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Obama discusses American Soccer and a USA World Cup

You have read about U.S. president Barack Obama's support of soccer and for a USA World Cup bid. Now you can see him discussing the beautiful game, as well as a potential USA World Cup, courtesy of Univision (via U.S. Soccer):

What do you think of Obama's comments? Starting to think he's serious about backing a U.S. World Cup bid? Will we see him at any World Cup qualifiers this year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Read the memos,the interrogations worked. Geneva Conv covers uniformed combatants not brigands. It’s too bad your hatred of Bush over comes your love of country. Have you called for Clinton’s prosecution for rendition? Or Pelosi’s , she knew what was going on. Of course not they’re not evil like Darth Cheney.

  2. Politics and football are very related. Slobodon Milosevic’s death squads grew out of the hooligans at Red Star Belgrade. South Americans are constantly trying to leverage football teams to win elections and don’t forget Celtic v. Rangers.

    Excellent book: How Football Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Feor.

  3. IVES
    I know these stories are great, but can you stop posting anything Obama related? It seems like whenever an Obama related story is posted people become too political and forget this is a soccer site.

  4. How about when the Khmer Rouge waterboarded at S-21 during their genocide in order to force confessions?

    I did not compare Rice to a Nazi. I pointed out that “just following orders” is not a legitimate defense.

    That’s not to mention that torture doesn’t work. Some people will admit to anything to stop the pain.

    I don’t want to watch another 9-11 either. But eliminating the rule of law does not do that.

    Also, the Geneva Convention does apply. You can call the opposition an enemy combatant or you can call them a pineapple, but the Geneva Convention applies. If a state was necessary to be protected by the Geneva convention than German Jews who were not given the rights of citizens would not have been protected.

    Again, not trying to say Bush is a Nazi, just using precedent.

    At the very least, we need to investigate.

  5. Sammy- For Bush and Co. it wasn’t torture. Rough treatment,sure, torture no. Did we round up and prosecute those in FDR’s admin? The tactics saved lives in LA. Enough of my friends were burned alive on 9-11, I’ve had enough of running through streets under attack, I don’t want to watch anymore Americans dive 100 stories to their deaths rather than burning! Pouring water on the head of an enemy combatant(not covered by the Geneva Conv. They could be legally executed if you want to drag that into it) is not torture.
    Comparing Americans who were trying to protect this country to the Nuremburg Nazis is disgusting, you should be ashamed. Not even comparable to a joke about an admitedly socialist leaning Pres. But of course lets start with the show trials. Round up all the republicans they’re evil fascists.

  6. “This is the first president we’ve had who openly, and knowledgeably, discusses soccer. That alone is reason enough to post this clip.”

    Posted by: fig | May 08, 2009 at 03:17 PM

    Not true and you may not like to hear it, but Reagan was a big supporter of the US World Cup bid. He was actively involved. Bush the first actually attended a couple of games.

  7. Hey Mikey I watch FNC, listen to Rush et al. I support the President in our quest to host the WC again (quick get the smelling salts for Mikey since he’s collapsed from shock)

    But listen carefully to what the President says. It sounds like he is unaware that we have hosted a WC before

  8. @Matt (3:32pm)
    I’m always surprised at the number of people I meet whose interest/love/fanaticism for the game grew out of their exposure to soccer during the 1994 World Cup. It definitely raised the profile of the sport in this country (from very, very low to respectable).
    Since then, the sport’s profile has grown exponentially. I think another WC here, with a much more knowledgeable population, would be an incredible boost to the sport.

  9. Tommy – sarcasm is very confusing on the net and I don’t understand your point. Are you promoting bush as some sort of supreme leader who’s above prosecution? Or trying to say that I support some sort of re-education camps? I do not.

    No politician gets to break the law and Rice has already admitted to passing along orders to torture. The Nuremburg trials were based on the fact that “just following orders” is not an acceptable excuse.

    Failing to investigate something this obvious will cede the moral high ground. How can we expect other countries to hold their leaders to the rule of law if we don’t?

  10. [1] What I don’t get, though, is why he – or anyone else – thinks it’s going to be such a boon for the popularity of the game here. We hosted a World Cup not too long ago (three of them, actually, if you count the Women’s World Cup), and it didn’t result in a country full of footy fanatics.

    [2] Soccer is going to become popular in America when the U.S. national team beats a top-tier team in a game that means something, and not a second sooner.

    Posted by: Matt | May 08, 2009 at 03:32 PM
    [1] “Being a boon for” is different that “making the most popular sport in.” The ’94 World Cup obviously was a boon for American soccer. It raised the profile of the game domestically, it showed Americans what top-notch soccer looked like, and it gave MLS a bunch of free publicity for the its launch. Obviously, WC ’94 isn’t the sole or even the primary reason that (men’s) soccer in the US has gotten so much stronger in the past 14 years, but it definitely helped.

