Just to show you how hard it is for Soccer to be THE sport in the US - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-20-2003, 03:07 PM   #1
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Just to show you how hard it is for Soccer to be THE sport in the US

[q]Man Utd make low-key arrival for U.S. tour
By Stephen Wood



PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Manchester United have arrived for their pre-season tour of north America -- a trip described as the club's bid to conquer the "final frontier" of soccer.


United, premier league champions for eight of the last 11 seasons, have an estimated 53 million fans worldwide but are anything but a household name in the United States.


The club's board of directors, led by chief executive Peter Kenyon, hope the four-game, 16-day tour will help establish the United 'brand' in the most mouth-watering of markets.


But early signs suggest the behemoth that is Manchester United marketing may have met its match in the notoriously soccer-wary States.


Waiting for the array of multi-million pound talent at Portland airport on Saturday were 12 fans and one American television reporter.


The distinct lack of hysteria -- in contrast to their previous forays into the Far East -- made a mockery of the club's decision to secretly whisk the players direct from the plane to their downtown hotel.


When they do emerge they may notice the current issue of Men's Journal magazine on American newsstands -- bearing the face of erstwhile United midfielder David Beckham on the cover.


NEW AUDIENCE


The magazine introduced Beckham to their readers as "the most famous athlete in the world". Indeed, now the England captain has been transferred to Real Madrid, United will have to work extra hard to captivate a new audience.


On Saturday, the people of Portland were more consumed with a weekend of Highland Scottish Games and, although traffic was stopped in the city centre, it was for a parade of soldiers returning from war in Iraq.


Kenyon, however, has said the tour was never planned around an "individual player" -- Beckham -- and is confident United can make inroads into the American psyche.


He points to the fact that three of the four games, against Celtic in Seattle on Tuesday, against Juventus in New Jersey on July 31 and against Barcelona in Philadelphia on August 3, sold out within two days.


The crowd for their other match, against Club America in Los Angeles on July 27, could also top 60,000.


"The tour was planned on the basis it would sell out but to do it so quickly was a surprise and an indication we had got the planning right," Kenyon said recently.


The inclusion of new signing Tim Howard should turn heads. Howard, the U.S. goalkeeper, moved to United from Major League Soccer side New York/New Jersey MetroStars this month, although he will not join up with the squad until their arrival in New York on July 28.


With other new recruit Eric Djemba-Djemba also absent after being given time to rest following his exertions for Cameroon in the Confederations Cup, the only new face in the 20-man squad to touch down in Portland was Frenchman David Bellion. [/q]

such a contrast huh. oh well poor Man U now they are here they have to see that Beckham is exploding in the presses.
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Old 07-20-2003, 04:08 PM   #2
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12 fans is still an awfull lot considering we're talking about Man U here
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Old 07-20-2003, 04:09 PM   #3
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Old 07-20-2003, 06:41 PM   #4
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well I've heard the actual games have been sold out though.
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Old 07-20-2003, 06:55 PM   #5
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i was *am still trying* to be at the LA game this coming weekend. but my budget had another thing in mind for me.
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:16 AM   #6
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I wonder how many Americans are aware that your women's team is the best in the world? I'm not criticising....well, I guess I am, lol, but you're a very big sport loving nation and soccer is the biggest sport in the world...If you had even half the enthusiasm Europe does, it would make it an interesting game for sure.
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I wonder how many Americans are aware that your women's team is the best in the world? I'm not criticising....well, I guess I am, lol, but you're a very big sport loving nation and soccer is the biggest sport in the world...If you had even half the enthusiasm Europe does, it would make it an interesting game for sure.
The women's game is actually well covered. There has been numerous articles about drawing Sweden in the first game, and how, despite being the defending champions, the World Cup is going to be far more difficult to win this time around.

I really wish I knew more about this tour in advance. I would have loved to see a ManU V. Celtic game....ore even Juventas.

Someday I will get to see a game in Europe (maybe when West Ham moves back up).
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:29 AM   #8
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I'm sorry but to me soccer is so boring compared to NFL football. Running up and down the field in dumb socks, kicking a ball, oh boy. Of course I respect that the world loves it, but it has always been their sport and I just feel that in America once you've seen more exciting and strategic sports first soccer looks dumb and dull. In the US it's mostly for geeky little kids whose mothers drive minivans with soccer ball stickers and they usually outgrow it by age 12. I get so intense over football, but soccer just does not pull any strings for me.
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Old 07-21-2003, 01:11 PM   #9
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see what you say about international football is how i feel about american football.
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:06 PM   #10
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yep, you + 95% of everyone outside the US

American Football has possibilities
if they'd axe the ridiculous outfits +
didn't stop the game every 14 seconds

now that would be a game for real men to play
hooya!
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:18 PM   #11
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
Running up and down the field in dumb socks............
They actually wear shoes. Cleated ones. Oh, and shorts and shirts too. Its just that Nike commercial where the guy is running around the field in nothing but socks......the commercial doesn't really reflect what "International" football is all about.
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:41 PM   #12
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Duh I know they wear shoes but those socks look so dorky! I remember reading a passage from The Unforgettable Fire by Eamon Dunphy discussing how Bono and Guggi hated soccer as kids and made fun of the socks and the way other kids' legs looked running around in them.

The reason the game stops so frequently is because there is actual THOUGHT and PLANS and STRATEGY involved, not just kickign the ball wherever it happens to go. You have a certain amount of time, and if the clock runs out on you, there's a delay of game penalty. So you have to stop the clock with a timeout or an incomplete pass so you can discuss what you need to do next. Football is like war, you gain ground yard by yard, or are pushed backwards into your own territory. Each play must be planned and that's why there are huddles. Each situation requires a different one. Like, if you need 15 yards for a first down to keep moving, you know you are going to pass. But to who? Which pattern will he run? Who will block? Or do you fake them out with a dummy pass and hand off for a breakaway run? Football is just so much more interesting, but you have to understand what's going on first. I used to think it was boring when I was a kid, until somebody told me the rules and I was like, oooohhh!! I've been hooked every since, and oh the stress and worry and intensity as I live with every play! I also hate it when you hear of women and girlfriends getting fed up with guys watching it and wanting them to go to the park instead or something. What?! And worry about the score? If it's got you, it's got you, and it's a shame not everyone understands that.

NFL football
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:44 PM   #13
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so soccer has no strategy or skill?
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:47 PM   #14
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Not as much as NFL football. Maybe who to kick to, I guess, kind of like in basketball who to pass to that has the best chance to score. But it's not like the plans and plays in the NFL.

I don't want to have a war here, both sports have their loyal fans. I was just trying to explain why so many Americans care about Football and not soccer.
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:51 PM   #15
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not starting a war just a debate. interesting.

one thing i would never say about any sport that i am not of fan of is "it doesn't require skill or strategy" to play.
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