Questions posed of soccer’s relevancy

Soccer in America is starting to become “mainstream” thanks to the success of the men and women’s national teams, as well as having youth leagues that promote soccer at a young age.

Raul Avellaneda, the assistant head coach for the men’s team at Cerritos College said, “It’s increased in popularity every year for the last 20 years. Especially because of the women’s success in the World Cup and the Olympics. I think the growth of the women’s program has actually contributed in the growth of the popularity.”

The women’s team has been number one in the world since 2008, according to FIFA’s world rankings. The men’s team is ranked 13 for the first time since 2010.

The popularity has also been thanks to increased diversity in America, which has allowed the up and coming sport to get increased publicity.

Eusebio Alvarez, center back for the Cerritos College men’s team said, “Soccer has become popular the last few years, because the nation is so culturally diverse and has been looking for a different sport and it’s geared toward everybody.”

He continues, “So in the recent years, through youth leagues and adult leagues, it has become a lot more popular and it’s good for one more sport to be played and one more sport for Americans to enjoy.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the United States’s win over Mexico to clinch a spot in the World Cup broke the overnight ratings for soccer outside of the World Cup or Confederations Cup tournament matches.

Alvarez credits that to the support of the public for their national team and said, “I think the American public is pretty patriotic for what it is. I know people that don’t play the sport of soccer, never played it, never really watched it, but they still turn on the TV whenever there is a United States game. They talk about it and learn a little bit about it every time they watch a game.”

The ratings in 2010 for America almost doubled from the previous world cup with an average of 11.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.com.

Brandon DeMedieros, plays right and left back for Cerritos College and believes the United States needs support for the upcoming 2014 World Cup by saying, “They are going through a hard group, they are up against some big teams and the United States isn’t known as a big team. They are really hard workers and I think that we should back them up just like baseball, football and everything else.”

With both United States national soccer team poised to make noise in the World Cup, it adds fuel to the fire that is soccer becoming a mainstream sport in America.