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Popularity Of Soccer In U.S. Is Growing Up.

908 words - 4 pages

Popularity of soccer in U.S. is growing up T/FTrue, soccer is the fastest-growing sport in America and the most popular sport internationally. Seas of ink and tons of paper have been expended around the world for years commenting on the fact that, though soccer is unquestionably the most popular sport in the world, Americans have for decades resisted its charms and paid it almost no heed. This neglect has usually extended even to their own national team. The consensus of these commentaries has been that Americans, their attention taken up by the big three of baseball, American football, and basketball, which dominate, respectively, summer, fall and winter, simply have no time or energy left for another major sport. Some writers have also detected a certain provincialism in the American sports community that did not allow it to warm to a sport imported from overseas. Many of the writers of these articles wondered if the United States would ever join the rest of the world regarding soccer.Wonder no longer. Soccer in the United States is booming. Though the older generation of Americans may remain clueless about this king of sports, younger Americans are flocking to it in numbers unimaginable only a few years ago. On schoolyards across the country, football fields and baseball diamonds now do double duty as soccer fields, or have been converted to soccer altogether. Youth soccer leagues that draw from the elementary and secondary schools around the country attracted more than three and a half million kids this year -- more than Little League baseball -- as well as more than a million adults in coaching, administrative, and other volunteer positions. At the lowest levels of play skills are rudimentary and both teams, with little sense of position, follow the ball up and down the field like a swarm of bees. The older kids, though, already show considerable promise for the future.This explosion of interest started a few years ago, quietly at first, then with increasing momentum. American international teams have begun to reap the benefit. As the first generation of players who have participated in the soccer craze percolate up through the various levels of play, the under-17 and under-19 teams have met with increasing success, becoming international powers. The U.S. national team, a consistent winner, is a young one, with stars such as Landon Donovan, and DeMarcus Beasly, both only 21 years old.In so many ways soccer seemed to have established itself as one of the preeminent sports in the United States almost 100 years ago. Most Americans would be surprised to know that soccer first came to the United States in the mid-19th century, imported by British and Irish immigrants, and...

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