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Major League Soccer shows very strong growth in the US


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#16 bobbyake

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

"soccer is poised and positioned to potentially overtake baseball in popularity in this country in the future"

Couldn't agree more.
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#17 bobbyake

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:05 PM

Existential questions answered by now
http://www.mlssoccer...ll-answered-now
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#18 bobbyake

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:15 AM

this is from 1994 but enjoyable to read as it shows the pessimism the media had towards soccer in the US. I'm starting to understand why some of the old people on this board have a hard time grasping the MLS's recent success. A lot of people bought into the negative pessimism about US soccer. The Iffy Future Of Soccer U.s. Pro League: Can It Survive?

"There is no chance it will survive," said Nye Lavalle, an analyst who runs Sports Marketing Group in Dallas. "Absolutely no chance whatsoever."


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#19 bobbyake

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:14 AM

Some interesting quotes regarding Professional Soccer in the US: 1967 “(Soccer) has every ingredient to appeal to the American people. It’s fast; there is physical contact; women can understand it.” Atlanta Chiefs owner Bill Bartholomay, quoted on February 21, 1967, a couple of months before the launch of the new National Professional Soccer League. 1969 “Give a coach of the caliber of Ivan Toplak of Oakland, or Phil Woosnam of Atlanta 11 top American high school athletes for five years and a complete new style of soccer will emerge–one based upon speed, power and the American penchant for tactical formations–an exciting and formidable style that could well give America the World Cup by 1974.” Basil Kane, Soccer for American Spectators, 1969 1973 “In six or eight years our franchises will be worth more than those in the National Football League.” Phil Woosnam in 1973 1974 “We’re not in this to make a fast dollar, and realize it will take three years, perhaps, to break even.” Lee Stern after buying an NASL franchise (the Chicago Sting) for $250,000 on October 31, 1974 1974 “I’m tickled pink. If we got 10,000 this time, we’re sure to get 15,000-18,000 next time.” Washington Diplomats co-owner Mike Finci after 10,145 fans came to RFK Stadium to see the expansion Dips lose 5-1 to Philadelphia on May 4, 1974. They did draw 11,887 for their second home match two weeks later, but then the bottom dropped out and the 7-12-1 Dips finished 11th out of 15 teams in average attendance at 4,975 per game. 1976 “In 10 years at the very most, America will be in competition for the World Cup.” Mercurial star George Best, then of the Los Angeles Aztecs, quoted inSports Illustrated, July 19, 1976 1977 “In five years we’re going to be as popular as the NFL is today. And in 10 years we’re going to be the number one sport in America and the biggest league in the world.” NASL Commissioner Phil Woosnam, August 29, 1977. Five years later, the NASL was a shell of its former self and three years after that, it was gone. 1977 “This sport will take off. There is absolutely no way that it will not bypass everything else. This country will be the center of world soccer. In the 80s there will be a mania for the game here. The NASL will be the world’s number one soccer league. And it will be the biggest sports league in the USA.” North American Soccer League Commissioner Phil Woosnam, in 1977 1979 “In 10 or 15 years, we see soccer as bigger than football in this country.” New England Tea Men president Derek Carroll, 1979 1979 “Soccer is going to be the number one sport in this country very soon.” New York Cosmos president Steve Ross, 1979 1981 “We’re still going to be the sport of the ’80s. Don’t forget, the ’80s are just one year old. We’ve still got nine years to go.” Woosnam, quoted in the Washington Post on May 18, 1981. As it turned out, the NASL had fewer than four years to go. 1984 “Listen, if I didn’t think this theory of today’s kids being tomorrow’s ticket buyers wasn’t valid, I’d quit tomorrow and I’d tell the NASL owners to pack their bags. But it is true. The NASL is always going to be around.” North American Soccer League president Howard Samuels in 1984, a year before the league folded 1984 “What we must do, simply, is hang on until today’s kids start buying tickets themselves.” Tim Robbie, president of the NASL’s Minnesota Strikers, in 1984 1985 “Losing those teams is not a setback. The credibility will come back next year. We had an average attendance of 14,000 this year. If we can come back to 17,000 or 18,000 next year, that’s instant credibility.” Woosnam, on September 21, 1981 after five NASL teams folded. Attendance actually dropped slightly the following year and continued to slide until the league folded in 1985. 