Damarcus Beasley: Harbinger or Freak?

The Washington Post has an article on Fort Wayne, Ind. native Daemarcus Beasley, US footballer, and my favorite ex-Chicago Fire. Is he, a non-immigrant from a city, the future of American soccer or an exception?

Beasley is a native of …With little or no soccer on TV at the time, he and his brother Jamar, a former MLS journeyman, would head to Soccer House on Coliseum Boulevard in Fort Wayne and buy European highlight tapes. DaMarcus's favorite player was French legend Michel Platini — "the way he commanded midfield" — while his brother liked Pele…"We would go into our backyard and try to emulate moves and do different things, just me and my brother. We really didn't have anyone to play with growing up."

Asked if any of his classmates knew who Platini was, he said: "Definitely not. Nobody knew what soccer was. . . . Things have changed a lot."

But I wonder how much things have really changed–Ft. Wayne kids can now find Zizou and Ronaldinho highlights (and imitations) on YouTube– but are there many more soccer players?

UPDATE: Check out Chicago Public Radio's World Cup blog:

As President Bush said, "you're either with us or you're with the Angolans"
Actually he didn't really say that, but he did say this…
'And some of us older fellas are starting to understand how important the World Cup is for the whole world.'
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=367373&cc=5739

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