Yeah, I’ve been enjoying the holiday season and staying away from my computer a bit the last week or so. However, I’ve been reading other peoples reflections on 2006 and that got me thinking…
If I were to say the one thing that will stick in my mind as a soccer fan in the US about 2006 it would be the media. For the first time MLS has managed to sell it’s broadcast rights. For the first time (that I know of) the media in the US gave the World Cup almost wall-to-wall coverage. And, probably the part which shows have far the professional game has come in the US, the media were all over the US performance and discussing weather or not Arena should keep his job.
Ok, so a ton of the commentary was from sports media with no clue about soccer, but I’m thinking that’s a good thing. Now, with the Beckham Rule in effect, MLS teams are able to bring in names which will, hopefully, get MLS more media coverage. I’m honestly doubting we’ll see Beckham at this point, but who knows. Giving owners the opportunity to open their checkbooks will be a good thing in my opinion.
Of course, on the flip side there are talented American players heading to Europe, but that’s not going to change any time soon. After all, Beckham left England to go seek his fortune in Spain. Other top players all over the world are doing the same, even if their domestic league is at the top level (how many Mexican players are suddenly in Europe?) so why not Americans as well.
Regardless, things are looking good for soccer in the US and I can’t wait to see what happens next year.