The condition of professional soccer in the United States is such that the when presented with a choice between playing the game on its highest level here or hanging up the boots and focusing on a job in the "real world" is not as simple as it should be.
For millions of young athletes in America, the dream of a professional career rises above and surpasses any other; it's true for baseball, American football, basketball, and hockey. To reach the pinnacle of those sports and have a chance to play on big stages in front of thousands of people all the while getting paid (very well) to do so is a hard proposition to pass up. But soccer doesn't fit that dream path, both because the game is an afterthought at best in the US, and because player salaries lag miles behind those in major American sports leagues.
Three college soccer players are faced with the dilemma, and the Indiana Daily Student describes their struggle; stick it out and become professional footballers, or pass on what will probably be a hard-scrabble existence to follow the alternate dream of becoming a doctor. Here's to the hope that one day, their choice won't be so difficult.
- From the capital city of New York comes a remembrance of the New York Eagles, Albany's American Soccer League representative way back in 1979. Interesting notes from this piece include the national makeup of the Eagles' squad, the internal conflict that occurred because of it, and the absolute reverence that the author holds for the scoring hero of the team, Billy Boljevic. With the history of American soccer being littered with failed teams and short-lived clubs, there are bound to be thousands of stories like this one. Let's hope thirty years from now, people are remembering the 2009 season for teams that are still alive and thriving.
- Here's peek at one fan's experience this summer, and the stressful nature of being a US National Team supporter in a country where you're simply bound to be outnumbered by supporters of the opposition when attending a match. Even as more Americans pick up the game and become fans of the national team, there's not likely to be a break in the live supporter numbers any time soon. Immigrants, especially those from Latin America, are simply more rabid about their support in much greater numbers than Americans; this means that although there might be enough Yank fans to at least equal the number of "away" supporters, they simply don't snap up tickets as quickly.
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