1986 “I don’t believe outdoor soccer will ever make it [in the U.S.] professionally. I don’t believe we will ever succeed at the Olympic or World Cup level. Americans just don’t buy the sport.” Former NY Cosmos goalkeeper Shep Messing in 1986 1986 “I’ve never been one to delude myself into thinking that all the kids playing soccer are going to be spectators. I don’t think there is a correlation.” Major Indoor Soccer League Commissioner Bill Kentling, in 1986 1986 “We all really got ahead of ourselves. I now realize it will take a tremendous amount of time before we soccer people realize our dream of being an established sport in this country.” St. Louis Steamers midfielder Ricky Davis in 1986. Surprisingly, he was the correct one. 1992 “Zero,” says Frank Deford, America’s preeminent sportswriter, when asked about soccer’s chances as a spectator sport in his country. “It has zero chance. Every chance it had, it failed. I can’t conceive of any set of circumstances that would make Americans want to take an interest. “It’s a very unappealing sport to watch,” Deford continues, “and every time you say that the soccer people all say, ‘You don’t know anything about it; you don’t understand it.’ But it’s a very unappealing sport to watch. I was shocked watching the last World Cup, shocked. I couldn’t believe how dull it was. It was a very boring game.” The New York Times, October 7, 1992 1994 “There is no chance (MLS) will survive. Absolutely no chance whatsoever.” Nye Lavalle, Sports Marketing Group, in The Sporting News, June 27, 1994 1994 “For World Cup soccer worldwide, the World Cup gets a grade A; for staging of the World Cup in America, it gets a grade A. But for the future of soccer in America, the grade is incomplete. If you want a prediction, it seems like the term paper will be turned in and it will get a failing grade.” Nye Lavalle again, apparently on a roll that summer, in the New York Times, July 19, 1994 1994 “Our goal, 10 years from now, is to be in position where we can be considered a sport on the level, in terms of interest, of the big ones: football, baseball, basketball.” World Cup chairman Alan Rothenberg, in that same NY Times article, July 19, 1994 1994 “There’s a better chance of a national health plan being passed by Congress than of a major pro (soccer) league in America.” Art Spander, San Francisco Examiner, June 5, 1994 1994 “The World Cup, should no one get killed, is a fabulous event. Enjoy it. And enjoy the next one. And if, in between, you patronize any and all pro soccer leagues that begin here, enjoy them too. They’ll be gone faster than the girl over there with the hula hoop.” Sportswriter Phil Mushnick, New York Post, June 15, 1994 1996 “Our national team is spread out among 10 localities and charged with making us like the game. This would have been like taking the 1980 US Olympic hockey team and starting a whole new league by placing its members around the country. And the ice hockey team did, incidentally, win a gold medal, as well as whip the Red Army. Chances of that working would seem to be better than this.” Bernie Linciome, Chicago Tribune, April 8, 1996, on the beginnings of MLS 1997 “To be honest, I just don’t think it’s gonna make it here. Soccer’s a sport a lot of youngsters play and I don’t know that they necessarily become fans when they get older. They watch American football, or baseball or basketball, and we have all that here already. There’s a lot of competition.” Irv Moss of the Denver Post, quoted in Soccer America, July 29, 1997 2002 “The USA are just making up the numbers…they can’t play football for toffee…slow at the back, short on real class up front…should get points off Korea, anything else would be a miracle.” London Evening Standard, prior to World Cup 2002 2002 “The U.S. will not defeat Portugal. Nothing is impossible, of course, but the speedy, attack-oriented Portugal is precisely the type of team against which the U.S. typically struggles.” Scott Plagenhoef, Soccer Digest, February 2002 2002 “Anything other than last place will be an achievement for the Americans.” John Motson, BBC, prior to World Cup 2002 2002 “Portugal at a canter.” London Daily Telegraph’s prediction for USA/Portugal at World Cup 2002 2002 “I predict the Los Angeles Galaxy will win the (MLS) championship three out of (the) first five years they play in their own stadium and facility.” ESPN analyst Eric Wynalda, January 2002 2004 “Soccer will be among America’s top four sports in the next five years.” AEG President Tim Leiweke, January 25, 2004 2007 “This is a sucker stadium, not a soccer stadium. We are going to lose our shirts.” Etobicoke (Can.) councillor (and now, somehow, Mayor of Toronto) Rob Ford on Toronto’s planned soccer stadium that would house an MLS team in 2007
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#20 Zipmeister

