This summer’s World Cup in South Africa drew attention worldwide. Most countries in the world, especially those in Europe and South America, view the month-long tournament as a sense of national pride, bragging rights; or, if the team fails, an embarrassment.
For example, in the 2010 World Cup, Spain won their first title ever, and the scenes around the country were of crazy fans celebrating their nation, heritage and culture. Then there was the embarrassment that the French team put on their country, when they refused to practice after a disagreement between a player and the coach.
While the World Cup was seen as a huge event around the world, it wasn’t nearly as big in the US as it was for the European countries. There are several reasons that could lead to this, but for the US soccer teams success in the tournament, it is a wonder why they don’t have the type of following that some other teams do.
Americans often complain that the sport of soccer is too low scoring and often results in ties. Also, there are multiple trophies and championships that the teams compete in, rather than just one, such as the Super Bowl in the National Football League. Some of the famous soccer trophies and championships include the FA Cup, Premier League Championship, Champions League Championship and Serie A. In America, there is only one league, one championship: the MLS (Major League Soccer), which has not seen success since the league was formed in 1993. The European season runs from August to May. The American version goes from March to November. Between the two, there is no off-season; should a fan be interested in only one or the other, the off-season amounts to a month of inactivity, during which international competitions often take place.
The success that the United States had in the World Cup in 2010, in which they won the group play stage before losing in the round of 16 to Ghana, might lead to slightly higher ratings and a larger base for the immediate aftermath, but it appears it will never be at the same level of cultural importance as it is in European countries.