Americans should keep up the passion for soccer post-World Cup

World Cup Soccer fans watch the USA team against Germany on a big screen in Grant Park. Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media
World Cup Soccer fans watch the USA team against Germany on a big screen in Grant Park. Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Soccer is a growing sport in America and the 2014 World Cup showed that. The US team was eliminated in the round of 16, which obviously isn’t the ideal outcome but it’s respectable, especially considering that they advanced farther than Spain, the defending champions. President Obama even personally called and talked to the captain of the US squad, Clint Dempsey, and the heroic goalkeeper, Tim Howard.

However, while soccer is becoming more and more popular in America, many Americans can’t seem to shake the idea that soccer is a “boring” sport. Ann Coulter, a political commentator, said that “[she] has held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of an average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone.” She then went on to say that “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.” Her logic was a bit off with these statements because a soccer game lasts 90 minutes while most NFL, NHL and MLB games take upwards of two hours to come to completion.

Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide and it is baffling how many Americans have still not been able to accept the beauty of the sport. While America does have a professional soccer league, the MLS, the level of play in the MLS is nowhere near as good as in any of the European leagues. During the World Cup it seemed as though America was starting to become involved with soccer but as soon as the cup ended, all enthusiasm for the sport seemed to vanish from the country. Even though soccer has a large presence in America, it hasn’t been able to become as popular as it has in other countries.

Soccer is one of the world’s greatest pastimes and the world’s most popular sport. Instead of soccer becoming popular every four years when the world cup is played, Americans should always be as passionate about soccer as they are during the World Cup and if so, the sport could really develop and become a dominating American pastime.

— Henry Sheffield, high school junior, Lake Bluff

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