A game many are calling the biggest game in US soccer history may be just that, but how does a group opener compare to a quarterfinal match from 2002? It is tough to compare because soccer has grown by leaps and bounds in this country. Plus, the quarterfinal match against Germany in 2002 was played at 5am.
I feel that the result of this match is important for several reasons:
1. The United States needs to advance out of the group. This is the most important reason that this match is vital for the US and soccer in this country. Out of the last 36 teams to lose their first game in a World Cup only 3 have advanced to the 2nd round. At least a point will do here, but a win would be sweet.
2. To get the casual fan excited – it is already unbelievable how many people are talking about this game that couldn’t care less about soccer. The day, time and opponent couldn’t be better. I doubt there would be this much excitement if we were playing the other two teams in our group tomorrow. There is a limited amount of sports on at 230pm so, many people may casually watch. If the US plays well it could hook these people in for the rest of the tournament and beyond.
3. Help grow soccer and Major Soccer League – after the last two World Cups MLS experienced a 5 percent attendance increase. If the United States plays well and goes far in the tournament it could get people to at least check out MLS. People will have to understand MLS is not World Cup level or top-tier club level. Though MLS is better than people think, they also have to remember MLS is only 15 years old.
4. To stick to all the England fans and those born in the US rooting for England – would love for the US, a country where soccer is an afterthought, to beat a country where the sport is close to all they think about. It would be great to see decent soccer players beat world class players. A positive result would also show all people that look down on everything soccer in the US that we aren’t that bad. Probably the biggest fear in Europe is that the US will one day take soccer serious on a level with basketball, football and baseball. When that happens the United States will win a world cup!
This being said I want to see an entertaining match with a US victory.