Now I know what you are thinking, of course, soccer is still relevant today. Children worldwide are playing in their recreational teams till collegiate hopefully wanting to go pro. However, it almost feels as though we aren’t hearing much of the soccer world in the news at this moment in time.
Well, it’s safe to say that soccer might even be shadowed by recent events. 5-6 years ago I feel like soccer was always headlining new articles, especially with Lionel Messi at the forefront.
The MLS: The Retirement home for popular footballers
The MLS’s existence at this point is a stopping place for the last leg of soccer players’ careers. Top-tiered athletes who normally compete at a high caliber, play in the MLS as if they simply just do not care to put forth the energy anymore.
Think about it though; David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are just a few names that made the jump from the European league to MLS. 2 out of the 3 players listed returned to the European league, maybe because the MLS wasn’t giving them the competition and excitement that the European league just provides. As stated by khelnow.com, “he [Beckham] scored 18 goals and made 32 assists in 98 appearances in the MLS.”
MLS players are partly to blame for the reason why soccer is not as popular in the US as it is in the rest of the world. Fans aren’t going to respect players of the sports when we don’t get to see the best of the best match up.
The main reason why soccer isn’t as popular is that most Americans care more about American football and basketball, and maybe even baseball. These sports bring in a bigger audience combined than soccer does in Europe. Americans glorify sports as “beautiful” but could care less to watch them.
Americans also enjoy the battle that comes with sports like basketball and football. Futbol is to elegance as football is to organized chaos. And with that organized chaos comes the views. Some may feel that fútbol is associated with theatrics like players faking injuries and that may be another reason why the views are low.
What makes fútbol and football different besides the dramatic flair in pronunciation, is the connection with the fans. Soccer clubs like Real Madrid have been around since the early 1900s. Fans have been given something to look forward to every week.
For some fans, it is their escape from reality. In Europe, soccer seems to be a part of life, one hears stories of how their grandparent’s parents used to get in trouble sneaking out of the house to play this “beautiful sport.” There are specific events in time that draw the soccer community together in countries like Europe rather than in America.
Although it isn’t as popular compared to most sports, the USWNT is drawing attention to the world and possibly jump-starting the rise of this so-called “beautiful sport.” Soccer might have taken the back seat for quite some time but its time to shine is coming …. Soon.