Beckham, MLS, & the fate of football/soccer in the US - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-19-2007, 10:04 PM   #31
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The problem is that the MLS is just isn't an attractive league.

If the MLS really wants to win an audience here it will need to get its officials to begin calling games the same way they are in Europe (i'm thinking Spain and Italy in particular). I believe US soccer has shot itself in the foot because it has allowed itself to get swept up in the 'soccer is for pussies' sentiment and thus allows too much physical tackling and marking to prove that they are tough. But all that does is hinder the more elegant side of the game and keeps one touch, flowing football at a minimum.

I would start handing out cards left and right and start promoting players who can play the beautiful game.

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Old 07-19-2007, 11:18 PM   #32
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Commentators have a lot to do with the broadcasting too. I watched a couple of La Liga matches on GolTV, and I love soccer, but I couldn't stand how lifeless some the announcers were. Nothing is worse than an announcer that puts you to sleep.

But then again, you just have to grow up with it, I guess. There is no way of convincing someone who thinks it's a boring game, to become a fan. I wasn't in North America in '94 when you guys hosted the World Cup, did anyone even notice it was going on?!

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Old 07-20-2007, 12:42 AM   #33
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Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto
I have a solution.

Gus Johnson calls every MLS game.

It'll be a sure-fire success.
Beckham ... with the ball ... crosses up a man. And another. He approaches AND SHOOTS. NDHEPUTSITINFORDAGOHED!
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:48 AM   #34
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Originally posted by intedomine

Ah, soccer has already eclipsed cricket.

Attendances in Melbourne reveal a lot:

Melbourne Victory - Average of 27,728 for 06/07 season
Victoria Bushrangers - 500 to 600 people for 06/07 season

Soccer: Australia vs Greece @ MCG 2006: 95,103

But, cricket:
Australia vs England ODI @ MCG 06/07: 78,000
Australia vs New Zealand ODI @ MCG 06/07: 48,000
Australia vs England Day One of the Boxing Day Test 2006: 89,155 (so much for eagerley awaited!)

Participation rates:

Children playing soccer: 19.6% of boys, 2.9% of girls
Children playing cricket: 9.9% of boys, 1.2% of girls

Adult participation rate:

Men playing soccer = 4.4%
Men playing cricket = 4.7%


Women playing soccer = 1.8%
Women playing cricket = 0.8%

SBS' National TV audience for 2006 FIFA World Cup:

Australia vs:

Japan - 2.16 million (11pm)
Brazil - 1.53 million (2am!)
Croatia - 2.02 million (5am)
Italy - 2.28 million (1am)

These figures fail to take into account all the people who flocked to pubs and clubs and the big screens across the nation, a spectating culture that is alien to the stale culture of following cricket.

2003 Cricket World Cup Final:
* Australia vs India (mostly shown in prime time on a Sunday night):2.46 million

2007 Cricket World Cup Final:
* Australia vs Sri Lanka: I read somewhere that it never peaked over 1 million.

Cricket, in both a participatory and spectatorship sense, lags behind soccer in terms of appeal. Channel Nine have begun to recognise this, with their decision to no longer screen One Day Domestic matches and their increasing hesitancy to screen matches in the tri-series that don't involve Australia, and the impending scrapping of tri-series ODI cricket after the 07/08 summer.

Cricket is dying, while soccer is finally being recognised for what it always has been, as one of Australia's favourite sports.
Touche. But I still do not agree that soccer is one of Australia's favourite sports, and I think if you did a sample survey of cricket v soccer the results would be much much closer.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:06 PM   #35
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Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Yeah we need more rail cams right next to the pitch, and maybe Fox can come up with some movable superimposed line to aid TV viewers.

Yeah, maybe we'll come up with this new idea. It can be called the "glow ball"

I disagree with all the Americans here on why they feel soccer(football) is boring.
1. No ridiculous commercial breaks. This is what bugs me the most about basketball. For NO GOOD REASON the refs have to call a time out. I believe, that's called the TV Timeout. Soccer got that right in putting adverts on the top of the screen.

2. Once you figure out the game and its beauty, a good cross or a good thru ball that leads to a break away goal. Those get exciting.

