It's Independence Day in the United States, and as you read this you may be making last minute party plans, stocking up on fireworks or getting supplies for the grill. But just as it's a great day to celebrate another birthday for this country, it's also a great day to celebrate another successful summer for the world's game in the United States.
Here are three ideas to make your Fourth of July a soccer-filled celebration:
1) Get out and play
It’s the middle of summer, the sun will be shining, and millions of Americans will likely be going to a barbecue, or a similar outdoor activity.
Why not bring a soccer ball?
One of the easiest way to help grow the game is to show people first hand just what an exhilarating, exciting experience playing soccer can be, even if you’re running around with your friends at the park, taking the occasional beer break.
And speaking of the beer part, that's a big part of the North American soccer summer too – be sure to check out how one man is helping grow the North American game, one brew at a time.
2) Catch a game
When you’re exhausted from your on-field escapades and the sun starts to go down, don't worry – MLS has your soccer fix covered.
Three games will take place on Thursday night, so if you're lucky enough to live in the Dallas, Denver, or LA areas, be sure to get on down to the stadium for what promises to be an exciting night of soccer. (As if we could handle any more after Wednesday night's goalfests.)
FC Dallas will host Chivas USA in the curtain-rasier (9 pm ET) and Colorado will kick off against New York soon after (9:30 pm ET), with LA and Columbus meeting what should be a fierce contest to reignite their respective playoff pushes (10:30 pm ET).
All three games are sure to not only promise some fireworks on the field, but actual fireworks afterwards. And if you can't get to the stadium, MLS Live has you covered, with all three games avaialble to subscribers, meaning even if you plan on catching your fireworks elsewhere, you'll still get your soccer fix, and you can show your friends and family just what soccer means to so many people on such a special day.
3) Keep the fun coming!
When you're done for the day, don't forget – the fun doesn't stop here.
There's plenty in store for North American soccer throughout the summer, and beyond. It starts with the Gold Cup, kicking off Sunday and running through the month of July, where the US will try to knock off defending champions Mexico and reclaim bragging rights in the region.
Of course, the MLS calendar doesn't stop, there's the All-Star Game on July 28, and the US Open Cup – which is celebrating its own 100th birthday this year –resumes shortly after. The celebration of US soccer doesn't stop here and hopefully for many, it will only have begun.
So have fun, be safe, and Happy Fourth of July!