How many soccer players do you think the average American sports fan would know by name? Beckham? Zidane? Ronaldinho? Maybe Rooney? Ronaldo? I'd bet that most American sports fans – not soccer fans, but general sports fans – would hear Ronaldo and think of the chubby Brazilian and not the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year. Or they think both Ronaldos are from Brazil. Heck, even Deadspin had a post last month about Cristiano Ronaldo and used the hashtag #brazil until it was changed after the fact.
The point is, while even casual soccer fans in America know all the international stars – the Kakas and Drogbas and David Villas and Xavis (actually half the Spanish national team) – that will garner the most attention this summer during the World Cup, the average American sports fan is still, inexplicably, left in the dark when it comes to soccer.