Tonight, one of the biggest rivalries in the world of soccer will be taking place. Mexico will host the U.S. men’s national team (USMNT) in the latest World Cup Qualifier (WCQ) match at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.
Most people around here probably can’t name five of the starting players in tonight’s match, much less even know the game was happening. This is football country, though, so no surprise there, however, it is time soccer got the attention it deserves: starting with the importance of tonight’s game and the future of the sport in this country.
Here are five reasons why you should watch soccer in the U.S.:
1. WCQ: Tonight’s match is part of the Hexagonal en route to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The USMNT has been turning heads with recent controversy over the cohesiveness between players and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann which was reported by Sporting News Soccer. Then you’ve got the phenomenal weather experienced last week in Denver against Costa Rica. As the snow poured heavily on the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the USMNT won 1-0.
2. The Rivalry: As I mentioned earlier, Mexico and the U.S. have one of the biggest rivalries in sport history. It can easily be compared to the MLB rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, or the men’s collegiate basketball rivalry between University of North Carolina and Duke University. This will definitely be an exciting match to watch since USMNT is ahead of Mexico in the hexagonal with three points. Mexico will be looking to win the match at home and walk away with the three-point addition to their two points. Did I mention fans at Estadio Azteca have been known to allegedly throw batteries and bags of urine at opposing team players?
3. World Cup vs. Super Bowl: You think the Super Bowl is the world’s largest sporting event? Think again. According to FIFA.com, 46.4 percent of the global population tuned in to watch a minimum of one minute of World Cup 2010 coverage. Every single country and territory on Earth broadcasted the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. But let’s focus on just one match: the final. Approximately 909.6 million in-home viewers watched the final match of the 2010 World Cup. This figure does not include people watching the match at a pub, public viewing venue, restaurant, club, or online. Now, how many people tuned in to the Super Bowl? According to ESPN.go.com, only an estimated 108.4 million people tuned in to watch this year’s Super Bowl. That is barely 12 percent of the viewers that tuned in to the 2010 World Cup final.
4. MLS in Texas: Major League Soccer has been growing in this country over the years. In Texas alone there are two MLS teams: Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas. Earlier this year, FC Dallas lost Brek Shea to English Premier League team Stoke City, where the Texas native debuted in February. What I’m saying is, the chance to watch professional soccer is pretty good here. Not only MLS, but also international games that are played at BBVA Compass Stadium or FC Dallas Stadium.
5. Yanks Abroad: The rest of the world is looking at our team’s players, why the hell aren’t you? The USMNT has 14 out of its 24 man roster playing in international clubs; three players play in clubs south of the border. If our players are good enough for other countries to watch, why aren’t they good enough for you to watch?
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