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

Torres scores MLS-leading seventh goal, Dynamo shut out Earthquakes

Torres scores MLS-leading seventh goal, Dynamo shut out Earthquakes


HOUSTON — Erick Torres scored his MLS-leading seventh goal of the season and the Houston Dynamo beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Saturday.

Torres opened the scoring in the ninth minute, converting from the penalty spot after Fatai Alashe conceded a penalty against Alex Lima. Alberth Elis tapped in a corner kick — Houston's first of the match — by Eric Alexander in the 72nd. Elis, a 21-year old designated player, has three goals in seven career MLS games.

It was the third game in eight days for San Jose (2-3-3), which is winless in its last six after opening the season with back-to-back victories.

Joe Willis had two saves for his first shutout this season. It was his second consecutive start after Tyler Deric started the first five matches for the Dynamo (4-2-1).

Houston is unbeaten, and all of its four wins have come, at home.

Earthquakes begin three-game road trip with draw vs Revolution

Earthquakes begin three-game road trip with draw vs Revolution


FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  — Cody Cropper had his second shutout of the season and the New England Revolution tied the San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 on a rainy Wednesday night.

New England (2-3-2) had its six-game home winning streak snapped. San Jose (2-2-3) ended a five-game road losing streak.

Cropper had a great reaction save of Fatai Alashe's redirection in the 66th minute. Cropper was moving to his right but extended his left leg to deny a near-post shot. Cropper also punched away Darwin Ceren's blast in the 88th minute.

San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham also had his second clean sheet of the season. He came out of his area to deny Diego Fagundez in the 26th minute. Fagundez had a nice give-and-go with Juan Agudelo in the 74th minute, but Fagundez's rolling shot was knocked wide by Bingham.



San Jose 0 0—0
New England 0 0—0

First half_None.

Second half_None.

Goalies_San Jose, David Bingham, Andrew Tarbell; New England, Cody Cropper, Brad Knighton.

Yellow Cards_Godoy, San Jose, 27th; Bingham, San Jose, 85th.

Referee_Hilario Grajeda.



San Jose_David Bingham; Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis, Nick Lima; Fatai Alashe, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka, Florian Jungwirth; Cordell Cato (Tommy Thompson, 69th), Danny Hoesen (Marcos Urena, 69th), Chris Wondolowski (Darwin Ceren, 83rd).

New England_Cody Cropper; Benjamin Angoua, Antonio Delamea Mlinar, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney; Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Daigo Kobayashi (Kei Kamara, 52nd), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe; Juan Agudelo (Xavier Kouassi, 78th).