Overweight, middle-aged, T. rex sports writers aside, anyone who watched the women's World Cup "gets it." Hollywood could not craft a better story than the one played by the U.S. team right up until the final. Soccer is the world's game. Soccer is the No. 1 youth participation sport in America.
Anyone who does not believe soccer will ultimately triumph here should heed the wisdom of my old man. A Duke grad and eighty-something basketball fanatic, he reminds people no one cared about basketball in the ACC until the late 1950s. Winning creates fans, and we have one obstacle remaining to creating that formula here in the US.
In their groundbreaking book "Soccernomics," Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski explain every other element necessary to create an international soccer powerhouse is already present in the U.S. However men's soccer is the most underfunded NCAA sport. While "Soccernomics" overlooks the collegiate perspective, ask any U.S. men's college coach in the nation and he can fill in the blanks. Remove this self-imposed impediment and watch out.
In the meantime, while players in other sports strike, whine about multimillion-dollar salaries and hold fans hostage, soccer players play.