With today's disappointment by the US National Team I found myself embroiled in another conversation about how soccer will never succeed in this country. It was the same tired arguments from the 90s that hadn't been bothered to be updated. The idea that the sport isn't succeeding here should be gone.
It can, and has been succeeding.
Whether it is recording setting TV viewership on ABC/Univision (18 Million +), passing all but two games of the NBA Finals. Or record-setting viewership on ESPN (6 Million ++), the fact is that more Americans care now then ever before, and the trend is continually upwards in nature.
Whether it is attendance that is up for MLS 2010 (+10%), while MLB is down (-2%), the fact is that more people are paying attention to a league that is at best the 15th strongest in the world.
Twitter was recently dominated by the World Cup and talk from the United States. So many times during the World Cup the social networking site has collapsed due to traffic.
Soccer isn't struggling to succeed in North America, it is only struggling to get people stuck in the 20th century to recognize that times have changed, while they have stayed the same. There is a rapidly expanding soccer audience in America, and media companies can choose to ignore it, mock it or embrace it. The fact is that since the soccer audience is younger, more wealthy, more educated and more likely to have money to spend than audiences of other sports modern media companies aren't going to ignore it, nor will the mock it.
We will continue to grow.
Sunday another soccer stadium will open. Just outside of Philly they will find out that 18,500 isn't big enough to hold the passion. TV Ratings in Seattle will be strong. And the soccer hater wll be an reminder of what sports radio was in its first two decades.