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European Football vs American Soccer

 cookestretchground European Football vs American Soccer

My colleague at the Champions Soccer Radio Network, Daniel Feuerstein has a very interesting take on what now seems like an age old question: Has Soccer arrived?  Much along the same lines as my column over the weekend about how MLS Cup garnered about one fourth of the total viewers the Euro final did on ABC, it seems something about the domestic game is preventing people from following it. Let me state this: I have about as little regard for MLS as possible. I saw my local team contracted by the league while clubs with less local support continued to play. I’ve seen a dip in quality in the league and fewer and fewer good young American players being developed in MLS. Unlike some fans I also believe MLS’ poor record in CONCACAF competitions speaks for itself. I happen to believe the best team in MLS would be in a dogfight to avoid relegation over a two year period if they played in the Mexican First Division, a league which many MLS proponents claim is comprable to MLS. I also enjoyed watching MLS on a weekly basis ten years ago more than today: not only did I have a local team to support but more players in MLS were part of their national teams and accomplished internationally than today.

All of this having been said, I again remain curious and disappointed that so many American born fans of the beautiful game  choose to totally ignore MLS and  focus on European football. Maybe its simply my makeup and my national pride/jingoism but I cannot truly imagine calling myself a soccer fan being American and totally ignoring MLS.

I believe MLS is an inferior product to most European leagues. However it is also OUR product. Take some pride in ownership, take some pride in being American. You don’t have to love MLS but to dismiss it and not even attempt to follow it is a disservice to the sport in this country. While we are at it, it is important to support USL and NCAA Soccer as well. The NCAA Final Four will be on ESPN 2 this weekend. This is a good chance to check out some young home grown talent and support the continued growth of the game here at home.

EDITORS NOTE: SEVERAL COMMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT ABOUT TELEFUTURA’S RATING BEING ADDED TO ABC’S TO GIVE MLS CUP A 0.9 RATING ARE MISLEADING. TELEFUTURA HAD LESS VIEWERS FOR LAST WEEK’S MLS CUP THAN THE MATCH A YEAR AGO AND LESS VIEWERS THAN TELEMUNDO DID FOR THE SPANISH LANGUAGE BROADCAST OF MLS CUP 1998.  BOTTOM LINE: MLS CUP RATINGS ARE DROPPING. 

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

10 Responses to European Football vs American Soccer

  1. Pingback: European Football vs American Soccer | Girls and Womans

  2. undrafted says:

    “I’ve seen a dip in quality in the league”

    debatable, the depth in the 90s was horrible and very few expensive imports were brought in around the time of contraction in 2002. I think expansion to 14 has caused some regression since the 10 team league of 2004 but it's a tough call. Guys like Burciaga, Nick Garcia, and Jim Curtin have seen MLS progress beyond their talent. Midfielders (but for DM's) have generally regressed in quailty the last 5 years. The strikers are a better at the top end but overall about the same. The GK's were building up a strong pool until the recent mass exodus (Pickens, Perkins, Guzan). I tend to measure quality of play by the weakest links on the field and those are generally better now than those from 1996-2002.

    “and fewer and fewer good young American players being developed in MLS.”

    I can't imagine this is true. Please provide some examples (in some sort of quantifiable list).

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  6. Cavan says:

    It's not. Adu, Altidore, Bradley, Rogers, Gaven, Bornstein, Klesjian, Boswell, King, Stammler, Franklin, Ashe, Parkhurst, and so on.

    There hasn't been a drop. Some games have been tighter because the tactics have gotten more sophisticated. Recently, Comcast SportsNet had all the DC United MLS Cup games on back to back. It was striking how much more time players had to make decisions with the ball back in the early games vs. the 2004 game. Considering that, the team shapes are far simpler in the 2004 game than what we saw this year between the Crew and Red Bulls.

  7. Cavan says:

    He does make a fair point about the TV ratings. They're clearly not where we want them to be.

  8. Jonathan says:

    I posted this on Kartik's other blog:

    I'm a naturalized American who likes football. I support the USMNT even as it got humiliated in the Copa. One thing I won't do is be a fan of the domestic league. I will spend my time as I see fit when watching football. IT is my free time afterall.

  9. Pingback: Chuck Culpepper’s”Bloody Confused”: A Bad Read for an American Football (Soccer) Supporter | Football Parade!

  10. Converse man says:

    I am from Boston, MA and have moved to Leeds, UK and I have to say the level of play is out of this world compared to the US and that is simply because it is a larger sport in europe – pure and simple however, with things like the world cup the USA should be adequate when facing the likes of England as the population is so much bigger it is like for every one good player in england there will be 10 in the USA

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