Soccer in Philadelphia? Meh

Friday, January 15, 2010

Danny Mwanga, better known as the guy nobody will recognize in Philadelphia. Getty Images

Philadelphia Union select Mwanga, Okugo, McInerney, Stahl, Nakazawa and Perk in MLS SuperDraft - Philadelphia Union
Union busy at top of MLS draft -
Union swings a big trade - Jonathan Tannenwald,

Look, I have said it numerous times before but with professional soccer making some headlines in the Philadelphia region yesterday I feel I must share my opinion again.

I am not a soccer fan. While I respect the sport and its place on a global scale, I know nothing about the actual rules of the game, find no enjoyment in watching it, and have no real desire to learn anything more about it. The last time I played soccer was in Pee Wee soccer (I distinctly remember scoring a goal, perhaps my only one, with my eyes closed tightly). With any luck that will still remain my final soccer memory.

In general, I have no interest in the sport of soccer, which means this could very likely be my first and last post on the Philadelphia Union, the expansion team in the MLS.

I do not hope the Union fail. I wish them all the success they can achieve, but I will say now and I will stand firm in saying this; the Union are doomed in Philadelphia.

They will have their small support group, their core group of fans represented by the Sons of Ben, and they will have a smattering of fans here and there. Youth soccer teams will take in a game from time to time, but if anybody is foolish enough to think that the Union will elevate soccer to prominence in Philadelphia, you are sadly mistaken.

I know what soccer fans are thinking though. "Soccer is the world's fastest growing sport!" "Just give it a chance!" "It's the world's sport, so you are being ignorant!" Yeah, yeah, we've heard that all before. Sixteen years ago we were told soccer would take the country by storm when the World Cup came to the United States. Did it grow in popularity? Of course. But did it take the country by storm? No.

When the MLS started up we were told again that this would finally bring soccer to true relevance in the United States. What has happened? Two teams were contracted due to poor attendance. This should not have been a surprise as the league goes through attendance declines more often than not.

Soccer fans, I do not wish to ridicule you for enjoying your favorite sport. Just do not expect me to hop on board in support of it. That is what irritates me the most. Just because the rest of the world likes it does not mean I have to enjoy it. I also will not say that I will avoid the Union at all costs. I have told my soccer loving friend Mike that I would take in a game once, just to see what it is all about, which goes back on what I had previously told my wife about not wanting to ever go. I don't think I will enjoy it but I will make every attempt to go into the game with an open mind. This I can promise you.

Besides, I'll be busy watching the Flyers in the playoffs, March Madness, or the Phillies while soccer is being played. I would rather watch dolphins play soccer anyway.

In closing I ask you, the reader, to give me your reasons for why I should learn to enjoy soccer. I beg of you to educate me!

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