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:37 AM

posted this in another thread, but it's relevant to this one:
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also, MLS overtakes NBA for 3rd place behind the NFL & MLB.

I'm always rooting for a seven game championship series between the Rangers and Knights in the PDL. The series attendance could soar above 300.

#21 fknbuflobo

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:57 AM

Frank DeFord is an articulate and talented writer, but he is misguided when commenting on Soccer. He cannot credibly remark on the sport, having never struck a ball in anger. He does not appreciate the technique and athleticism necessary to move the ball around the pitch. Conversely, I will wager that he has swung a baseball bat, shot a free throw, and thrown a football. He is sympathetic to these techniques. Such lack of experiential knowledge leads to complaining for lack of scoring. As we all know, the box score tells very little about a soccer match. Sportswriters hate that!

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#22 bobbyake

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'm always rooting for a seven game championship series between the Rangers and Knights in the PDL. The series attendance could soar above 300.

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#23 Wally B

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:35 PM

Don't forget this breaking news!!

NY Cosmos return to NASL
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#24 bobbyake

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:56 PM

Don't forget this breaking news!!

NY Cosmos return to NASL

You should read this article regarding NY Cosmos http://www.bigsoccer...e-madness-v2-0/


Btw, NBCSN TV ratings for MLS games are up 55% over last years FSC ratings.
ESPN/ESPN2 ratings are up 25% over last year.

MLS average attendance is up 4.83%
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#25 bobbyake

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:34 PM

Midseason MLS television ratings, attendance at all-time highs

The MLS currently ranks 7th in average attendance for soccer leagues.
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#26 johnnyzip84

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:43 PM

Midseason MLS television ratings, attendance at all-time highs

The MLS currently ranks 7th in average attendance for soccer leagues.
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That's excellent! But just out of curiousity, why is the Championship in 9th place when it has higher average attendance?

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#27 bobbyake

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:38 PM

That's excellent! But just out of curiousity, why is the Championship in 9th place when it has higher average attendance?

They must have changed the data after descending the table.

I believe the biggest indicator of soccer's growth can be seen in the 2nd league. San Antonio has been a great addition to the NASL. We need to get a team in Akron
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#28 bobbyake

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:53 PM

Both the MLS and MLB are experiencing attendance increases this year. The MLS is on track to have its best season ever. I wrote a blog about it http://davianletter....r-summer-sports
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#29 Zipmeister

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

That's excellent! But just out of curiousity, why is the Championship in 9th place when it has higher average attendance?

Figures prepared by Federal government economists.

#30 Wally B

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:28 AM

They must have changed the data after descending the table.

I believe the biggest indicator of soccer's growth can be seen in the 2nd league. San Antonio has been a great addition to the NASL. We need to get a team in Akron


That would be great!

Having relocated to Tampa, I must say I've enjoyed watching the other "Rowdies" this summer. The atmospere at the Strikers game was incredible. The Zips really need to consider putting a small angled roof over the stands, it really amplifies the chants!

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