No matter which way you look at England’s opening game of the 2010 World Cup against the United States, the biggest winner will be the Premier League. Sure, the headlines will be focused on the World Cup but after the tournament is over, the long-term winner of the increased interest in this game will be the Premier League.
Each World Cup massive amounts of soccer fans are “born” around the world as they find themselves falling in love with the beautiful game. And with the June 12th game between England and the United States being center stage on a Saturday during an ideal time (2:30pm ET and 7:30pm GMT), the TV ratings for the game in both countries and around the world will be absolutely massive.
There are so many storylines surrounding this game, but here are a few more reasons why I believe the Premier League will be the biggest benefactor from this game:
- Over the next seven months, expect to see the American footballers who play in the Premier League placed under a microscope as pundits, commentators and football supporters will keep a closer eye than usual on Americans such as Tim Howard, Jonathan Spector, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and others.
- England and the United States have a love-hate relationship from both sides of the pond, so Americans will want nothing more than to beat the English, and vice-versa. This special relationship transcends soccer fans and is understood by most mainstream Americans who don’t follow the sport. However, expect to see an incredible number of sports fans tuning in to watch this game to see if the United States can defeat their former warlords. And for these new fans, expect them to be introduced for the first time not only to several skillful American players but to incredible footballers such as Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. When the World Cup is over, these new soccer fans may be more likely to follow the Premier League than Major League Soccer because of the accessibility of the EPL on US TV and the greater number of games shown on the box.
- The match between England and the United States is going to shine the media spotlight on the rivalry and may, if the reporters do their job correctly, reveal how many Americans are massive followers of the Premier League. That in itself would be an interesting story for mainstream reporters to tell and will provide the Premier League with even more free publicity.
- Some of you may not like this, but expect the England against United States match to renew the interest in the 39th Game. We’ll get to see how many Americans will turn out at sports bars across the entire country to watch this game. By seeing how many people are in love with the beautiful game as well as admirers of the English team (but supporting the United States), this will show how much interest there is and how bringing English club teams to Americans shores for a meaningful league game will be so appealing.
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