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Ready or Not, Soccer's Time Has Come

It doesn't matter whether the legions of "graying and paunchy" anti- soccer sportswriters in this country ever change their minds, signs show that "soccer is advancing from the sports periphery," says Ted Miller of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It won't arrive overnight," he says, but it's arriving nevertheless.

Following the tepid 0-0 performance in Toronto by the Becks-less Galaxy, you can be sure that sportswriters across the country, forced to watch the possible introduction of the Man Who Would Change American soccer on national television, are once again digging into soccer for being "boring." Becks didn't play, and the Galaxy didn't either really, but it wasn't a bad game -- Toronto had at least a dozen good goal-scoring chances. Even so, Miller says the likes of the St. Louis Dispatch's Brian Burwell will always say things like, "Is there anyone who believes [soccer] will ever rise above the NHL or even the WNBA, and become a core American sporting pastime?"

Actually, Miller says that MLS -- even without David Beckham -- already has, in some respects: The league's average attendance sits at just under 15,000, while the WNBA averaged 7,643 this summer. Even the smallest crowd this season was close to that figure, at 7,100. Oh and the league's current average, which will no doubt be buoyed by the appearance of Beckham, is already better than six NHL teams. "The world is getting smaller and U.S. demographics are changing," says Miller, which means that soccer, like NASCAR and the X Games 10 years ago, will one day be up there with the big boys -- especially if sound economic development is any indication.

Read the whole story at Seattle Post-Intelligencer »

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