Wasn't exactly sure where to put this thread, but anyway.......... I've been in college for about a month now, and one of the things that pleasantly surprised me was the amount of soccer shirts I've seen people wearing around here. Most of them have been high school team shirts, and I've also noticed a few youth soccer program shirts, and several pro team jerseys. I've seen a couple Liverpool ones, one Juventus, one Bayern Munich, and one Manchester United (and no, I don't think I've seen an MLS jersey yet, although on a positive note it seems the Fire get a few TV advertisements out to the kids every week, since a lot of the Cyclone football games are carried only on some channel out of Chicago). I don't know how many of the people wearing these are foreigners studying in the States, but altogether, I'd have to say I've seen just as many, if not more, soccer shirts on my way around campus as football shirts. Now, Saturdays are another story, but what do you expect? What does all this mean? Probably nothing aside from the fact that high school soccer is a lot more popular in the bigger Iowa high schools than I previously thought. I suppose a big reason I was so taken aback by this was that I came from a small town without a high school soccer program where the "soccer is for pusssies, football is life" mentality still held strong, and the only intrusions of soccer into the lives of its inhabitants were a short-lived non-school-sponsored team a friend of mine and his dad cobbled together in junior high, in which I participated, and a youth soccer program sponsored by the local rec center that failed to draw great numbers of elementary students, which I helped to coach. I suppose Iowa has been one of the biggest soccer hotbeds in the nation for some time now (I remember hearing a while ago that it's among the top five as far as the sport's popularity goes, or something like that). I'd be interested, though, in knowing how Iowa, of all states in the nation, became one of these. I mean, lots of hispanic immigrants do come here, but I'm sure we're not getting the most of them, what with being this far north. And besides, most of the soccer players aren't hispanic anyway. It's not like we have the biggest population in general, either, or could be considered the most globalized.