Cumberland Times-News

Columns

July 6, 2014

U.S. loss on World Cup pitch was a win back home

(Continued)

The World Cup was pure fun.



The question becomes whether U.S. soccer can build upon that interest, or if the game returns to hibernation until the next World Cup rolls around in 2018? There’s no way to maintain the current fever, but soccer needs to devise marketing strategies on how to grow its base.



Where do we, as fans, turn? To the men’s and women’s professional leagues? To leagues overseas? To college soccer?



It’s apparent that soccer has a serious fan base among young people - and not just males. Women of all ages rooted on the American team.



This stands in stark contrast to a moment I recall from years ago, as soccer was being introduced into the amateur sports scene. The sport was met with disdain - especially from those running youth football. Bumper stickers appeared around town that read: “Soccer is a foreign disease.”



Not only was there resistance to the introduction of a new sport, it was under attack by a generation that saw it as a threat to a valued American tradition – that other game called football.



That episode may serve as an example of how attitudes change, however gradual as it may be.



Part of the explanation for our reluctance or resistance to adopting a new sport may rest with this country’s isolation from much of the rest of the world. Oceans do more than separate us geographically; they’ve kept us apart culturally.



But a wave of technology, via the Internet and social media, have brought us together in ways previously unimaginable. Soccer seems poised to benefit from emerging possibilities. And who better than youth — the new audience - to adopt a new way of doing things?



Old barriers to soccer are coming down. It’s clear that the U.S. men’s national team caught captured imagination and spirit of an intrigued sporting public. Soccer’s future here could be big, if those who say “I believe”
demonstrate that they do.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Text Only
Columns
  • Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!

    July 27, 2014

  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • O’s, Pirates will be buyers, but when?

    Not that we should expect any blockbuster deals to go down as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, but the names you hear in Baltimore are catcher Kurt Suzuki and starting pitchers Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett and Jorge De La Rosa.

    July 27, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    July 27, 2014

  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014