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funding for this program has been provided by the station and other public television stations and by grants from exxon corporation allied chemical corporation and the corporation for public broadcasting tomorrow the world's greatest soccer player of the brazilian known simply as pele places was that professional and then they skills that helped make soccer a major sport in the united states the kids back tonight on the aim of paralyze last game we look at the extraordinary growth of soccer in the united states or the game has been played here since the
revolution americans never fell in love with the sport the way most other countries that it was confined to a small enclave of high schools and colleges mostly in the northeast now with a roster of top foreign stars in an impressive growth of homegrown talent soccer has come of age tonight we look at the magic that is making thousands of american kids dream of playing soccer or like ballet learning how to follow through and run and one only has to be a parent of school aged children or know somebody who is to realize the popularity of soccer is spreading below and be on the professional ranks and there are a couple of concrete figures to back that up five years ago all there were fifteen thousand american young people ages nineteen and will all playing amateur soccer this season there are two hundred and eighty thousand that's in an organized way into the us soccer federation a second telltale statistic has to do with a number of soccer balls four hundred and forty three thousand figure nineteen seventy
four one million two hundred and eighty thousand is the tally for just the first six months of this year there is no question that the prose championship playoff there's not a lot to spur the us interest even further he's been on the police beat well no i know and we almost perennially are going
to have a lot of things you can do the wall and yeah i never liked the conservative than the removal why not well thank you
well i was at the cosmos won the championship to the one purveyor was his final championship season for the united states it was the real beginning of soccer as a major sport lego began his professional career in nineteen fifty six gained worldwide fame with the center's team of brazil into low scoring sport like soccer players average won gold per game in each of his twenty two years of play that is delicate handling the fifteen ounces of leather and compressed air thats the soccer ball as impressed american youths that were developing their footwork after the masters a real touchable as a way of learning board pig really the most bloody history and the most exciting
the not so gentle how ways of bringing the moving ball under control heading the soccer unique using their head as a weapon you know how has the vital link in an existing process
has an odd freakish go to the university of the visa that listen and you have to put them to work throughout the game if that way is one of those most responsible for developing an appreciation for the skills of soccer though was known as most responsible for selling the game of soccer in the united states a former indoor soccer star was not was named coach of the year in the us in nineteen sixty eight and since nineteen sixty nine he's been running the north american soccer league as its executive director it's the reason we've heard that there's been an enormous growth in amateur soccer as jim said earlier where is the professional name now compared to football how many franchises for instance well after high hopes in nineteen sixty seven sixty eight when it's empty and franchises we then went down to five was sixty nine have made a dramatic covering this last season we had eighteen franchises snobbery and we have one
already awarded for next season and we are now looking into the possibility of adding more franchises which had a maximum limit of twenty four not that we necessarily have to go to twenty four but we're prepared to if we have the right citizen the rights to information is that an announced its own announced its encounter the sentences and we you personally than selling soccer too american for about eight years and one tactic was bringing people like la in how important was that to bring the stars in windows board can succeed then automatically with a tremendous support from the media and from madison avenue and in order to remain support you have to have credibility we were making progress at all levels of the sport of course the key move that was made in recent times was the palate to come along here we had a genuine superstar recognize what the world and immediately we we saw that there we had tremendous support from both of those it is the media marketing and i'm madison avenue and of course he gives credibility not just in this country but two of the world and and following his arrival other players have come true you've also been deliberately as i understand trying to create fans for the sport broke buildings board up from the
bottom harvard different franchises of approach it a different way but what we like to do is to consider the game not just her nineties a minute event we'd like to think that the funds were potential come and enjoy themselves both afford enough tourism because we're playing in the summer when the weather is good of course we find that in many places they're coming for the tailgating party before the game and staying afterwards and never becomes a three or four hour occasion for getting kids interested and greeting friends that way well probably this is the key to why the game is growing at this time in the last eight years has been tremendous amount of effort going to organize in the sport of youth level throughout this country politically in suburbia where that good leadership and plenty of good facilities because of his appeal in suburbia we find now that the youth programs of jindo develop throughout this country and we are finding the benefit of this of course at our games we find in theaters both boys and girls and incidentally i come along together with their pattinson and that's one of the main reasons for the increased attendance the year if i read said that soccer will be the most popular sport in this country ten years from now
you need more popular than football what we believe so because the sport has all the ingredients to be that successful i think we just have to break down the barriers that existed when we first started in nineteen sixty seven and now everyone recognizes that is just us and other people me to male added old adult male audience that we had in those early days but it now has a director of society and that of course is essential than any sport to succeed authentic besides imitating pele kids around the world imagine themselves making these spectacular saves that of the art of the goalie the north american soccer league offers training films that show american kids how to do it really really really really
like it there's always whenever one we usually and they were different colored jersey city meets with a referee the other players can tell in part because of their hands and decides what you should work on your reflexes your agility union try keeping her eyes on the ball it has been traditional measure republicans but