    And, as for the women’s WC, it’s worth pointing out that women’s NT is a global force, historically and currently. Women’s pro sports are simply less popular than men’s, but by the standards of women’s sports–and women’s soccer–our hosting the women’s WC both proved and helped maintain the popularity of the game in the US.

    [2] Setting aside results from long, long ago, the USMNT already did beat a top-tier team in a game that mattered: Portugal, WC ’02. Games like that help soccer’s cause, of course, but I suspect that the causality mostly goes the other direction: once soccer is a well-established, lucrative sport in this country (on the order something like the NHL–it doesn’t have to be football or basketball), the US will start beating top-tier teams in games that matter.

  11. So the President says that he likes soccer and that he’s backing the USSF’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018/2022, and half the posters to this thread have a pissing contest over politics? Seriously?

    Posts like this one are really no different from Ives’ posts about Mayor X’ being interested in a stadium deal for Team Y. Obama won’t be as influential in the host-selection process as most mayors would be in a stadium deal, of course, but he still has role to play to encourage FIFA’s selectors to look seriously at our bid.

    Ives’ readers are mostly American and mostly interested in soccer, so Ives SHOULD be posting this kind of stuff. It’s not his fault that some readers apparently see Obama’s name and have a Pavlovian impulse to post childish assessments of the man’s politics and intellect.

  12. “@Tommy H – re-education camps? Haha wow…Well you should be the first to enroll if you believe that.”

    I don’t understand what the gibbering hyperbole is supposed to accomplish. Why don’t the wingnuts concentrate on the credible parts of their beliefs (like being against deficit spending, though they were hypocrites for not saying anything about it when the Repubs were in power), and have a debate about that, instead of making idiotic claims about re-education camps that sound like the ravings of paranoid schizophrenics?

    It’s like they don’t even want to TRY to convince anyone else, and would rather reinforce group hysteria that everyone else, and I mean everyone else, laughs at.

  13. We’ll never see Obama at one of the qualifiers but I do think he actually wants a world cup to be played here in the near future; like he said, it’d be a good diplomatic move. And, like afc said, he’s attended games in England before so he’s got some degree of interest in the game anyway.

  14. @ Matt – Some could argue that MLS wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is without the 94 WC to launch it.

    @mark – why shouldn’t Ives post this stuff? It is related to soccer, American soccer at that. “The world of soccer with an American voice.”

    @Tommy H – re-education camps? Haha wow…Well you should be the first to enroll if you believe that.

    @everyone who really care that he reads from a teleprompter – he must be doing a good job if this is your go to qualm with the man.

  15. It’s nice that the President likes soccer; though it’s about the least important aspect of his worldview, and any President – regardless of his personal feelings towards soccer – is going to want to stage a World Cup in his country.

    What I don’t get, though, is why he – or anyone else – thinks it’s going to be such a boon for the popularity of the game here. We hosted a World Cup not too long ago (three of them, actually, if you count the Women’s World Cup), and it didn’t result in a country full of footy fanatics.

    Soccer is going to become popular in America when the U.S. national team beats a top-tier team in a game that means something, and not a second sooner.

    There are enough people in this country to fill up stadiums for a World Cup, but that’s still going to leave plenty of room for Americans who won’t care.

  16. This should be universally praised from the viewers of this site. American soccer fans and Presidential comments in favor of the sport should result in happiness.

  17. If conservatives hate Obama so much, why don’t they just get Sarah Palin to make a video?

    When the President makes a statement like this, it is a big deal. THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!!! I hope to see you at a Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United game.

  18. Man, I though Bush said “ugh” a lot in between words. I may have to rethink that!!! Obama might have him beat. Obama isn’t my guy but I do appreciate his interest in the game. Even if it does come across as a passing interest. If he can lobby for the WC that’s great. I just wonder if Scrudge, I mean Blatter cares what he says. Probably not cause he already has his choice.

    I will say Obama needs to get his ass to a MLS game. He needs to throw his support behind keeping DCU is the area. I know he’s got bigger fish to fry but a little love or head nod to helping get a stadium would be nice.

  19. In regards to the comments: I’m just happy we have vocal soccer fans who bleed both sides of the political spectrum. The invective is silly for the most part, but the fact that it’s spread across the spectrum is impressive.

    Soccer is global even here in the US. Now let’s hold hands and sing.

  20. obama is not good at public speaking and neither was bush. he only sounds good when he reads off the teleprompter.

    look, obama supporting the US bid for the WC isn’t any different than say the PM of great britain supporting england’s bid. everyone’s making a big deal because apparently obama’s “the one”. get over the love fest people, he’s only the president.

  21. Bush, Cheney and Rice should be charged with being an accessory to torture. I’m not saying send him to jail, but lets have a trial. Show the world how the process of justice works.

    Oh and go Sounders!

