Americanizing Soccer for the U.S. Sports Fan pt. 4
The most popular reason that U.S. sports fans give for not watching soccer is its lack of scoring. In order to attract more fans, a professional soccer league in the U.S. must, above all things, try to create more offense.
Though many fans of the sport appreciate the skills, the passing, the midfield game and all the other aspects that make soccer ‘the beautiful game’, in the end, a league can not have success unless it concentrates on giving sports fans the opportunity to see more goals. This is soccer’s reality and its dilemma in the U.S.
For soccer purists and enthusiasts, a scoreless game late in the 2nd half is dramatic, tense and edge of the seat entertainment. But, in order for U.S. sports fans to have similar feelings, they must first experience the offensive passion of the game.
Fans will only get acclimated after seeing lots and lots of scoring. After fans have been acclimated to soccer in all its wonder and glory, they too will find the awesome feeling of waiting for that first goal that doesn’t happen till extra time of the 2nd half.
The average score for the other major team spectator sports are all higher. Basketball is the exception because scoring happens frequently minute to minute. But, for the other three, scoring is not elusive and is somewhat regular in its occurrence. In baseball, runs are scored at more than 8 a game. In hockey, goals are close to 6 a game.
Of all the team spectator sports, football (American) is the most interesting to analyze because of its unique system for scoring. An average professional football game scores between 40 to 42 points. Because an extra point after a touchdown is hardly ever missed and safeties in football are rarely seen, it is important to calculate exactly what fans are witnessing. By using a formula that considers 1 point for a touchdown and half a point for a field goal, football is producing 6 points per game.
Professional soccer around the world is averaging between 2-3 goals per game. The American sports fans will never accept only 2-3 goals per game as an average. Scoring must increase in order to get U.S. sports fans to the soccer dinner table. According to how other major spectator sports in the U.S. are functioning, it appears that 5-7 goals a game is necessary to get the attention needed in order to be mainstream and part of the professional sports landscape in America.