The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is over as far as the United States team is con­cerned. The extra time defeat at the hands (actu­ally, the feet) of Bel­gian squad ended the dream. It has been a remark­able few weeks for soccer among Amer­i­cans with inces­sant media hype and an avid public response to a sport that had pre­vi­ously been only an after­thought for most Amer­ican sports fans. Even if “I believe that we will win!” was a worthy cheer, the fine young ath­letes who rep­re­sented our country were not able to trans­late faith into reality.

The more inter­esting issue from the per­spec­tive of the busi­ness of sports is whether the soccer entre­pre­neurs of this country can con­vert this newly-​​uncovered affec­tion for the world game into a viable addi­tion to the Amer­ican menu of major team sports — foot­ball, base­ball, bas­ket­ball and hockey. Major League Soccer has 19 fran­chises spread nation­wide with more on the way. While the quality of the game they play is not up to Eng­lish Pre­mier League stan­dards, it cer­tainly is exciting and attrac­tive. Will MLS be able to com­mand recog­ni­tion as a major league? It will take some time for the ver­dict to be rendered.

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