If you blinked, you may have missed it, but this past weekend ABC showed two World Cup shows to get Americans excited about the World Cup.
The first, “American Soccer’s Ten Greatest Moments,” might sound like a joke to most readers outside the US, but much of the content was focused on the US women’s national team and their World Cup and Olympic medals.
The second show, “The Drive To Germany,” gave a preview of the US squad and included interviews with Bruce Arena and star players such as Kasey Keller and Landon Donovan.
The two shows gave us a taste of what we can expect during the World Cup. While the production value was good, the content was sugar coated to put the US team in as good a light as possible. No room for opinionated soccer analysts here.
Former US player Alexei Lalas hosted both shows and did a fine job. The pace of the shows seemed like a lazy weekend afternoon rather than the energetic tempo of a program such as the “EPL Review Show” from Fox Soccer Channel.
Overall, though, ABC is definitely getting better. They still have a long way to go before they’re totally respected by die-hard soccer fans (and that day will probably never come if they don’t allow counterpoints).
The question is, though, did ABC achieve their objective with these shows which was to get American sports fans interested in the World Cup and the US story? We’ll find out real soon!