It's summer, you're done with classes and have lots more free time on your hands. But if you're a sports fan, you feel a little bit underwhelmed by the number of sporting events on television. This year is different though, it's a World Cup year, the greatest tournament in the sports world. The World Cup is the world's most viewed sporting event, more than the Super Bowl, more than the World Series, NBA Finals, etc.
Although this season it doesn't seem to be grabbing the attention of casual soccer fans in America because the United States Men's National Team didn't qualify, but that shouldn't stop fans in the states to tune into the beautiful game on the world's biggest stage. The World Cup is a truly beautiful thing, there's unmatched emotion from fans, the sports best talents competition head-to-head, with arguably sports most sought-after prize and bragging rights for four years.
The main complaint I've heard from non-soccer fans is that the game is too slow or that it's "boring." Games ending in 1-0 score lines don't look attractive to fans who don't enjoy the actual game of soccer, but the tactical approach and process of slowly picking apart defenses and setting up chances are truly artistic, to say the least.
On this big of a stage like the World Cup, the slightest mistake early in the first half could result in a loss, setting your nation into a hole difficult to dig yourself out of. This means that if you understand the difficulty of scoring in the game of soccer, every minute means something. Making games incredibly entertaining understanding the pressure of every single shot on goal and attacking play.
My only complaint with professional soccer is what many call "flopping" which we've seen on display quite a bit this World Cup. Flopping can be interesting in the game of soccer if only conducted in key moments late in the game, trying to persuade an official to give your team a call, but not every time there's physical contact. Flopping itself is what is holding back American fans from truly diving into the game of football, and FIFA officials are taking notice.
North America's bid to host the World Cup in 2026 was accepted this past month, another huge step towards soccer building popularity in the U.S. along with the improvements in talent the MLS is gaining recently. Soccer will always be prevalent in countries across the world, but American causal fans have eight years until the greatest tournament in sports invades the U.S. 2026 cannot come soon enough.