The biggest international soccer game in the last 20 for the US team is not going to be on any English speaking TV network. The US vs. Mexico on August 12th will be broadcast in the US only on Spanish TV. The NHL’s deal with the Vs. Network doesn’t look so bad.
Maybe the Vs network was too busy covering the US Turtle Assoc. races to bother with US soccer. At any rate, any hope that the US performance in the most recent tournament has sparked massive interest in the sport can be put to rest. The question is with millions of young adults having played soccer in their very early life, why has soccer never taken off as a major sport?
The explanation is simple—we Americans don’t watch what we won’t win. In most of the world, the best athletes that a nation has become soccer players. Here, the best athletes play in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. As a result, we don’t win many international competitions. Americans don’t enjoy tuning in to see the US team get pounded by faster, more athletic teams from South America and Europe.
The MLS has done its best to try to tap into the adult population that played youth soccer. But it hasn’t worked so far. The best players in the MLS tend to be foreign imports. Even teams that do well in the league struggle to get attendance and sponsorships.
Analysis: I don’t believe that the MLS will be the key to US soccer expansion. The best hope for soccer in the US is that the Hispanic population coming from Central and South America will be the future of the sport. Those are very sophisticated fans and will not accept substandard quality play. They will watch soccer but it will be the MLS. It will be the Central or South American leagues.
In the future, the demand for soccer should grow. Maybe it will reach the level that the Vs. Network will be interested.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .