I'm fairly certain that, despite the USA's missed opportunity against Ghana, the 2010 World Cup was *finally* the tipping point for soccer in America. It's a major sport for us now.
No further evidence is needed than today's column at ESPN by Bill Simmons, probably America's liveliest sportswriter in recent years (and also a Tottenham Hotspur fanatic, which is no longer an Anglophiliac affectation in the USA of 2010 as it might have been even 5 years ago). As his remarks indicate, part of the problem is that we are simply sick and tired of American sports. I certainly am, and it was my primary personal recreation from about 1975-2000 before moving to Egypt.I agree with every word of the following, for instance:
"I love the Cup because it stripped away all the things about professional sports that I've come to despise. No sideline reporters. No JumboTron. No TV timeouts. No onslaught of replays after every half-decent play. No gimmicky team names like the 'Heat' or the 'Thunder.' (You know what the announcers call Germany? The Germans. I love this.) No announcers breathlessly overhyping everything or saying crazy things to get noticed. We don't have to watch 82 mostly half-assed games to get to the playoffs. We don't have 10 graphics on the screen at all times. We don't have to sit there for four hours waiting for a winner because pitchers are taking 25 seconds to deliver a baseball."
Anyway, here's the link to the whole article: