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A cheeky bet may help Americans solve the mysteries of soccer

SOCCER remains a mystery to many in the US, but it’s a sport that lends itself to betting: two teams and effectively three outcomes – win, lose or draw.

And there’s nothing that helps you understand a game better than placing money on it, with either a wager on the outcome of a single game or picking a winner over the entire season.

For those who really struggle with the concept and have never seen a game on TV, let alone attended a live match, it’s 11 v 11 over two 45-minute halves, with players using their feet and occasionally their heads, to transfer the ball across the pitch and deposit it into their opponents’ goal. Score the most goals and you win the game, reports Sportcrea.

Major League Soccer, MLS, is the professional version in the US with a men’s and women’s league, and it is becoming more popular year by year. Despite this, the sport still struggles to gain the foothold that football and baseball have on the American psyche. Soccer, or football as the British insist on calling it, is the sport in Europe and South America, with the highest paid sportsmen in those parts of the world all soccer players.

The sport in the US has threatened to take off on several occasions since its popularity peak in the early part of the 20th century. It was only behind baseball in US sports’ mass appeal until the demise of the American Soccer League in the early 1930s. It did enjoy a renaissance and many supporters look back fondly of the late 1970s when the likes of the Brazilian World Cup-winner Pele graced the New York Cosmos team, but the crowds fell off and the lucrative marketing deals diminished with the North American Soccer League, NASL, disbanding in 1984.

Like many other US sports, the MLS has an Eastern and Western Conference with the top teams from each going into the play-offs to determine the champions of the season – the MLS Cup winners, informs Illinoisgambler.com.

Much of the talk recently has surrounded the progress, or lack thereof, of the new franchise in Miami, with global star David Beckham part-owner of Inter Miami CF. Even non-soccer supporters have heard of Beckham – he is of course married to Spice Girl Victoria – with the Englishman spending five years at LA Galaxy before retiring from playing. CNN

Inter Miami CF were expected to make steady progress in their second season, with Beckham’s former teammate at Manchester United, Phil Neville, taking on head coach duties. But they’ve enjoyed mixed fortunes with several encouraging wins but also a six-game losing run that culminated with a five-goal thrashing at the hands of New England.

Big name additions have been made at the club with former Argentinean international strike Gonzalo Higuain and France World Cup-winner Blaise Matuidi added to the roster. CNN Sport

The gambling firms have been less than impressed by their exploits this season, offering very long odds for a major upturn in their fortunes in the second half of the campaign; Inter Miami CF are 150/1 (1500) to win the MLS Cup, with the sensible money going on the likes of Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution, both 11/2 (550).

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