I used to hate soccer too. Never played it when I was young b/c I hated it. No reason really. I just never gave it a shot. I think that is one of the biggest problems. But also, the only way I can watch good football is by paying more for the soccer channel or downloading games off the internet. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I didn't know you could download the games until this past winter.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:53 PM   #36
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i believe soccer is probably the second biggest sport in canada, already.

in today's winnipeg sun (gross i know), there was an article stating how ratings for the cbc's coverage of the U20 World Cup have been through the rough. the games have all outdone anything the bluejays or any cfl broadcast have pulled in this year by a large margin.

the cbc spokesman also said and i quote "soccer is clearly our second most important sport".

i think that speaks volumes.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:56 PM   #37
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Originally posted by LJT
They are trying to build the game from the top down...what about the grass roots level?
he game has a really strong grass roots following here in the states. That is not the problem. It need something to take it to the next level.

Pele playing for the Cosmos in the 70's brought some pretty good exposure to the game. The game hardly exsisted in the states (this may be an overstatement, but it really grew in grass roots termsthrough the 80s). The 1994 World Cup also helped, and led to MLS.

Now, Beckham is a "pele-esque" move for the MLS. In reality, I feel it is not so much a move to get MLS attention of the sports fans of America, but the corporate sponsors of U.S. professional sports world. In order for the MLS to suceed, it needs sponsorship.

Beckham will draw the attention of sponsors. He will also attract other international players to the MLS, which could elevate sponsorships and general awareness.

I feel it is not about Beckham making the MLS popular in American is about the cash for the MLS and what he can do for the exposure of the league in an international arena.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:02 PM   #38
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People will go to games to look at the skeleton he calls his wife
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:29 AM   #39
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Well, how would a MLS game ever be shown on a major network? When each half goes straight on for 45 minutes with no timeouts....where would all those annoying ads go? Stupid, but true and good point.

I go to every Columbus Crew game I have a chance to go to--I would have had season tickets had money not been an issue. I love the flow of the game...much more entertaining than football which is more of a stop and go task, as soon as that gets really exciting, it all stops!

At least Beckham have people here in the US talking about soccer, albeit in a limited sense. It could be a start. It's tell early to tell I think. What matters is what happens after people who are curious actually go to a game.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:03 AM   #40
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Originally posted by Hewson

Soccer lacks scoring, and lacks scoring chances.
and yet baseball purists will salivate over a 0-0 "pitching duel"
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:08 AM   #41
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Originally posted by starsgoblue
Well, how would a MLS game ever be shown on a major network? When each half goes straight on for 45 minutes with no timeouts....where would all those annoying ads go? Stupid, but true and good point.
The same way ABC broadcasts the World Cup games - with a sponsor buying a 10 or 15 minute block to have their name up on the screen right next to the scoring box.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:06 PM   #42
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Originally posted by toscano

and yet baseball purists will salivate over a 0-0 "pitching duel"
because its extremely rare, if every game ended 0-0 then that would get boring too
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:09 AM   #43
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His presence drew 66,000 to Giants Stadium, where the New York Red Bulls usually draw an average of 11,000 fans.

It was an entertaining game and I'm sure it may have converted at least a handful of people. Boy are they in for a shock when they realize that 5-4 games are the exception, rather than the rule, in the "beautiful game".

66,000 see Beckham lose first MLS start

8/18/2007 10:14:28 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - David Beckham made his first Major League Soccer start, Giants Stadium filled back up for soccer and the Galaxy and Red Bulls filled the net at a near-record pace.

Bringing back memories of the days Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia brought excitement to soccer in the United States more than 25 years ago, Beckham drew 66,237 and helped set up three goals as Los Angeles lost a wild one, 5-4 to New York on Saturday night.

Giants Stadium is nearly empty for most Red Bulls' games - the team's average of 11,573 for its first 10 home matches was next to last in the league. The crowd that came out for Beckham was the largest in franchise history and the largest there for a U.S. league game since the Cosmos drew 70,312 against Fort Lauderdale on June 22, 1980.

''It makes you feel great. It makes you feel honoured,'' Beckham said. ''And hopefully, it continues, because this is what this league needs, this is what this sport needs in America.''

Beckham played his first full game since joining the Galaxy last month and did it on artificial turf, no less. An injured left ankle had caused the 32-year-old midfielder to miss five games and come in as a late sub in two others. He made his first start Wednesday, playing 63 minutes in a SuperLiga match.

