Soccer has been big throughout Europe for centuries. It first became a sport in 1815 in England. The English schools and Eton College came up with certain rules now known as The Cambridge Rules. This so-called soccer influenced many countries, and in today’s world it is the most watched sport that is televised. Soccer has been a big part of the U.S. for 50 years or so. The U.S. now has now had a national league since 1993.
This league is now known as the MLS, or in other words Major League Soccer. It’s a league made up of veterans from European leagues that have had success in the past. The U.S. is trying to catch up on the European level of soccer. For example, we now have colleges for soccer and academies for the youth. Don’t let that fool you, though, because it’s not easy being a part of this movement: the costs of these colleges and academies are very high and most people can’t afford them.
Many colleges have varsity teams or at least club teams, which are decent in ability but not the best. In fact, the local Utah State University has a club team. One interesting thing about this is that a former Logan High athlete, Manny Sanchez, plays on the USU club soccer team. is, Sanchez was on the LHS team all four years and played varsity since his sophomore year.
When discussing the status of soccer in the United States, he said, “I personally do not believe the U.S. is catching up to Europe as in soccer.” Why? He explained, “The U.S. is too focused on basketball and football whereas in Europe the main sport is soccer.”
His words are supported by statistics. Where the last Superbowl had an estimated a couple million viewers, the previous World Cup received 3.2 billion viewers throughout the whole tournament. The U.S. is about another 15 years behind European soccer, and it will later affect colleges and universities.