The question is can Messi Mania revitalize American soccer? We thought that Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia would get it done for the Cosmos in the '70's but the North American Soccer League folded financially. I do remember Giant Stadium filled to capacity with different ethnic fans from around the world in attendance. People say that nothing really came of it but I do beg to differ.
First off, the women's game was quicker to take hold and we saw the World Cup wins pile up. The men's game has been a different story. It has slowly built up its coach academies and network of junior teams modeled on the European style of play but needs to further reach down to explore populations of the those who have been marginalized, downtrodden and disenfranchised. The urban poor are where the gems of soccer brilliance lie not necessarily in the rich suburbs. As the soccer network spreads it must be all inclusive to these populations. You see how well the urban basketball programs have been spawned in the playgrounds of such tournaments like the Rucker Tournament in Harlem, N.Y. and others. This will be the key to the growth of American soccer in this country.
As I was growing up in the 60's and 70's there were virtually no leagues available for young people to learn the game.