If you know anything about the United States, you know that we love our sports. In fact, our professional athletes make so much money it’s ridiculous.
Our athletes dominate at sporting events, whether it is basketball, swimming or the Olympics. Our athletes are so impressive, other countries find themselves trying to dominate the sports we could care less about, like curling.
Used to the fútbol craze was that of another country, but this year’s U.S. soccer team and the World Cup in Brazil is slowly making its way into the hearts of Americans.
I played a little soccer growing up. It was actually one of the few sports I played that I actually enjoyed. I wasn’t tall enough for basketball. I didn’t have enough hand-eye coordination for softball. But years of ballet made me good on my feet.
After I quit playing soccer, I was licensed to referee. Reffing wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t care for the rowdy parents. But playing soccer and knowing the rules helped when I had to cheer at games in high school.
Growing up on the border, soccer was so very popular. At the end of practice we would play World Cup and scrimmage our way to the championship.
It’s interesting to me that a majority of Americans do not know the first thing about the world’s most popular sport.
The sport still struggles with popularity, and though the U.S. teams have been mediocre, Americans seem to not be interested in the game itself, but just winning.
Soccer isn’t a fast-paced sport, and that may be why it fails to meet the eye of the entertainment demanding American. Though, when the World Cup appears on TV, every American cheers their team on even though the only thing they know about the sport is screaming the word “goal” like a lunatic.
Maybe this time will be the time. Maybe soccer will stick in the minds of Americans when there’s not a global competition. Maybe it’ll quickly fall away like it has time after time in the “dead season.”
Maybe it’s not the sports that Americans actually enjoy. Maybe it is the speed of the player, the glamour of the score and the thrill of the win.