    (politics and football!)

  22. This is the first president we’ve had who openly, and knowledgeably, discusses soccer. That alone is reason enough to post this clip.

  23. Haha Teleprompted words… I love how the right wingers love to flaunt that now… as if he was not an astute professor on constitutional law and a harvard law school grad… I am sure he can’t think for himself… crawl back into your tabernacle caves…

    Obama likes soccer and that can only be a good thing for us fans.

  24. Barack is right. A lot of kids start out playing soccer because it’s a great team sport. We just don’t have the will to take that youth and actually have it make a commitment to a sport. Parents are somewhat afraid that if you’re an athlete, your grades spill, which is crap.

  25. Chef,

    FIFA will make their hosting decision for 2018 and 2022 in December of 2010, so his support is very relevant.

    Why shouldn’t Ives post this? Because people are not mature enough to discuss the merits of his support?

  26. That’s hilarious Jesse. I seriously laughed out loud at my office.

    BTW, I love this president and am pleased that we have someone who the international community will take serious in regards to the WC. Let’s hope that we can make it happen. I’m going to SA next year and wouldn’t mind hitting the games here in the US. I think it will be a much different atmosphere than 2004 and it could directly augment American soccer.

  27. It took about 10 minutes for this to devolve into a vitriolic political exchange…

    Regardless of your political affiliation, President Obama is our #1 asset toward securing the 2018/2022 WC, something I believe most people here hope to host.

    There is no argument that we have the largest and most modern stadia in the world and exercise a huge boon for advertisement (despite the recent recession), however, that will not be enough for the Euros/Asians/Africans, who make up the bulk of voting FIFA’s membership, to award us hosting rights. It will take a lot of behind the scenes political work to get this things done.

    President Obama is our ace in the hole to seal the deal.

  28. Ive’s learn your lesson about posting anything with political figures. The comment section always goes down the same road where it has nothing to do with soccer and everytghing to do with partisan politics. Or if you are going to post on something like this don’t waste your server space with a comments section.

  29. “…And you’re taking your hatred right to the edge of implying that black people are stupid.”
    Posted by: Haig | May 08, 2009 at 02:45 PM

    Actually no he didn’t, but you just did. Congrats!

    As for his support, he won’t be president (term limit) by the time it rolls around the the US, but hey any support is good support.

  30. Only a left wing lunatic will write about a right wing nut on his first post.

    Only a right wing nut will say Obama will be the WORST US president while he’s still in office.

    Politics aside – we all want the US to host the World Cup, so a support from the president is always a good thing whether you agree with his politics or not.

  31. Close-mindedness AND stereotyping AND no soccer content in one entry. Well done rednow.red4ever! What’s truly un-American is attacking someone for simply criticizing the polity.

    I can’t criticize Obama for supporting soccer, and I think he will support a World Cup bid, and will be an asset to our bid too.

  32. “teleprompted words”

    One of my favorites. If you think he’s stupid and only capable of reading words, and not thinking on his feet, then say so, instead of using those wingnut code words. And you’re taking your hatred right to the edge of implying that black people are stupid.

  33. politics aside, its cool that our president is at least vocally supporting soccer whether he does or not… lip service, sure, but i’ll take any vote of confidence for the sport in this country

  34. CJ there seems to be something missing in your life and that is an education.

    Any person with an education would not say that.

  35. Uh oh, here come the conservatives “warning” others that posting anything bad about Obama will get them labeled a racist.

    Hmmm…sounds kinda like when saying anything against Bush or the war meant being labeled anti-American.

  36. Right wingers are slow today. Last time I’ves posted something about Obama like the first 15 posts were partisan name calling and had NOTHING to do with soccer.

  37. Be careful, CJ. If you voice criticism about President Obama, you’ll be labeled hateful, racist, or worst of all: a limbaugh wingnut.

    As for the President’s support of soccer, I think he’s just as serious about it as he is with anything that involves just teleprompted words. I do think he’ll follow through with this because he likes the image of the US being an involved and benign member of the global community, and I think (and I think he thinks) soccer is perhaps the best symbol for such a gesture.

  38. Wow, cj. Just over 100 days in, and Obama has surpasses the unmitigated disaster of Bush II?

    …or was that snark?

    Regarding Obama’s comments, it seems to me like it was just generic politically polite comments, and he has a zillion higher priorities than that to think about.

  39. Why does it now have to turn into a political issue. We should be happy we have a president who is behind soccer. I believe he is a West Ham fan. He even went to an Eastbourne Borough (non-league) game while in England to watch his cousin play.

  40. What do you expect, he is the President of the World so why do you think he is getting behind the “World’s” game.

    Great he is getting behind the World Cup for the US but he will go down as the WORST President in US history.

  41. I think his smile says more about his opinion on this subject than his answer.

    Mikey – patience is a virtue.


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