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Americanizing Soccer for the U.S. Sports Fan pt. 4


The most popular reason that U.S. sports fans give for not watching soccer is its lack of scoring.  In order to attract more fans, a professional soccer league in the U.S. must, above all things, try to create more offense. 

Though many fans of the sport appreciate the skills, the passing, the midfield game and all the other aspects that make soccer ‘the beautiful game’, in the end, a league can not have success unless it concentrates on giving sports fans the opportunity to see more goals.  This is soccer’s reality and its dilemma in the U.S. 

For soccer purists and enthusiasts, a scoreless game late in the 2nd half is dramatic, tense and edge of the seat entertainment.  But, in order for U.S. sports fans to have similar feelings, they must first experience the offensive passion of the game. 

Fans will only get acclimated after seeing lots and lots of scoring.  After fans have been acclimated to soccer in all its wonder and glory, they too will find the awesome feeling of waiting for that first goal that doesn’t happen till extra time of the 2nd half. 

The average score for the other major team spectator sports are all higher.  Basketball is the exception because scoring happens frequently minute to minute.  But, for the other three, scoring is not elusive and is somewhat regular in its occurrence.  In baseball, runs are scored at more than 8 a game.  In hockey, goals are close to 6 a game.

Of all the team spectator sports, football (American) is the most interesting to analyze because of its unique system for scoring.  An average professional football game scores between 40 to 42 points.  Because an extra point after a touchdown is hardly ever missed and safeties in football are rarely seen, it is important to calculate exactly what fans are witnessing.  By using a formula that considers 1 point for a touchdown and half a point for a field goal, football is producing 6 points per game.   

Professional soccer around the world is averaging between 2-3 goals per game.  The American sports fans will never accept only 2-3 goals per game as an average.  Scoring must increase in order to get U.S. sports fans to the soccer dinner table.  According to how other major spectator sports in the U.S. are functioning, it appears that 5-7 goals a game is necessary to get the attention needed in order to be mainstream and part of the professional sports landscape in America.

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  1. Rony

    January 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Australian Open is near at hand! The other day sisters Bondarenko (Alona and Katya) arrived by plane in Australia. Last year they won in this tournament in pairs. This year they hope to conquer Australian Open once more. Millions of fans are going to watch their game. If you also happen to be a tennis fan and admirer of the sisters – enter the site of Alona Bondarenko!

  2. jesse

    November 13, 2008 at 5:40 am

    It is kind of ironic that this series comes on the same blog that has been pointing out how much better foreign football has done on television than MLS.

    Americans want football/soccer. They don't want a caricature of the game. If MLS integrated the best of South America and Europe here, then more people would like it. Every attempt to “Americanize” the sport here has resulted in abject failure.

    Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. This series of articles was a vast waste of time.

  3. Joe

    October 30, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I've been reading your articles and have one comment – NASL. Been there, done that over 25 years ago…didn't work then, won't work now.

  4. Cavan

    October 30, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Please tell me this series of posts was a bad joke.

  5. hal76

    October 30, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Worst series of articles ever.

  6. Pingback: sports » Blog Archive » Americanizing Soccer for the US Sports Fan pt. 5

  7. huricano

    October 29, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Should the goals be bigger? Would that make anything more entertaining? There is no fast fix. We need to develop domestic talent, and educate. It might take 20 years. This Americanizing is crap, we don't have to be Republican exceptionalists even in soccer, the world's game.

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  9. Pingback: Pro Football News » Blog Archive » Americanizing Soccer for the US Sports Fan pt. 5

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