What would it take to make you a soccer fan?


What would it take to make you a soccer fan?

Mark Wolfson

As a bay area soccer fan, last week's European Championships and the Earthquakes thrilling comeback win over the MLS champion LA Galaxy exemplified just how great "The Beautiful Game" can be.

But clearly the great majority of American sports fans have a less than enthusiastic view of the sport. It's vexing that the world's most popular sport has yet to gain a strong foothold in the US. One national morning radio show about soccer bills the game as "America's sport of the future... as it has been since 1972."

Why is that? It's a simple game with the smallest rule book in sports. Unlike the NFL and NBA, soccer is played by people whose pituitaries have not run amok. Normal sized athletes can succeed at the game's highest levels. In fact, soccer's greatest player (and arguably the greatest player ever) is barely 5'5" and nicknamed "the flea."

My non-soccer friends say the game is dull because of the paucity of scoring. He has a point given that the most common score line in professional soccer is 1-0 to the home team. But why is that any less exciting than a baseball pitching dual that results in just a run or two?

Many sports fans complain about the numbers of commercials in televised events. A typical baseball game has 27 minutes of commercials and promotion announcements. But since the clock is always running in soccer, whether the ball is in play or a team is tending to an injured player, there are no commercial breaks during the game - just pre-game, halftime and post game.

So instead of just continuing to scratch my head, I thought I'd ask you - sports fans who follow your favorite teams regularly on television, in print or on the internet.

What would it take to make you a soccer fan? And What would you do to make the game more appealing to you?

Mark Wolfson is producing todays broadcast between the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas on CSN Bay Area

Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union


Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union


SAN JOSE -- Chris Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

Shea Salinas drew a foul on Joshua Yaro in the penalty area to set up the penalty kick in the 95th minute. With his 10th goal, Wondolowski became the first player in MLS history with eight straight double-digit seasons.

Roland Alberg scored in the 55th to put Philadelphia (8-11-6) up 2-1.

Valeri Qazaishvili scored three minutes for San Joe (9-10-6). He eluded two defenders before punching it between two more defenders.

Jack Elliott tied it in the 35th with his first goal of the season, knocking the ball in on the left side of the net.

Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo


Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo


HOUSTON  — Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez each had a goal and an assist, and the Houston Dynamo blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday night.

Houston (10-7-7) joined Seattle and Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings by improving to 9-0-3 at home.

Elis got his head on a corner kick by Boniek García to open the scoring with his seventh goal in the 21st minute. It was the Dynamos' league-leading 17th goal off a set piece.

Elis helped ice the game in the 86th minute with a nifty touch to get around a defender before Sanchez beat his defender and the goalkeeper to the centering pass for his first goal.

Sanchez gathered a loose ball just before it crossed the end line and centered it to Mauro Manotas for his eighth goal in stoppage time.

Tyler Deric had three saves for his fourth shutout.

San Jose (9-10-5) has lost five straight on the road and remains one point up on Vancouver for the final playoff spot.