he's be like the north american soccer league has as part of its rules a stipulation that at least one player be a native north america and one of the standout domestic soccer players is new york cosmos goalie ship missing jet how to do an american get good enough to play with stars like pele on the gospels was uneasy it was a long road i first thought of playing soccer just as a hobby in high school on long island with a funerary is it that provide a soccer program but for me at the time it was just another sport and sport i also played football and baseball basketball as years when i went to college soccer became the first board from a sport that i love the most at that time when i first went to college or dedicated myself to try to be the best soccer player that i could and at that time i really never had any thoughts about a
professional career i think that time our professional indian esl was just getting under way so what matters as a hobby for me is now a profession i can be happy about how would you reckon that the professional game in this country is going to be dominated by foreign stars along is it that most of the team members are american it's funny because when i first started in this levy an esl i was a big advocate i still am of american market rising again quickly now i've been in the league for a few years and i realized that we have to keep up the credibility in the level of play at the same time integrate more more american players and really i foresee that within the next five years will be a predominantly american league and so really the next ten years will be owner what are the possibilities for an american player to make a career playing soccer and i think it's great i look back to the time when i first started playing in first started playing professionally and it was sort of semi pro
in the five years that i've been in the league we've reached full time professional scale so for a kid who's playing soccer right now he should be could do everyone stood lesbian amateurish in the amateur but he certainly can set his sights on playing professional soccer in esl and playing enough in a first class professional league are you making money in the football basketball are based there put a baseball player league well it's tough to say the overall salaries of all the players have gone up dramatically last few years certainly of cosmo's with pele leading the way out our salary structure might be a bit more than some of the other teams in the league but overall it's it's a professionally and you can certainly make a living at it just tell us what is it you like about soccer was that your favorite game i'm crazy about for a number of reasons the reason i think is such a great sport i can break them down into two parts first as a spectator sport of professional level as some ingredients it will find an indie other professional sports in this country soccer some of the early critics said was not a
score that makes for a more intense emotional game it's a freewheeling independent game and the momentum builds up from one end of the field the other end the fear i think almost as important it's for the kids were playing again young boys and girls i think is very important for youngsters thing to be involved in sports they should be involved in a sport within that stereotype to pigeonhole i think with actress as in football baseball i think a youngster will get more of an equal chance if he plays soccer doesn't matter how big you are actually grow how much the way every youngster when he gets on a soccer field is equal to the other players on the field we say that each each kid is really kept in his own right because basically the game is maybe eighty five minutes of running and five minutes of touching the ball every team plays is going to do the same running every kid's gonna get to touch the ball or some other sports for kids the kids sort of get stereotyped into groups and maybe one could be sitting on a bench or be stuck in right field and he
would feel equal to the other kids involved or yes i for many people soccer's more than a new sport it's a new lifestyle misogyny whopper to dallas was started nine years ago when one of her son said he wanted to join a soccer game as a whopper on a mccain day five of her children are blind soccer her husband coaches a soccer game and as a walker self service commissioner from the southern region of the united states soccer federation there's a whopper how dramatic as the growth of soccer in doubt him in dallas an image of malaria been in the last few years and you would associate with that i can involve man they have a nine years ago and it has gone from less than two hundred players total children adults to over fifty five thousand this fall when you treat people alive volunteers who are willing to give lily their lives up to date to devote hours money whatever is necessary in order to make the sport for over a year one of those yes you know
what i can and i really can't get an infected with the sport i was infected with the sport first and was not the very first time the very first time yeah what a professional thing with my husband's family and i ask that terrible and i thought it was a fantastic and really liked and once you become involved in it whether as a spectator and administrator whatever capacity it seems to getting your blood and become a part of your life and it's unlike any other sport i've ever been around her ever seen other people are involved with youth sports they lost lives at risk well what about the specific things that must have misunderstood laid out in terms of talking about getting our planet that it you know stereotyped everybody gets surrogates there were dead and everybody's people on the soccer field you remember
most definitely it's opposite thinking it and if a child an adult is playing out and running it's a city run for for eighteen minutes a new test of all for five what kind of thinking is and wellness now where it's kind of an expert applies an advantage of that to be able to think what's going to happen at the bark tends to every kid on the field every adult on the field and find a soccer game it's a quarterback literally you think sarge has been replaced with or i don't know this apple replaced but i think the two sports are highly compatible i you know i think that you will see an even larger rope in soccer than it has been in past football has its place the soccer hasn't played soccer is not a sport that limits according to size weight as far as it will provide an outlet for a lot more i believe that this country in football possibly can in addition to the girls when one side of soccer's popularity is the expansion of the game on a college level also for example five years ago the university of wisconsin in
milwaukee began a soccer program last year for the first time for graduates of a milwaukee high school soccer program received athletic scholarships to play soccer one man who has been watching this trend developers bill bartholomew a milwaukee i school football coach the coaches with all dinosaurs all of soccer's popularity no soccer has developed tremendously and walkie and primarily through the knuckle walking kickers as club soccer and the growth of the grant the last three years been phenomenal but football or has been holding its own i mentioned earlier in our discussion that the football had been down in some of our inner city high schools that is sharknado is that ironically enough that those are the same schools with exception of one of another soccer team
