Originally posted by @shallow-blue
I've always found this a rather superficial complaint. It'd not about the absolute size of the numbers on the board, but about how they got there. Otherwise, the only "sport" worth watching would be pinball.
That's a silly way to analyze something as arbitrary as sporting events. Sports popularity is about taste and enjoyment, not logic. Arguing that people shouldn't be bothered by the lack of scoring is meaningless. They are. People will watch what they want to, not what you explain to them is better for them. I am absolutely convinced that a major reason soccer's never taken off here is the dearth of scoring. Soccer gets plenty of exposure. IF you include secondary channels, there's more than enough of it on and the MLS has teams in most major cities in major stadiums at accessible prices. There has to be a reason it's never taken off and this is the one I'd bank on.
Anyway, to get to your point, I also think soccer has a problem with "how [the points] got there." While nobody can deny that the sport is elegant and graceful, there's a major problem in that the build-up towards a goal only lasts seconds. You could have an amazing run and as soon as the ball is shot wide, it's over and irrelevant. In baseball and football, there's a binary outcome on substantially every pitch and play. Either you've advanced towards scoring or consumed one of your limited opportunities to thus advance. In baseball, you have 27 outs. Either you get on base and thus take a concrete step towards scoring or you lose one of those 27 outs. In football, either you gain yardage or consume a down towards your having to punt or turning the ball over on downs, thereby blowing one of your few precious possessions. In basketball, there's so much scoring that this doesn't really matter much. In soccer (and hockey, of course), unless you factor in intangible concepts lie momentum and fatigue, the play is irrelevant unless the ball or puck goes in the net. This decreases that importance of each play, decreases the relevance of tangible statistics and, at least, IMO, decreases nuance and subtlety.
Americans like statistics in our sports. Why do we like baseball when the ball is in play for maybe 10 minutes in a 3 hour game? Because every event can be quantified and measured and recorded. It's a sports nerd's dream. No goal-oriented sport can ever hope to be able to generate the level of statistical analyses that can be generated in a rounders/baseball/cricket type sport. For this reason I'm sure we'd like cricket if not for the fact that we already have baseball.