He limped at the end and his ankle was swollen, but he hopes to make his 97th appearance for England in an exhibition against Germany at Wembley on Wednesday night, then play eight time zones away Thursday night in MLS's version of a soccer ''derby'' - Los Angeles vs. Chivas USA in Carson, Calif.

''My ankle took quite a bit of pounding, of course. It's a surface that I'm obviously not used to playing on,'' he said. ''There was a couple of instances that I sort of went over on my ankle. But at the end of the day we have to play on this surface.''

It was the 10th time in MLS history teams combined for nine or more goals and just two shy of the record set when Los Angeles beat Columbus 7-4 on May 6, 1998.

''It was very different,'' Beckham said. ''I haven't been involved in a game like that since I was 9 or 10 years old, where there were so many goals.''

Fans showed some support for the home team, many booing Beckham when he took corner kicks and free kicks. But they also lit up the stadium with camera flashes when he took his restarts, and they cheered him when he left the field, shirtless, displaying his many tattoos.

''I don't think there's anybody in this sport than can sell tickets the way he can,'' Red Bulls star Clint Mathis said. ''You can't tell me that there were 60-, 65,000 soccer fans there today. There was probably people that had no idea of what the game was going on about. But that's the people that we need to continue to draw.''

Beckham set up Carlos Pavon for goals in the sixth and eighth minutes, first with a corner kick and then with a 37-yard free kick. After current U.S. star Landon Donovan scored in the 71st, Beckham's corner kick in the 82nd led the goal that made it 4-all, with Edson Buddle scoring after Kyle Veris' header went off a post.

''Every ball he touched was a piece of magic,'' New York's Juan Pablo Angel said.

But that wasn't enough for Los Angeles (3-8-5), which has lost three straight MLS games and is 0-3-2 in its last five. It was a miserable night for the goalkeepers, Ronald Waterreus of the Red Bulls and Joe Cannon of the Galaxy.

Angel scored two goals that raised his season total to 12, getting the first of the game in the fourth minute and breaking a 4-4 tie in the 88th. Jozy Altidore, a 17-year-old whose play should soon get him a callup to the U.S. national team, scored in the 49th and 70th minutes for the Red Bulls, raising his season total to seven. Mathis scored in first half-injury time goal for New York (10-7-3).

''I'm never going to forget a game like this. It was really an amazing feeling,'' said Altidore, playing in front of a big crowd for the first time.

Bringing what he termed ''glamour and glitz'' to a sport in desperate need of both in the United States, Beckham was the centre of attention, clearly visible in white boots. The crowd displayed a soccer shop full of jerseys and while there were plenty of Beckham Galaxy shirts, there were just as many England jerseys in the stands.

It was a rare night of attention for the Red Bulls.

''We've struggled in this marketplace,'' New York coach Bruce Arena said. ''It's our job when people to show up to try and give them a reason to come back. So, hopefully, we converted a few people tonight.''

Mathis wants the crowds to keep coming.

''This is how it is in Europe. We should expect to have 60,000 every single game,'' he said. ''I don't care if we're playing David Beckham or the Kansas City Wizards. It should be like that every single game.''

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Old 08-19-2007, 01:29 AM   #44
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I guess the US isnt used to people not hitting each other and having rough sports, maybe not the reason why the MLS isn't getting exactly as much viewers as wanted..
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:15 AM   #45
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Originally posted by tpsreports2424
I guess the US isnt used to people not hitting each other and having rough sports, maybe not the reason why the MLS isn't getting exactly as much viewers as wanted..
Baseball is a non-contact sport that puts a premium on carefully practiced skills rather than raw athletic ability, and it is the US's national pastime.

It's just not realistic for people to expect MLS to be transformed overnight into a top league that can compete with the European leagues. To get to that level, you need top players. To get top players, you need money. To get money, you need fans. To get fans, you players. So progress is going to be very gradual.

Right now MLS is a second-rate league that eventually sends its best players (Brian McBride, Claudio Reyna, Brad Friedel, Tim Howard, and now Freddy Adu) overseas. While we'd like MLS to be a higher quality league, right now that's not such a bad place to be.

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