I don't dislike international soccer. In fact, I love it too. But there's something about being an American soccer fan right now: the newness, the rawness, the potential for growth, the idea that you're in on the ground floor, that sense that things are happening, that it's only going to get better, not in a linear fashion, but better nonetheless, that by supporting your local club - be it a national team, MLS, WUSA, A-League or lower division, college, or whoever - you're investing in the present and future of a sport that's about to become a wave. Of course that's an illusion - many people have thought similar things in the past. And it doesn't matter if it's a wave; a tide is fine. And yes, the feeling persists. And of course others will say, "nah, the newness factor was back in '96...or '94...or '89 or '90...or back in the 70s". Well fine!!! I don't care when it was!! But since it's going to be around, like, a VERY LONG TIME (presuming the world doesn't go seriously south, which actually is quite likely), this is still the ground floor, or floor 2 or 3, of a very tall skyscraper. I love going to indoor games, the local team, the San Diego Sockers providing the entertainment. I love the San Diego Spirit of WUSA: on a beautiful day in San Diego the beauty of soccer is just as prevalent when I go out to watch the women play...well, maybe not as much as the men, but close. I like the lower divisions - I've only been to one San Diego Gaucho game, and even though there were only about 150 people there, the drama was just as thick and the skill level of many of the players was there to see. I used to love to go San Diego Flash games of the A-League. I just went to an Open Cup game between the Galaxy and the PDL Fresno Fuego, and seeing the all-amateur side from the Central Valley of California battle it out with the MLS Champs - even taking the lead!! - was a joy to behold. The Fuego had some serious skill and I hope to see them play again in teh future. Then there's the Home Depot Center, which I've been to four times now. I will say one thing: it ain't perfect, and at those ticket prices, it should be, but it's a sight to behold and a great place to watch a game. Every time I go there I come away with a different and more awe inspriing feeling about the place. I live and die with MLS - and I don't even have a team to live and die with; hence, I live and die with the whole league - and my love for it only seems to increase, even with all its flaws and chicken scars. Which isn't even to mention the local University of San Diego college soccer program, which always is near the top of its league and battles UCLA to the death each and every year. I love catching a game on a Wednesday evening in the fall with a cool breeze at my back, watching maturing talent mature in front of my eyes. What can I say? I'm hooked on American soccer. Which isn't even to mention the internet's relation to all this: all the radio shows, the news sites, the matchtrackers, the games you can only hear over the net. It's connected me to the game in ways a few years ago were totally impossible, and made me a fanatic, where before I was just a fan. And of course there's BigSoccer. The less said about that the better, because less is more and well, here I am, ain't I? I'm sure there's more. That's the thing: there's ALWAYS more. It's like a great drug and fortunately or unfortunately, I'm addicted. It's better than the things I used to be addicted to, you can be sure of that. Anyway, just felt like spewing. Took a shower, am clean behind the ears, looking forward to the resumption of MLS action this weekend and seeing my Spirit in the playoffs for the first time ever two weeks from nown, and felt like raising my internet glass to American soccer: may it live long and forever prosper, and continue to strike them into the upper corner!! Okay, I'm a sentimental schmuck, but what the f$ck.