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jcs007's avatar

Why is soccer not as big in the U.S. as it is in other countries?

Asked by jcs007 (1776points) June 19th, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

kapuerajam's avatar

probaly because we are less cultured than the rest of the world.

jlm11f's avatar

you hit on the answer in your question itself : it’s big in other countries. we don’t like to conform to anything that the whole world believes in, be it the metric system or sports or the spelling of certain words (color vs. colour etc). sad, but true.

flameboi's avatar

you just made THE question, In the U.S. people is less passionate about things, and football (soccer as they call it) is all about passion…

jlm11f's avatar

@ flameboi – i disagree with your answer. Americans are crazy about american football, basketball, baseball etc. For many, it’s a form of religion. For parents, it is a matter of great pride and joy to just see their kids participate in any form of sports.

beast's avatar

We have too many other sports to be interested in. I know all my citiy’s teams, EXCEPT soccer.

Baseball – Phillies
Basketball – 76ers
Hockey – Flyers
Football – Eagles
Arena Football – Soul
Soccer – ??

Hell, I even know our lacrose team. (Wings)

jballou's avatar

Also, I find that Americans are usually interested in the sports that we either created or perfected so some extent. We are generally very good at the sports that are the biggest here. It’s all about what we can sell and put on TV and make money off of. And if we suck at Soccer, who’s going to spend money on it? And if there’s no money to be made, there’s no marketing/promotions behind it and without that, it’s not visible.

marinelife's avatar

I think the reason is that until the last couple of decades soccer was not played in school. It’s popularity has been growing in recent years at all levels.

Vincentt's avatar

Another reason might that American football (being American) became so popular. Since that is a little bit rougher, football might have gained the status hockey has gained in countries where football is huge (at least in the Netherlands): unmanly. Which is probably also the reason why the US’s female football team does so well.

There’s also a wikipedia article that might be interesting.

lefteh's avatar

Here’s my theory:

The United States is a rich country. Sure, we have a good amount of poverty, but in all, the United States is pretty well off financially.
Many other countries, particularly in eastern Europe and Africa (two areas where soccer is HUGE), are not so well off.
All you need to play soccer is something round — no bats, no gloves, no sticks, nothing but something round. In an area where you don’t have any disposable income, that’s probably going to be your sport of choice.

flameboi's avatar

You have your point, which totally valid, but you just said the word, Americans are crazy about american football, basketball, baseball etc, but then, is not about being crazy, is about passion, not other’s passion for something, but your own passion, in countries where football attracts millions of fans, you don’t see mom and dad going to the junior league, or encouraging the kids to join a team, its totally the opposite, mmm, what I’m trying to say is that it’s a passion not driven by others, its within…

Trustinglife's avatar

@Lefteh, the simplicity you mention about soccer is what gets me excited about Ultimate Frisbee, my favorite sport. All you need is a frisbee.

Ultimate is spreading massively, and I read a statistic that it is played regularly by more people in the US than lacrosse and rugby, combined (800,000 people play at least every other week). Part of what’s so great about the sport is how there are no refs – so taking responsibility for one’s conduct is built into the game. Makes it great for teaching kids about responsibility.

I just realized this is a total threadjack! Just sharing about my passion, hope it’s ok…

elchoopanebre's avatar

Because there’s not enough scoring.

You might say “but what about hockey!” and to that I say hockey is somewhat popular in the U.S. because of how rough and physical the players are.

Also, I somewhat second lefteh’s response.

Vincentt's avatar

@lefteh – no way. Football is huge in developed countries. Italy, France. the UK, the Netherlands, Germany – some of the biggest names in football, and equally or more welfaring than the US. And there’s Big Money there. The United States is really not more welfaring than a lot of other countries where football is huge, so that can’t be it.

Besides, there are many more sports that hardly require any attributes (even less than football, where you can still very well use good shoes, and the keeper gloves), but they aren’t as huge as football.

kevbo's avatar

A citation at the end of the page that @Vincentt linked to earlier links to a pretty thorough treatment of the subject.

