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The Internet and Soccer -- A Double-Edged Sword?

Matthew Bernstein has seen firsthand the promise of the Internet in attracting new American fans to soccer.

The 43-year-old founder of the 500-member Hapoel Soccer Club in Maryland explains: "In the 1970s, when I watched the World Cup final on TV, I missed at least one goal due to commercial breaks. Four years later, it wasn't even televised. When the 'Wide World of Sports' opening credits showed the 'thrill of victory' with Marco Tardelli expressing his post-goal euphoria, I was over the moon. That was about as much 'live soccer' as we got."

"Now, in 2010," he says, "my 8-year-old son wakes up an hour before he leaves for summer camp so he can go to ESPN.com and watch game highlights, hear interviews, read team rosters and more."

But whether this will in the end be good for the sport in the U.S. remains an open question.

You can read the rest of this op-ed on AOL News.

By the way, Gina Misiroglu of Red Room put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways in which she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.