Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

The U.S. and soccer – that joke isn’t funny anymore

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SOCCER-USA/Even though the results of the United States team in international competition indicate the country has become a respectable force in the game, in the past 12 months beating European champions Spain and drawing with presumed World Cup contenders England for example, there remain many who doubt whether soccer can ever capture the imagination of the sporting public in the United States.

The main problem Europeans, in particular English fans, appear to have with the status of soccer in the U.S. is that it is not the number one sport in the country. Not even number two or three in fact. And the fact is that there is no-one in the soccer business in the U.S. who would pretend they are in a position to overtake, on a day-to-day basis, the NFL, the NBA or Major League Baseball.

But those who doubt that soccer has a long term future in North America need to ask themselves one question when it comes to the game's status alongside gridiron and basketball - who cares?

Ranking in relation to other sports really doesn't matter. In the era of niche television, niche websites, niche entertainment and niche marketing , soccer clearly has an important and growing niche in the sporting life of the United States.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Could you just talk us through the goal, Bob….

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USA SOCCERAfter little more than four hours' sleep, plenty of driving and the inevitable drop in adrenalin following a big game such as Saturday's U.S. v England match, there were a few weary souls among the reporters following the United States when we headed to team HQ at Irene Farm on Sunday morning for a press conference with coach Bob Bradley and defender Steve Cherundolo.

There was no sign of jadedness from Bradley, though, who when touching upon Steven Gerrard's fourth minute opener for England, described it in the following terms:

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Nothing ‘meaningless’ about U.S. defeat

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SOCCER-WORLD/

USA 2 Czech Republic 4 was hardly a morale boosting result for American fans as their team prepares for the World Cup finals, which begin for the U.S against England on June 12.

Of course, as the ESPN commentators were at pains to point out, perhaps worried about viewers turning off from the team before the tournament has even begun, the squad on the field last night was missing key starters such as Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra (who instead was spotted chomping chicken wings in the stands) and Clint Dempsey. And as the ESPN crew also repeatedly reminded us, the result of games like these are “meaningless”.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soul of soccer survives in Florida

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One of the most appealing aspects of football is that, unlike with most sports, you can find the passion of the game in almost every corner of the world, often hidden away in the most unlikely places.

 

What separates football from, say Formula One or tennis, is that even at the lower levels of the game you can still get the buzz of being a fan even without the top stars or the fully-serviced facilities.

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