I disagree about soccer not making headway inthe US. anyone who follows soccer at all levels here would know that.
Let me just qualify that, ChrisM. I have spent the last 20 years in the US being involved with youth soccer (which I play and love and understand more than cricket), first while playing in college and later in life as a coach for community teams. So having seen many kids play at many levels from pre-kindergarden to youth travel teams to high school to college, I have gotten a good look at how soccer has progressed since I got here. I think the kids in this country who are good players are as good as any in the world. Even if they aren't, they are not that far behind.
When it comes to professional soccer, yes, the leagues here are not that developed. But you have to look at the wave of immigration from soccer playing countries - the Hispanic population alone will ensure that soccer remains a major sport in the US. I don't think it has to surpass baseball, basketball, football to be viable.
But the main reason for my belief is the quality of play I see from pre teen and teenage kids week in and week out. This weekend, we are driving 90 miles one way for a match on Saturday, and then again for a second game on Sunday for my son's travel team - and these are just league matches. If there was no enthusiasm for the sport, no one would be crazy enough to do that.
ps I know one player here and there doesn't mean much, but have you seen the new Manchester United defender, Jonathan Specter? Well this kid was playing high school soccer in a chicago suburb last year - now he's at Old Trafford and from what i saw in the United/Bayern game in Chicago, he's ready to take over in that suspect United defense. If the Us had a farm system like they do in England or in Italy, there would be a phenomenal number of these kids going pro right after high school.
Edited on, September 11, 2004, 9:27 AM GMT, by rafiq.
Reason: mor clarification
Edited on, September 11, 2004, 9:39 AM GMT, by rafiq.