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Jimmy Conrad is an American soccer defender, who currently plays for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer and the United States national team. He is also team captain[…]

The number of people who tune in for the World Cup indicates that there is a passion for the sport in the U.S. Major League Soccer just needs to tap into that, says the captain of the Kansas City Wizards.

Question: Why isn’t soccer more popular in the U.S.?


Jimmy Conrad: I think it is popular in the U.S. I think the problem is, I mean you can just look at World Cup anytime there is a World Cup going on people stop and watch no matter if it is four in the morning or at ten at night whatever people find a way to make time to make that happen, so it is just kind of plugging into that kind of passion I think we have a lot of Euro snobs here in this country that don’t want to give our league a chance, they just think while the other leagues in the world are better and you know in some fashions they are but and we are coming along here in this league, I am very excited to be a part of it, I think the future is very bright and we, it is just converting the soccer fans that already exist here, I think we try to convert, I think initially our soccer, our fan base was more like soccer moms and their kids and I think when you watch a game overseas you don’t see soccer moms and kids in the stands, you see you know 18 to 49 year old males in there, “enjoying themselves” and cheering and having a good time, I mean passionate about their team and it is just going to take time to build that and I think what is unfair is that we can get compared to the other professional leagues in this country, that have been around for 50 or 60 years, much greater head start in terms of you know working out there kings and trying to figure out where they are going to fit in the national landscape and you can go back to the NBA in the ‘70s, I mean they didn’t start blowing up until Magic Johnson and Larry Bird came around and so and then once rivalry started and you have this history and I mean our league is, this will be our 13th year and it is just going to take time to build a fan base, but also to develop a rivalries and history you know I mean if you watch sports center, they have stats from like 80 years ago, they don’t matter but they have them, so and people are interested in them and it is just like that use our not so useful information, they get stuck in your head and you know we are just going to take time to kind of get to that point and that goes hand in hand with our development as a league as our players as a next generation of kids grow up and grow up and say I watch Lan and Donavan play, I watch Cobi Jones play and these are real things, because when I was a kid there wasn’t any of that and so it is very important for kids to not any different than major league soccer and once those kids grow up and say, you know what this is what I want to do, this is what I want to be, I want to play for that team, it is going to fit in nicely in our national landscape.


Recorded on March 24, 2008