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Q: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: nautico-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Sep 2006 07:35 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2006 16:39 PDT
Question ID: 763388
Six months to a year ago an article appeared in the NY Times that
sought to explain why soccer has not been able to rise to the same pro
level as American football. It also looked at all the reasons why the
sport had, however, gained such popularity on the amateur level,
especially among pre-teens, which, of course, gave birth to the label
"soccer mom." What I am after here is not a recitation of those
reasons, most of which I do remember, but a URL citation or the date
of publication that would enable me to retrieve that NYT article. (I
do subscribe to the NYT online, but I've not yet been able to assemble
the right combo of search terms to find the article in its archives.)

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 08 Sep 2006 15:01 PDT
Hi nautico,

Since I do not have a NY Times subscription, and you say you do, I
cannot be certain any of these articles is the one you are looking
for. Please take a look at the following articles and let me know if
any is the correct one:

Our Towns; How We Took the Child Out of Childhood

SOCCER; For M.L.S., the Sport's Future Is in the Eye of the Beholder

ESSAY; We Return You to His Regularly Scheduled Childhood

Looking forward to hearing your views.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by nautico-ga on 09 Sep 2006 02:14 PDT

No, I regret that the column I remember is none of those you cite.

Clarification of Question by nautico-ga on 09 Sep 2006 12:04 PDT
Myorin, I concur with your analysis, as did the NY Times article we've yet to find.

Rainbow, thanks for that article.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA
From: myoarin-ga on 09 Sep 2006 03:22 PDT
Hi Nautico,
I know you want a specific reference, but can't resist offering my own
explanations, which may be interrelated.
With football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball (maybe also golf
and tennis), the market for professional sports in the States may be
saturated, both in the public's interest and that of the media.
Soccer, with its continuous play, is much less attractive to the media
and advertisers, compared with the other sports, since it does not
allow breaks for ads, thus not attracting as much advertising and
income.  This in turn lessens media income to the teams/league:  the
players earn less, international class players can't be
attracted/held, they cannot gain public "star" recognition since the
media don't give them star exposure.
The result is that professional soccer remains a second class sport in the States.
That is my considered opinion.
Cheers, Myoarin
Subject: Re: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA
From: rainbow-ga on 09 Sep 2006 06:49 PDT
After an additional extensive search, I am unable to locate the
article you are asking about. I did, however, find this from the UK's
Guardian Unlimited:,,1835715,00.html

Best regards,
Subject: Re: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA
From: pinkfreud-ga on 09 Sep 2006 12:32 PDT

I couldn't find your article, but this book might interest you:

Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism

A paper by one of the abovementioned book's authors:

America?s Soccer Uniqueness in the World: Yet Another American Exception
Subject: Re: NY Times article re why soccer hasn't taken hold in the USA
From: keystroke-ga on 09 Sep 2006 17:38 PDT
I think that the US has not embraced soccer as readily as other
nations because we don't have to. Many nations which are amazing on an
international level at soccer are poor Latin nations, such as Brazil
and Paraguay. All it takes to play soccer is a round ball of any kind,
a foot and a place to kick it to. You don't need protective pads or
any kind of uniform. In places where there are lots of poverty, soccer
can be a godsend as something to do. In America, however, almost
everyone will be able to find a basketball court (specialized
equipment that is a bit of an expense to put up) and a basketball if
they want to.

In order to play sports like American football, golf or baseball, you
have to have really specific (and relatively expensive) equipment.

I don't believe that soccer is not popular in the US because of
television concerns. Fast games like hockey are televised quite
readily in the US, with breaks created just for TV. This could easily
be done with soccer, also. If people wanted to see soccer on TV, it
would certainly be shown with the commercials charged to advertisers
as such.

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