Mention MLS and some people may think you’re talking about real estate. However, if you encounter a fellow soccer fan, he or she will know that you’re talking about Major League Soccer and strike up a conversation about the match between Toronto and New York. If you’re like millions of soccer fans, you may wonder why your favorite sport hasn’t caught on with the same fervor, throughout the U.S., like American football, baseball, and basketball.

There are many theories as to why Americans just aren’t that into soccer, but there are ways to appease the masses (or at least your friends and family):

“Not Enough Scores”
Strange as it may seem, according to an article published in Time magazine, one theory as to why Americans may not be soccer aficionados has to do with scoring, or the lack of. Die hard soccer fans know that even the most nail biting and exciting games ended with a score like 1-0. American sport fans are used to big scores that happen more frequently than every hour. Numbers shouldn’t really matter, just as long as there’s a winner in the end.

“Not Enough Breaks”
Not to generalize American sport fans, but they can be an antsy bunch of people. In the world of sports, soccer is like a dramatic play with a 15 minute intermission. The second half can be just as intense as the first half and unlike football, which is notorious for stopping often and discussing a throw or catch ad nauseum, soccer matches may often be lengthened to make up for any referee disruptions during the game.

“Sometimes Ties are OK”
It’s not unheard of for a game to result (and end) in a tie. While no one is particularly pleased when that occurs, diehard soccer fans are more or less used to it while American sport fans can’t seem to wrap their minds around the concept of TWO teams winning.

Want to Convert Your Friends?
Why would a soccer fan choose to be friends with someone who just doesn’t “get” soccer or has vocally trash talked the sport (just kidding…sort of)? If you have friends that roll your eyes when you talk soccer or tune you out as soon as you utter the words Manchester United, it’s time to host your own soccer viewing party. You’ve attended, and probably had fun, and countless Sunday Football parties. Now it’s your turn to show your friends and family what they are missing.

  • Introduce Some Amazing Players: If your friends are like most new-to-soccer folks, they may only be familiar with Pele and David Beckham. Go online, find some great action from some of your favorites like Messi or Ronaldo.
  • Explain the Game: Soccer “haters” might not enjoy the game simply because they don’t get it. Seems fair, right? Take a little time to explain it before the game starts. You may not win everyone over to the world of soccer, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Make it Competitive: A fun way to get your friends interested in soccer is by doing a little betting. Go ahead and check out some online casino reviews to learn a little more about sports betting before you make your bet.
  • Watch it in Person: Most sports are more exciting when you can watch them in person. If you have the chance, take a naysayer to a live game. How could he or she dislike soccer after that?

With luck and a little perseverance and even the willingness to disagree, you may convert some friends just in time to watch the World Cup in 2018.