertson to support the dynamo.

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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Cuda » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:49 pm

Soccer is for fags, btw.

Just look how popular it is in Jolly Olde England.

I rest my case, imo
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Nishlord » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:46 pm

Yawn.
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Re: Soccer and mainstream

Post by Cuda » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:30 pm

My, Nish... your tonsils do have racing stripes on them

... or is it adidas?
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