I have coached and admired kids playing soccer for a few years now, and while my youth was spent at 49er games in S.F. admiring Joe Montana, I have found a vigorous passion for the game of futbol. I am glued to the tube, if I haven't carped tix from a friend, to watch the Timbers run the pitch against the latest foe. I am studying the players, the way I once studied the 49ers' player roster, and I am engrossed in the 107ist (you'll need to look that up.)
Granted, the MLS has a long way to go in terms of quality of play, however, the league is scoring huge wins along the way to becoming a mainstay sport in the US, where it was once relegated to Saturday mornings with moms in minivans, or so the cliche goes.
My sincere hope is that soccer does gain more prominence in the US - Not because I want a more 'Euro' lifestyle, but because I have truly learned to admire the game and the and the passion the fans carry for it. If you have a chance to attend a Timbers game, you'll know what I mean. The Timbers Army sings and chants from an hour before the game to well into the night. It is a sight to see, and a pleasure to experience and participate in.
When I root I root for the Timbers.