How can we make the United States fall in love with soccer? Buy your friends a beer and watch as a lifelong love affair with the beautiful game begins.
Brews and Views Series: Why American Soccer?
Planting the Seed of Soccer Across America: Danny Beerseed
We continue our new series on the Free Beer Movement. It's called "Brews and Views" and we pose a question or topic to various prominent soccer persons and, well, they give us their view on it.
We've got loads of get people that have already responded to our call for essay submissions and each week we'll feature a unique perspective on the current topic/question at hand. Kicking it off (pun intended) we're asking our respondents the question, "Why American soccer?".
As inhabitants of the U.S. of A we've got loads of soccer viewing options and limited amount of time. We want our panel of essayists to make their case as to why the American version of the world's game is the one we should all invest in.
Regularly readers know where we stand on this issue. Buy American. It's ours. Build and shape it so it ranks as one of the premier leagues in the world.
The series will include such diverse voices as former U.S. Men's National Team player Alexi Lalas, The Shin Guardian, MatchFit USA's Jason Davis, Church of Soccer, Nutmeg Radio, FutFanatico, MLS Insider, and many, many more.
Interested in submitting your own answer to the question, "Why American soccer?", then send us an email with your response. Please keep your submission to under 1000 words (that's like 2.5 pages typed!) and include a picture that you feel goes well with your response. Send it to freebeermovement(at)gmail(dot)com.
Today's contribution comes from Lucas Lohr. Lucas is the founder and leader writer of "MLS Reserves" an up and coming site covering the American soccer world. Check out his site for great interviews with loads of MLS players and his coverage of our domestic league.
Why American soccer?
The answer to that is simple: if we as Americans don’t support our leagues and teams, who will? Since I was very young I’ve been a fan of Major League Soccer not because it’s the most talented league in the world, but rather because it is a league in my country working towards the betterment of the sport…the betterment of people.
Soccer is the world’s game and until the 1994 World Cup and the subsequent launch of Major League Soccer in 1996, the world’s game was effectively absent in North America. Sure, the old NASL and the various iterations thereafter brought soccer to the continent, but these leagues proved largely ineffective at creating soccer culture.
It has taken MLS over fifteen years to create soccer culture in our country. The additions of teams, academies and stadiums have begun to alter the perception of soccer throughout our country. Less and less has it been considered a taboo sport for those who couldn’t embrace the norm of football, baseball or even basketball.
The national team has reaped the benefits of this as well. MLS plays a major role in the success of American players at the world stage.
So I return to the question of why American soccer? I feel I’ve grown up with it. MLS has developed as I have matured. I was 12 when the league was formed. As it has gone through growing pains of player development, survived recessions, natural disasters and criticisms at others; I feel I’ve done the same. I have a personal connection to this league. While it went through changes, so to did I. I’ve done most of my maturing while the league did the same. It’s only reaffirmed my love for soccer.
Perhaps that seems overly emotional, but it’s the bond I have for the league. It extends beyond love for a team or any one player. I have many favorites throughout the league. When I was younger and a promising player myself, I looked up to my idols in Major League Soccer. I can remember actively trying to mimic how Taylor Twellman made runs and used his head to redirect a ball. I remember watching Bobby Convey come on the field at such a young age and taking on professionals with confidence. Moreover, I remember watching players passionate about their craft work hard so others could reap the benefits in the years to come.
It was not just MLS I suppose. I like so many others, watch the Men’s and Women’s National Teams break barriers with their success. They’ve upped the standard of play and so too the expectations of American fans across the country. Translating those national team fans to MLS/WPS fans is a challenge, but we’re on the right track for sure.
I love Major League Soccer. I love the league and I love the people involved in bringing top flight soccer to North America. As the game spreads throughout our country and throughout Canada, I see a soccer future for my children becoming respectable. I see the passion and excitement that other countries find in the game being brought to the younger generations. Above all, I see a promising future with inspiring stories for young soccer players to look up to.
I challenge anyone who reads this to bring more people into the fold. Expose more people to the beautiful game and educate them on what it can do for others. Soccer has brought wars to a halt in Africa. It has inspired countries to rebuild. Most importantly soccer brings people together…and if we can have more of that in America, then it should be supported.
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