Essay On The Growth Of Soccer In The US

1705 words - 7 pages

The Growth of Soccer in the US It is apparent that soccer in the United States is not the most popular sport, but the growth of the sport in the US has increased drastically after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the US Men's National Team had a surprising amount of success. The growth of soccer in the US has also come across to England with Sky Sports (which is a TV network from the UK) gaining rights to Major League Soccer for four years allowing games to be shown all across the UK. All eyes have been on MLS, following the arrivals of former England captain David Beckham in 2007 and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. But in the last year or so, it has been dealt a bigger boost with 2013 expansion team New York City FC signing World Cup winner David Villa and Juventus legend Andrea Pirlo. LA Galaxy also signed long-time Liverpool and England star Steven Gerrard. It can be said that soccer in the United States has come a long way, but when will it be considered a top sport?

The National American Soccer League began play in the United States in 1968. Phil Woosnam who was commissioner of the league played a pivotal role in the development and promotion of the league. He secured the rights to ABC and CBS networks where it was made possible to show matches on TV. However, the company faced a couple of problems. Since there were insufficient homegrown players to fill the teams the signing of foreign players was a must if it were going to be possible to play. Foreign players demanded high salaries since soccer was already popular in many other countries.

With soccer only beginning in the United States attendance was very low therefore, not enough profit was being made. Changes had to be made quickly if the league wanted to become successful. In attempts to gain a higher audience, the NASL executed sudden death over time to guarantee no game finished as a tie. Those rules were put into place so that the matches remained entertaining. That was merely the reason the US was mocked by other countries. It was thought of by Europeans (where soccer is the most popular sport) that the US was inferior for having to do that.

One of the biggest moments in NASL history was when the New York Cosmos came to an agreement to sign Pele, the world's biggest star during the time. They hoped to bring in more fans with this signing. Many other teams signed big-name stars and attendance rose drastically. Unfortunately, Pele called an end to his career two years later and the league began to decline from there. The media lost interest, and TV deals were not renewed. The NASL came to an end in 1984, and by that time most franchises were lost. NASL's attempt to rise the popularity of soccer in the US cannot be seen as a complete failure, however. It was assessed that in 1967 there were around 100, 000 individuals playing soccer in the United States, and by the downfall of the NASL time that number had ascended to an astounding 4 million.

The 1984 Sum...

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