Although many American children grow up playing the game, America has not been a hotbed of soccer fans. After the surge of interest that follows each World Cup, some sports commentators speculate that our nation is at last on its way to embracing the game. So far, it does not appear that a whole lot of sustained hugging is going on. The men's World Cup championship game last summer between the Netherlands and victorious Spain did draw the largest-ever number of American television viewers, 24.3 million, for a World Cup match. It topped the previous high of 19.4 million viewers for an earlier round, when the United States lost to Ghana. However, this summer, the television ratings in America for the women's competition started off very low, garnering a Nielsen rating of .09 to 1.2. They more than doubled, to 2.6, or 3.89 million viewers, when the American women played Brazil. The ratings for the U.S.-France game, despite being played in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, only slightly trailed those for the Brazil game, which had been played on the weekend.