I generally love the game. For kids, it's better than baseball, which involves a lot of standing around. But watching the World Cup you can see the reasons why it's never going to make it with the American public.
The first and overwhelming reason is the officiating. There are bad calls in every sport, but in soccer, goals are rare. If you take one away or give one unfairly, it is not just an inconvenience which a team has to adjust to - it's the whole game. To get an equivalent impact in baseball, the umpires would have to get a fair/foul call wrong on a grand slam. Every day of the season. In football, basketball, or hockey, there is no equivalent. While a ref can blow a call in an NBA game that is 101-100 and give the game to the wrong team, notice that this is only in the context of two teams that have played incredibly evenly for four quarters. In soccer, where the entire point is to outplay your opponents enough to get ten good runs on the goal instead of four, hoping that the law of averages will mean that you get a goal, even if 50% of those involve some luck, a bad call gives the game to an inferior team. Often. The Argentine goal on a clear offside and the disallowed English goal are great examples. There were only four games. Two of them had horrible calls.
I grant that it's a hard game to officiate. So get more officials. Use replay. Go electronic. Whatever. With an average of 3 goals per game for the two teams combined, getting those three calls right should be the whole point of refereeing.
The preponderance of foreign names is an obstacle for Americans, sure. But baseball fans have been good at Hispanic names for decades. Hockey fans trip Slavic names off their tongues easily now. It's a contributing problem, but not overwhelming.
The flopping, as I recently noted, makes Americans crazy. Clint Dempsey has learned to flop in the international style, and I recognise why, but I can't say I'm exactly proud of him for it. Pierce and Rondo flop, but they don't lie on the court for three minutes moaning, then get back up and play full speed. Even the European basketball players - much better at flopping than the Americans - don't stoop so low.
The low scoring is an obstacle, especially when games are allowed to end in a draw. You can design your game any way you like, but I don't have to like it. West Ham ties Aston Villa nil-nil. Goodbye.
Soccer is world-wide popular because a lot of countries are poor. The fans played soccer as children because they had nothing else. The beauty they see in it is half nostalgia. I like the game, but then, I grew up on Wide World of Sports, watching wrist-wrestling, jai-alai, cliff-diving, and ski jumping once or twice a year and liking those, too. At least once in awhile.