Monday, June 21, 2010

Is the U.S. Finally Getting Interested?

A nice take on the controversy surrounding the waved off goal in the U.S.'s match last Friday.  Perhaps Americans are finally getting fired up about soccer.

Thank you, Koman Coulibaly
by Paul Kennedy, June 19th, 2010 12:55AM

[MY VIEW] There is a positive to Koman Coulibaly's blown call that cost the USA a win over Slovenia. He accomplished what no one else could in more than 100 years. He made Americans care passionately about soccer.

Talk shows throughout the day and evening led with the Coulibaly's call that negated Maurice Edu's call --  ahead of second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament, reaction to Game 7 of the NBA finals, and baseball.

It didn't matter that just about everyone knew nothing about soccer or the World Cup or Coulibaly -- where's Mali? -- they all had an opinion on the game and soccer and FIFA.

Much of the anger was directed at FIFA, which now has a big problem on its hands because it is perceived as a joke in the one country where it needs for soccer to take hold.

It would have been one thing if Coulibaly's call had cost the USA a 1-0 win, but the call cost the USA a historic comeback victory over Slovenia.

Only a couple of days earlier, these same talk show hosts and fans -- the neophytes -- were ready to give up on the World Cup, which could never possibly live up the hype of the ESPN promotional machine tournament.

The World Cup was oversold and underdelivered with a string of low-scoring and frankly boring games

The second-half comeback from 2-0 down drew all these neophyte fans into the U.S. team, the World Cup and soccer.

They were hooked, and they felt robbed.


Rastaman said...

Here is a follow up...

Anonymous said...

What we need to realize is that the popularity of soccer has nothing to do with how many people like it. It has to do with the fact that the TV networks do not like it because it does not offer enough opportunities to advertise. Unless someone invents a way to make a profit from broadcasting soccer games, the sport will never become popular in the USA,
George A. Marquart