Greetings, readers. U.S. soccer fans will have to wait another four years to see our national team in the World Cup. They were eliminated yesterday by Belgium. The final score was 2-1. Since Major League Soccer began over a decade ago, the popularity of soccer in this country is on the rise. I doubt very seriously though whether what we call soccer will ever be as popular as baseball or football.
The rest of the world calls soccer football. It is the universal sport. The United States just isn’t that good at it yet. We come close to moving on in the World Cup every four years but can’t seem to take that last big step forward. Many years ago we either didn’t quality at all or we would play three games and not score a goal. This year we very easily could have won all three of our first round games. Luck just wasn’t on our side.
I predict by the 2018 World Cup, we will be a foe to watch out for. Major League Soccer will have another four years under their belt and hopefully by then soccer will have continued to grow in popularity in the U.S.
My dad taught me to love soccer when the family would go over to Europe. When I was a kid we would watch soccer matches in the evenings in the hotel lobby. Sometimes we would watch the German or Dutch national teams. Then other times it might be one of the smaller league contests. Pop didn’t care. He just loved soccer. A very happy memory of mine, when Dad was in his golden years, is when I recorded the 2006 World Cup games for him, so he could watch them whenever he wanted.
Years ago, our cable provider had, and may still have if I could find the right channel, the Fox Soccer channel, which showed games, highlights, and news of soccer 24 hours a day. Dad was extremely happy to watch that channel. He would watch the German league, the Dutch league, and of course the English Premier League.
Getting back to the World Cup, when … notice I didn’t say if … the United States wins the World Cup, we will be able to say to the rest of the globe, we are mastering your sport. I certainly hope it happens sooner rather than later. Young kids today still want to be baseball pitchers or quarterbacks rather than star soccer players. Progress is inching towards soccer, but we have a long way to go. As I close this piece, I make a prediction: The United States of America will make it to the quarter finals in 2018. If we are going to think, think big.
Until next time, enjoy the quarter finals, take care, and happy reading.