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Monday, May 22, 2006

World Cup Soccer...Hey, Hey Team USA

It might just be my imagination, but it seems that - finally - the United States of America has 'got' soccer.

In my real life (yep, I have one, honest) I have a lot of clients in the US of A and this time it is they - not I - who are initiating all the talk about the 2006 World Cup Finals.

I know that qualifies only as anecdotal evidence, but it is also true that the American media is far more interested this time around. There's been an ever increasing number of previews, predictions and commentary from major US sports news sources over the last few days and the whole thing seems to be gathering momentum. Check out this as a good example.

This can only be good for football..sorry, soccer...because, in order to truly make it the biggest sport in the world; the best athletes from the biggest countries need to be playing it.

Rather than choosing NFL or Basketball, talented American kids need to be playing soccer. The same goes for the Chinese and Indians. All three of these countries have huge populations, capable of supporting genuine top ten soccer teams.

There's no guarantee that having a very large population will ensure a successful team (Russia, anybody ?) but soccer/football is the biggest team sport in the world and needs the most skillful sportsmen playing it - no matter where they are from.

If the expansion of the game in Asia and North America is the only thing that current FIFA president/dictator/megalomania Sepp Blatter is remembered for, then it is an impressive legacy.

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posted by mark_s at 6:18 PM


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