The World Cup is in full swing and if you’re an expat you are probably rooting for more than one team. In my case, I root for Germany and the USA. What a coincidence, that they are also in the same group and will play against each other next week. Go Germany!!!
As you’ve probably heard, soccer is not the most popular sport in America, which is true. NFL Football and Basketball are still getting the most attention and young talented athletes are often drawn into these major US sports, just because they pay a lot better.
But that doesn’t mean there are no true American soccer fans out there. In fact, there are millions who are just as excited about the World Cup as the rest of the world. The MLS even has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the US.*
Soccer is definitely gaining momentum in America with having their own professional soccer league and making progress with the US national team, consistently qualifying for the World Cup since 1990. Best result since the 90′s is reaching the quarter finals in 2002.
So, where are these American Soccer Fans? I went out and asked friends and co-workers to get a better idea of the popularity of soccer in America. (Please note that most answers I got was before the first USA game against Ghana.)
I asked everybody the same 3 questions:
1) I like/don’t like soccer, because_____
2) How will the US soccer team do in this World Cup?
3) The new 2014 World Cup Champion will be_____
Here are their (very different) answers:
1) I like to watch soccer, because when it all comes together…it is poetry in motion
2) Lose in the semis
John Lee Dumas from www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com (California)
1) I like to watch soccer, because it’s the sport I played while growing up. The passion I have for the game has stayed with me from the times I was playing club soccer as a boy to now watching and pulling for my favorite teams.
2) I honestly believe that we will make a statement against Ghana that will show Portugal and Germany that we came to play and should be taken seriously. We will beat Ghana and Portugal then either draw or lose to Germany to advance out of the group. After that, I’m too afraid to jinx the team by saying how far they will go outside of group play!
Mike Webber (North Carolina)
1) I will watch for short periods of time, I don’t like the constant horns, I don’t dislike Soccer but it is not in my top 5.
2) They will do ok, not sure they will go deep though.
Kevin (North Carolina)
1) I like to watch soccer, because it is the world’s greatest game. I’ve played it, coached it and officiated it over the past 40 years!
2) After Portugal’s nightmare this afternoon, the US has a decent chance to get out of the group.
3) Colombia!!!!! Germany looked great but the champion is coming from the Americas. Too easy to say Brasil (too much pressure on them) and Argentina did not impress me enough. Uruguay is history.
As good as Holland, Germany, Italy and France look…champion will be from this side of the pond.
Bill Tooley (South Carolina)
1) Big into World Cup. Not so much into the local clubs. More fun on a national level, with national pride and bragging rights
2) Think it’s gonna be up to tonight- Ghana always plays US pretty hard and will set the emotional tempo for the US. Think they will do good this year- even with the tough class
3) Well, Scotland didn’t qualify, England couldn’t get past Italy, so hopes are set on USA. European teams having a better start than South America. Germany I think.
Scott Francis (North Carolina)
1) I like to watch soccer, because I grew up playing soccer (and still play). Chelsea FC is my favorite club team, and I don’t think I could miss a game.
2) I think that the US will beat Ghana and Portugal but lose to Germany and finish second in the group. Depending on the draw I think the US can make it to the Quarter Finals.
3) Germany. They have the best all-around team. They have a great balance between attack in defense.
John Humphries (North Carolina)
1) I don’t like to watch soccer, because I am generally not a sports fan.
2) I have no idea.
3) See above
Doug Cunnington (Georgia) from www.NicheSiteProject.com
1) I like to watch soccer, because I used to coach it with my kids playing and because it is a global sport.
2) I think USA will make it pretty far but will not be the champion.
3) No way for me to call that one! And, sadly, I don’t follow Soccer globally enough to make an educated call.
Sean Earnhard (North Carolina) from www.DonnaEarnhardt.com
1) I like to watch soccer because it takes me back to my playing days as a kid. Now watching it though I appreciate the strategy & art for setting up a great play…..things that you just don’t understand when you’re younger.
