Will America Ever Love Soccer?

In a YahooNews exclusive, Dan Friedman wonders, “Will America ever love soccer like Brazilians?”

No.  No, we won’t.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Peabody says:

    My Joyner is correct. Soccer has been ‘about to take over the country’ for over 30 years. We’ll get to it right after the metric system.

  2. Triumph says:

    These types of articles appear every four years. They are based on nonsense, straw-man arguments. It is a myth that “Americans don’t like soccer.” Millions of people play it and watch it.

    Hell, the first sell-out of a sports event at Cowboys Stadium was for a soccer game. Seventy thousand people went to watch the pitiful Angolan national team play in Houston last month.

    The problem with measuring soccer fandom in the US is that many people follow non-US leagues and don’t care about the MLS–although the MLS out-draws MLB, NBA, and NHL teams in many cities.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Well, the question was “Will America ever love soccer like Brazilians?” The answer to that is rather obviously No.

    Soccer is a popular youth participant sport for Americans generally and a popular spectator sport for the Hispanic immigrant population. Otherwise, it’s pretty far down the list. We’ve got the NFL, college football, college basketball, the NBA, MLB, and NASCAR — to say nothing of the Xtreme and pseudo sports — ahead of soccer here as spectator sports.

  4. Ivan says:

    The America of xenophobic racist soccer-haters is dying…literally…football/soccer is already America’s game; MLS, a baby league, already has a higher average attendance than both NHL and NBA. The World Cup TV ratings will go through the roof in the US over the next month…in fact, I can pinpoint baseball as a dying sport(a separate topic, but the writing is on the wall).
    In 10-15 years, the Jim Romes/Hannities of America will be gone. Forever. With rapid demographic changes, good’ole boy America is already gone. And we are better off b/c of that. Do yourself a favor and embrace the beautiful game…or not; I don’t really want Billy Bob watching football/soccer. Billy Bob, go drink your Miller Lite, watch your NASCAR, and wave your rebel flag. Your time is up, anyways…tick tock!!!!

  5. John Burgess says:

    Perhaps not as popular as in Brazil, but it is growing in popularity. It’s principal problem is that is doesn’t mesh well with American TV, though cable TV is making it work. Get advertisers to accept scrolling ads that run during game play, without obstructing the view of the play, and it could work better.

    I think the NFL will fold before MLB. I consider the NHL and NBA dead already and haven’t watched them in decades.