I think they're all very fair points Chilli
The first issue left a deep rooted suspicion though regarding American attitudes towards the game that has never fully gone away. These proposals weren't the creation of an indvidual (I confess to never having heard of Shaugnessy) they were put forward in all seriousness by influential American television networks and organisers at the behest of sponsors, and caused constenation in some parts (I never took them seriously, but others did). Some networks even contemplated refusing to show matches as host broadcaster if they couldn't have their own way.
It left something of a mild resentment in some quarters though. Football is the world game. FIFA has more affiliated countries than the UN. The rest of the world have adopted the game for decades. Only America it seemed thought they should fundamentally rip up the whole nature of the game and rewrite it for their benefit, (4% of the worlds population) because their public wouldn't embrace it otherwise. I'm sure you can imagine what impression that left. Why should the rules be rewritten for a single country?
I do wonder if with hindsight 1994 came too soon, and might have caused more damage than good? It should have been an occasion for America to embrace the worlds sport, but instead they gave the impression of turning it round, and it felt more like football was being asked to embrace America. There's an old adage in football that no single player is bigger than the team, but in asking for (bordering on demanding) a whole new match structure, America got alienated, and once senses that perhaps they've never been fully forgiven (although it would be dangerous to read too much into some of the tournament awards handed by FIFA and their subsequent rejection of American bids as I'm very sure that other considerations are at play).
I'll take your word for the fact that appreciation is much better today than it was then. I believe it must be though, and 36 pages on this thread alone has to attest to something. I do remember sitting in a bar in New York in the mid to late 90's watching the womens world cup final though, and the level of knowledge for the games basic rules I encountered was shockingly poor, as indeed it was in the media. Now OK a bar is hardly conclusive proof of anything, but this would have been in the wake of 1994, and we're talking pretty basic rules
The rampant commercialisation as you rightly point out came about with Murdoch money on the back of an improbably successful world cup campaign for England in 1990. The seed was sowed and the Premiership came into existance in 1993. Jack Walker bankrolling Blackburn was the first to show the way, but as you say, the likes of Abramovich (who tried to buy Tottenham first) and more lately the Arab owners have pushed things into a different stratosphere. It has for the most part though been reckless spending rather than any attempts to tamper with the game that has consumed them (albeit a couple of owners have certainly tampered with the traditions of the clubs). I don't believe the American's are the biggest offenders though. Hull and Cardiff are two clubs currently embroilled in strife with an owner trying to mould things in their own image, whilst Portsmouth have suffered too. Come to think of it, Mohammed Al Fayed had a statue of Michael Jackson erected outside Craven Cottage (a much bigger act of vandalism) that's been removed now that he's sold up though
Personally, I've increaingly fallen out with the game, and whereas I used to make a 200 mile round trip to go and watch Leeds every other weekend I'd no more dream of paying the silly prices to pay these overpaid prima donnas now
So should America be given another chance at staging the World Cup in recognition that they're more likely to embrace it this time round on footballs terms? I'm much more inclinced to say Yes than No. I also think that football is on the road to swallowing itself, and whereas we might have railed at some of the Americanisations that have tried to be introduced (cheerleaders and players running out indvidually - its a team sport!!! you run out together!!!) these are comparatively small fry today