A cursory reading seems to point to the fact that nations have a limited capacity for sports appreciation and that dominant American sports got their first, thereby excluding soccer for lack of “mental room” in the American consciousness. The other factor seems to point to the dominance of rugby over soccer in 19th century collegiate athletics, which led to the evolution of football as a dominant sport. (What seemed to give rugby an edge was it’s more physically aggressive nature.) The rugby influence can be traced back to English prep schools.

The paper touches on a similar evolution with baseball evolving from an English game called “rounders,” which was also favored in early college athletics.

lefteh's avatar

@Vincentt: I’m not suggesting it’s exclusive to poor countries, just that it’s more likely to be played in poor countries than sports that require more than a ball of yarn.

wildflower's avatar

Because if they can’t be the biggest and best at it they don’t want to play?

shilolo's avatar

@Elchoo. This issue of scoring is, frankly, bullshit. How many American football games end up with a 17–14 score (2 touchdowns/one field goal vs 2 touchdowns)? The fact that football essentially awards 7 “points” per touchdown doesn’t really mean there is more scoring (and yes, I am aware of the extra point/two point conversion, but these are not inherently difficult). So, taking away the point manipulation aspect, what you have is 2 “goals” vs 2 “goals”, plus a field goal (no equivalent in soccer). Plenty of soccer games end 3–2, or 2–1, which would, in American football scoring, be 21–14 or 14–7. Would that make it any different?

lefteh's avatar

Absolutely there’s a difference.
The difference is that there’s four increments of scoring in American football (extra point at 1, safety at 2, field goal at 3, and touchdown at 6) and only one in soccer. There’s a big difference there.

shilolo's avatar

You really think the increments make a difference? I think not. No one goes to a football game to see the kicker nail 3 field goals. What people want are touchdowns (goals) interspersed with violent hits. That’s it. Soccer has the goals minus the violence (for the most part) .

For example, my favorite football team are the Eagles. The average scores for their games last year (all 16) were 21–18. In soccer terms, 3 goals to 2.

lefteh's avatar

The kicker is one of the most important players on the team. If your offense is having an off day, everything rides on him. It’s up to ensure that every red zone trip ends with some points in the board. I think increments make a huge difference. You can get to the point in American football where you have to score a certain amount before a certain point, and it matters how you put your scores together. Two scores in football and two scores in soccer are totally different — if you score twice within five minutes in soccer, you’ve all but wrapped up the match. In football, you may have not even taken the lead.

rovdog's avatar

Beast- I don’t think we have an outdoor soccer team yet in Philly. It keeps coming and going. They are however building a new MLS stadium in Chester. I think the team will be callled the Liberty or something. Could be wrong.

We do have an indoor soccer team however that plays at the old spectrum. The Kixx!

Know your philly teams! You should go to game. It’s a good time.

Miss_Lys's avatar

i think because mostly i only see soccer commonly in Spanish and how can people watch and be interested if they understand them. But its in English too but we hav a lot of sports already and sometimes soccer is hard to watch for some people. Personally i love soccer and wish it would be more popular in the U.S but o well

SenatorBailey's avatar

because soccer sucks

Miss_Lys's avatar

@ senatorbailey- why do you think soccer sucks, just curious because my step mom wasn’t very fond either, i guess its different if you play. what do you have against it?

poofandmook's avatar

my boyfriend writes for Metrofanatic, which is a pretty big website associated with the Red Bulls (MLS), and MLS has caught on quite a bit in the last year. Probably mostly because of David Beckham (boo) but it’s moving up in the ranks. Slowly, maybe. But still moving.

ottosarmy's avatar

look soccer is boring and slow id rather watch a snail race a turtle, then you got one player touch another and he falls to the ground flopping around like he was just hit by lightning, after all the running around that they do for two hours the score is 1–0 YEAH! Americans watch sports to be entertained not to be put to sleep

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