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Editorial: U.S. soccer team is building interest

Friday, June 21, 2002

A lot of jokes are being made about U.S. interest in soccer as the World Cup advances toward a final showdown. While most of you are reading this editorial this morning, the U.S. team is playing the German team in the quarterfinals.

In European and Latin American countries, soccer is the sport that consumes fans. Given the fact that youth soccer in the United States has been growing by leaps and bounds for the past 25 years or so, it seems like there should be more Americans suffering from soccer fever as well.

In fact, there are a lot of U.S. soccer fans. But the United States has lots of sports that compete for the attention of fans and participants, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf and auto racing. But this is an American phenomenon. While other countries have other sports, they are predominated by soccer.

Soccer fans say this year's World Cup is providing some of the best soccer ever played. Unfortunately, since it is being played in South Korea, the timing of TV broadcasts isn't helping build the American audience.

But if the U.S. team continues to advance or -- could it even be possible? -- win, you can count on a lot more soccer fans across the country.


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