True American Soccer

January 6, 2010
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Forget American Football… Let play World Football
Kids ages five through eight starts out their athletic careers with the same game. Fields on Saturday mornings are filled with kids with shirts and shorts that are too big—chasing after a ball as if they were a jungle cat chasing after a wild bore.

“The True Story of American Soccer” by Dave Eggers explores the history of soccer and America and how it has taken a back seat, but he feels it still has a fighting chance. “Soccer quickly and quietly drops 88% of kids at age ten.” The kids drop it and play the more traditional sports: football, basketball, and hockey. But why in the United States is the most popular sport in the world not popular? Is it because America believed it was a communist sport only played by Russians and anti-Americans? Or maybe it’s just not what we like.

The World Cup came to America in 1994 for the first time in history. This went unnoticed to the more traditional American sports enthusiast, who believes football is God’s gift to us. But we still managed to sell out every game in every city. This opened the country up to the game…but only to a brief number of us.

There is always the typical sayings of Soccer is for girls. Field Fairies. The game has more flops and actors in it than on Broadway. A player is running down the sideline, can get tapped and is on the ground. Next thing you know he’s rolling around in pain and you swear he tore his ACL. The opponent who tapped him gets a foul and miraculously the injured player is up. There is a certain beauty to the acting and flopping of soccer. The only other sport where that sort of thing will work for you is basketball, but not to the same extent.

The World Cup is the tournament of all tournaments. Every four years countries battle it out to be the last one standing. People in Europe, Asia, and Africa kill someone before letting their beloved team lose. But how in the United States, the richest country in the world, with the best athletes in the world, never win? Not in any other sport can the earth stop spinning and a whole country be focused on one ball. One team. One goal. The day the United States realizes soccer is the worlds game, will be the greatest day in modern American sports.

With a professional league expanding, it is only a matter of time before soccer is main stream. Yes, maybe it will never be on the same level as American Football, but we can only hope.





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