2) Unfortunately, I’m not too confident in our chances this year. It’s not saying anything bad about the US team. There are just so many other teams that are playing at such a high level, a level that’s a little above what the US can do.
3) Brazil. They’ll play even harder to not let their home town fans down.
Mark Homonai (South Carolina)
I will probably be in the minority here, but my answers are below. I think the best way to explain my feelings about the World Cup (or at least a semi funny way) is the same response I gave when I was in a bar once and was catching grief for not being interested in the World Cup. My response was “it is a lot like my dating life…..boring, happens once every 4 years and there is not a lot of scoring!”
1) I don’t like to watch soccer because while I do appreciate the level of athleticism and skill it takes to play the sport, it is just too slow and not enough scoring to keep me interested.
2) Having little to no soccer knowledge it would be hard for me to answer this one, however as an American I say GO USA!
3) Totally a guess, but I am going with a Latin country as I feel that they always win it.
Steven Lyon (North Carolina, Note: Steven is now happily married
1) I like to watch soccer, because I used to play.
2) They may place but probably won’t win… Im a realist
3) Spain or Germany (I’m hoping for Germany)
Emmett Fleming (North Carolina)
1) I Like, because it’s soccer and that’s what I grew up playing as well as National Pride!
2) Struggle to make it out of group stage. If they make it out, lose in first game of elimination round
3) Germany – and no, not because you are writing the blog!
Chris Raynor (North Carolina)
1) I don’t like to watch soccer, because I do not watch alot of sports. Basketball is one of the main ones I watch.
2) I think they will advance maybe 1 or 2 more games
3) Germany. Not because of you being German but from what I hear from people they could be the team to beat.
David Janke (North Carolina)
1) I grew up playing soccer and played in high school and it was the one sport I always stuck with and felt I was pretty good at. My best friend’s dad was our coach all through growing up and I just remember us all being like family. Some of my best memories are playing soccer
2) I think we will surprise some people. I think we will advance out of the first group but after that I am not sure. GO USA!!
3) Germany … and I am not just saying that b/c of you. I truly think they are extremely talented
William Luther (North Carolina)
1) I don’t like to watch soccer, because I never grew up around it (watching it or playing it). Although I like watching most sports, I only have enough time to follow a handful of sports (in my case, that’s American football, baseball, and a little bit of basketball). It helps to have a team to follow, and although Chicago does have a soccer team, it’s not all that popular because the games aren’t usually televised (or I don’t have the channel where they’re televised).
2) Honestly, I have no idea! Hopefully they’ll do well…
3) Well, I guess because I know nothing about the sport, I will ignorantly and optimistically pick the US!
Eric Gati (Illinois) from www.TheDailyInterview.com
1) I really like to watch soccer now because I have a better understanding of the game since my kids have been playing this game for a few years now. Just as recent as a few years ago I thought soccer was slow, boring and the scores were uneventful. I often equate this “previous” opinion of mine about soccer to people that do not understand the game of baseball for example. It seems “slow, boring and the score is uneventful” they say. Hmmm…I guess with any sport, to appreciate it, you need to take the time to learn the rules and strategies and then watch or play it to have any hope of appreciating the game; at least for me anyway.
2) I am certainly no soccer expert but I will be watching to see how they do. They should be better with all that German coaching expertise from Klinsmann, right? Well, they do look better. However, they in Group G “the group of death” as they coined it. Not to be pessimistic, but it looks like an early trip home. Especially after the 4-0 drubbing of Portugal by Germany today, it doesn’t look very promising. And if the USA can’t beat Ghana tonight……..well, is it 2018 yet?
3) My best guess is the Netherlands.
Troy DeVlieger (North Carolina)
1) I don’t like to watch soccer, because it was never a sport that I was interested in. Mainly football and basketball. Also it takes too long to score – slow paced; I equate it to baseball & hockey. You can watch a game for over an hour and they only score 4 points..smh..ha, ha
2) IDK.. still mad the Miami Heat lost the championship (basketball).