we love and soccer varsity soccer team's inner high school a programme walking around three of those high school's three of those inner city high schools do not have soccer are profoundly black schools and the name of the game probably that book black school as basketball and that they've been having some problems with numbers numbers of football players do this how do you as a professional in this whole area of our young people that weight that a proper phrase it you way the attractions of the two sports soccer and football for young ok and i disagree a little bit with phil i believe that soccer stereotypes that too because i had signed some youngsters were very a heavier and to have a very difficult time really and there's a place for them for politico and there's no place for them in a soccer program they would have a very difficult time to get through continued development and our football
program fact i have one young man right now within the last two weeks he's seen your three years of football he has become a football player is not effective and b starting a saturday or has this cosmic turnaround we've heard now after this point the many glorious so after years of applause compared to what we've heard about that i believe that the the integral basis of football namely the content blocking tackling is a thing that appeals is of the appeal of football i believe that there's to two ingredients as i see it there courage and confidence that come with the blocking and tackling in other words in order to be able to blacken tackle you must develop a certain amount of confidence in himself and his confidence takes courage and as this develops you see this confidence developing young man as he continues i believe that that ingredient
of confidence and courage is something that you cannot find in soccer our soccer has to me a tremendous amount of appeal to young person i curl soccer with basketball because of the skills and low on skills also and i also agree that to possibly a person a youngster eighty five ninety pounds could find a place inside a ruined find a place in football but i believe that sports are compatible i think they're i think soccer's a great sport as a matter of fact our football program has benefited by our soccer program would get a tryout are fantastic and that i'm not on the kicking the end as mike eamon will attest to end our team members while marketing specialist when we practice or extra points it feels every ten that ball goes through the appraisers a bit more of those but so
in short fiction and eight years old there's a roster of soccer players here to serve just bounces off the confidence and courage are soccer lesson for an entire report of soccer i think now most people talk about the compatibility of soccer football i disagree i think eventually soccer has been given them once what the country i think that's a healthy way i think it's a healthy thing and it's the reason i think it will be i think it's a healthy sport for kids and i don't think football was a healthy sport for kids my art i enjoyed football a playful paul enjoyed a spectator sport for bo isn't healthy i ok there's been a lot of attacks and football just within the last five or six years i believe that the health of a youngster on a football program depends to a great degree on the coach the coaches
philosophy the coaches teaching techniques and they beat the overall conditioning program of research is being done every year and conditioning to help make football a safer game and if you look at statistics within the last few years football is becoming a savory are my coaching staff is very concerned about each individual and feel and there you'll find the majority of football coaches to be that way unfortunately there are some coaches who either he goes to get the best for them but i'm sure that their support coaches and sacraments you want one it's a good point and sounds like an intelligent coach and one that i would like to play football for but i think he's the exception rather than the rule among football coaches and the distinction between soccer and football for kids is is very little that a coach can do to a soccer team is very little coaching involved the kids go out and play the no time outs and i think that's a basis of involvement for kids i think as a
country where over coach and parents are over involved in their kids' education we have a few seconds for one more question and i want to ask mr wisdom about about this there is a world series in soccer real world series called the world cup when will america be competitive going to the world cup we need to have the top class professional player as a nun for to be successful in the world cup it needs an average age of twenty sixteen seven twenty eight years of great talent is coming through at this time i think that four years from now we're going on an outstanding shot and i think within eight years the next time it comes on after another great day washington convention center the pay
to play it's b or transcripts and one dollar deal fox report by new york one oh oh one nine the macneil lehrer report was produced by wnet wpa they are solely responsible for its content funding for this program has been provided by the station and other public television stations and by transferring excellent cooperation allied chemical corporation and the corporation weeks but the point is
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report
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Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer host a discussion about the increasing popularity of soccer in the United States for The MacNeil/Lehrer Report. Video clips from games and training videos introduce the discussion; growth in popularity is attributed to star players joining U.S. teams from other countries and the introduction of soccer to children. Discussion focuses on the possibility of getting more American player at the professional level, benefits of playing soccer for children, and the relationship of soccer to other sports like football.
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Director: Struck, Duke
Host: MacNeil, Robert
Host: Lehrer, Jim
Producer: Weinberg, Howard
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
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National Records and Archives Administration
Identifier: 96490 (NARA catalog identifier)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report; Soccer,” 1977-09-30, National Records and Archives Administration, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 28, 2021,
MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report; Soccer.” 1977-09-30. National Records and Archives Administration, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 28, 2021. <>.
APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer Report; Soccer. Boston, MA: National Records and Archives Administration, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from