FIFA World Cup is now underway…I begin this post as I’m watching the opening match between Mexico and the Republic of South Africa. The scene is as electric as the hype has suggested it would be. Soccer is a unique sport, one that still doesn’t register completely with the rank-and-file American sports fan.
The question that is always asked leading up to the quadrennial competition – followed passionately the world over – is, “What will World Cup mean for soccer in the United States?” It’s a fair and logical question. But we feel the answer is not so simple. To be sure, there are plenty of Americans who really enjoy the world’s most popular sport. But, that hasn’t necessarily translated to love for the North American professional league, Major League Soccer (MLS). TV ratings compared to those of other “major” professional sports leagues remain inconsequential and attendance in many league markets is substandard. (more…)