3) Not the Heat…..
Roosevelt Brown (North Carolina)
1) I like watching soccer but don’t follow it because I cant remember the players’ names.
2) US will probably not do good in the World Cup. (I’m taking a guess here) I guess I should be more patriotic :J
3) Germany is going to win the World Cup. (that one’s for you buddy)
Nate Kelley (South Carolina)
1) I like watching soccer since I’ve played all my life and refereed professionally as well. I have huge respect for the game. That said, I can’t say I love watching it since I find it challenging to watch a match. Normally I have to find a location hosting the soccer channel, then pulling together other soccer fans, and 2-3 hours of free time. Once there, it seems many locales don’t sport enough soccer energy I crave and have experienced in Europe. And with young 2 kids at home, carving out opportunities isn’t always an easy task. I tend to use the internet and check in from time to time to get my soccer fix and I still like playing much more than watching.
2) Klinsmann’s roster selection might seem unprecedented, but I can appreciate it. Perhaps a younger team won’t have the distraction seasoned player may have or maybe the team will be different enough not to fall into old habits. Regardless the logic or outcome USA is due for its Cinderella story even if it before they reach the cup. They’re the second team I cheer for – I hope they do well.
3) I know the team is clicking technically and strategically. The roster seems stacked with favorites and talent. I’m definitely cheering for Germany to take the cup.
Marcus Hermens (South Carolina)
1) I almost never watch sports. I’ll go to games live, sometimes, but I’ll pretty much never watch anything televised. I sometimes make exceptions for tennis because I play tennis and it helps me learn to watch, but I just don’t like watching sports in general. I’d rather be playing them.
2) I have no idea if the US even has a good team or not, but I’m guessing we’ve gotten better since people seem to care a whole lot more about the World Cup in the US than they did five years ago. So I guess I’d predict, based on absolutely no practical knowledge of anything related to soccer, that the US will perform adequately but has an incredibly slim chance of winning.
3) I have absolutely no idea.
Adam Dachis (California) from www.Lifehacker.com and www.ToasterDog.com
1) I don’t like to watch soccer because I don’t understand all the rules; the colored cards, stoppage time, etc.. I do occasionally watch world cup soccer.
2) USA should finish somewhere in the top 20 but I don’t expect much more than that.
Donnie Law (Pennsylvania) from www.DonnieLaw.com
1) I like to watch soccer, because my children played it from a very early age up through high school. I have a real appreciation for the game.
2) Not sure, but they’re off to a good start.
3) USA, naturally.
Adam Rouse (North Carolina)
Not too bad, huh?! The majority actually seems to be pretty excited about the sport, let alone the World Cup.
For you chart fans out there, here’s the break down:
From 22 Americans asked 14 LOVE to watch soccer and only 6 do not and 2 don’t like sports in general. Of course most of the people I asked live either in North or South Carolina, but they come from all over the US. Americans like to move a lot So it’s definitely not a Carolinas-biased result.
Question #3 – Who’s going to win it this year?
No idea (3)
A Latin country (1)
Not the Heat (1)
Wohoo, Go Germany! I would really love my team to take the Cup, but I think my American friends just wanted to make me feel good… great hospitality, guys!
Soccer is a global sport, and even if the world thinks Americans are not big into soccer, they’re wrong. Americans are BIG into sports in general, but soccer might not be their #1 choice. It might be #2 or even #5, but they are definitely following the sport and getting more and more excited with every year to come.
To end this survey, here’s a great commercial from America’s biggest sports network ESPN for the US Soccer Team and their fans:
I do believe, that they will win. Not the 2014 World Cup maybe, but many, many more American fans and young talents to build an even stronger team in 2018.
What’s YOUR prediction for the World Cup? Please comment below…