So long, U.S. soccer ‘fans,’ see you in four years

07/01/2014 5:49 PM

07/01/2014 6:17 PM

Belgium’s convincing 2-1 victory over the U.S. soccer team Tuesday in Brazil brought our country’s stay in the 2014 World Cup to a disappointing end.

Now begins the every-four-year discussion:

Is soccer finally gaining real strength in this country as a beloved spectator sport — which the overflow crowds at the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City indicate is possible?

Or, is the quadrennial World Cup still just a great opportunity to get behind a team from this nation for a few weeks — such as with the Summer and Winter Olympics — only to go back to our usual love of football, baseball and basketball the next 47 months?

I’m in the latter crowd.

You?

And, as expected, hard-core soccer fans already weighing in with the facts that Sporting KC attendance is doing great, the league is doing well in its limited markets and — of course — there’s always the hope that young soccer players will become paying fans in the future.

But the other side is that — outside the soccer stadiums — much of America simply doesn’t care. No, it really doesn’t.

Don’t blame me for pointing that out, by the way.

Blame the people who aren’t watching the sport.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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