American Outlaws, seen on the big screen, cheer for the U.S. women's national team more than half an hour before kickoff during a match with Mexico on May 17. Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village of Dura al-Qari near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. Blatter said he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations. Majdi Mohammed/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Majdi Mohammed/AP

FC Barcelona plays Getafe in Barcelona, Spain, on May 3. Spain's soccer federation says it will halt all professional games "indefinitely" starting May 16, to protest a new law regulating the sale of television game rights. Spain's professional soccer league opposes the planned suspension, but the players union supports it. Manu Fernandez/AP hide caption

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New York Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall (third from left) reacts toward the crowd after teammate Lloyd Sam scores during an MLS soccer game against D.C. United on March 22 in Harrison, N.J. The Red Bulls won 2-0. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

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Sweetness And Light

Deford: Americans Don't Care About Major League Soccer

The curmudgeonly sports commentator is pessimistic about the sport's prospects in the U.S.

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Dozens of elite women's soccer players have ended their fight against the use of turf at this summer's Women's World Cup. The plaintiffs included Abby Wambach, seen here in a 2013 US Women's National Team game. Jamie Sabau/Getty Images hide caption

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Guinea's defender Fode Camara (left) heads the ball over Ivory Coast's forward Wilfried Bony in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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United States' Abby Wambach fights for the ball with Brazil's Bruna Benites during a final match of the International Women's Football Tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday. The game ended in a draw, giving Brazil the tournament victory. Eraldo Peres/AP hide caption

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At the Arsenal video club, men sit shoulder to shoulder. But some still say it's too dangerous to go in because of Ebola. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

New England Revolution's Charlie Davies celebrates his goal against the New York Red Bulls last week to secure a spot in the MLS Cup. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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In a new public health campaign, British actor Idris Elba plays a soccer coach whose team is squaring off against Ebola. Courtesy of Africa United hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Africa United