The recent influx of Americans into the Premier League have given us an indication that our friends from across the pond are beginning to take the game they call soccer a little more seriously. Also, the United States is proving to be a popular choice with footballers who want to see out their careers and get paid lots of money (see: Beckahm and Henry).
It will probably never reach the popularity enjoyed by the NFL, MLB and NBA as America's favourite sports but it is definitely has a strong following within the country, evidenced by Premier League teams increasingly choosing to go to the States for pre-season tours. It is in their best interests, of course, in terms of revenue too.
Having spent a year studying in the States I can confirm that the Yanks are indeed very passionate about the sport and follow the European leagues closely. It is played competitively by American children from a young age and there are organised leagues from primary school all the way through to university level. Their relative success in the 2010 World Cup when they shared a group with England further made the case that sooner rather than later the U.S will be a viable threat at tournaments.
Players such as Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan (when he was with Everton) and Brad Friedel have made significant impacts during their time in the Premier League and perhaps managers will assign the U.S as a country for their scouts to recruit new talent from. It would be a sensible move considering the size of the talent pool available.
Let's not forget, too, that it isn't only on the pitch that the Americans are making their impact felt. Out of the four 'big' clubs in the Premier League, three of them are owned by Americans. Stan Kroenke is majority shareholder of Arsenal whilst the Glazers have controversially had controlling stakes in Manchester United since 2005. In October 2010, John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group took overLiverpool.
The popularity of good ol' football in the U.S doesn't appear to show any signs of slowing down so keep an eye out for more funny talking football players to make the trip over the pond.