Monday, June 28, 2010
The United States and Soccer
I would agree with the assessment that the talent pool for athletes in the United States is better than the talent pool in Ghana, the big difference is the talent in the United States is spread out. The sporting landscape in the United States is different than in other countries. And in the United States the popularity of sports such as Football, Baseball, Basketball, and even Hockey stand above the popularity of Soccer. Sure, youth Soccer is huge and millions of American children spend their weekends on the Soccer field. However, in the United States when the top young athletes have to decide what sport they wish to pursue they gravitate away from Soccer and toward other sports that are more popular in the United States.
In other countries, such a Ghana, there are fewer options when it comes to highly publicized sports. In many, and would even say most nations the following for Soccer is much bigger than the NFL, MLB, and NBA combined. In these countries you attract the very best athletes that nation as to offer because in their world Soccer is king. The popularity of the game and development of talent in the United States is the best that it has been and is only getting better. I just do not see that shift occurring in the United States where soccer will attract the top athletes which is why the United States will never be an upper echelon nation for Soccer.