Soccer as a Sport and the 2014 World Cup (so far)

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Almost all 32 teams have played thus far in the World Cup and it’s fair to say that Americans would still much rather talk about LeBron.  Ain’t that a shame?  Soccer, as I discussed with many folks this week, is tough to watch.

For all the talk about how Soccer contains more “live action” than football or baseball, there’s a huge amount of wasted action.  As a guiding principle, if your sport allows scoreless ties to be the end result of a serious competition your sport is severely lacking.  You want to know how many scoreless ties there were in the world’s most popular futbol division, the European Premiere League? TEN!!!  And that was only the first three months of their regular season!!!!  How many scoreless ties were there in the NFL last season?  NONE!!!  In fact, there hasn’t been a scoreless tie in the NFL in OVER SEVENTY YEARS!!!!!  Come on, Soccer.  Let’s get it together.

I’m sure you’re doing fine without Americans caring about your sport–you’ve done well thus far, I guess.  But couldn’t you see how great your sport COULD be with some really simple changes–like not allowing scoreless ties??  Here’s a good solution to remedy the scoreless tie at least within the confines of the EPL–I’m sure something similar can be done in larger, international competitions as well.

In Soccer’s defense, this weekend’s action saw a ton of scoring relatively speaking but Iran and Nigeria put an end to that yesterday as they put together the first scoreless tie of this year’s World Cup.

The US Men’s National Team sure avoided a scare late yesterday.  Ghana tied the match up at 1 with only minutes remaining in regulation as second half fill-in John Brooks nailed a header into the Ghana net to put the U.S. up for good.  I only got to see the last few minutes of the match–including Brooks’ header–and apparently that’s all I needed to see.  Otherwise I would have likely yelled at the screen all day long–instead of for only a few moments like I did after Ghana tied the game.  I really hope that we are able to put something together against Portugal and/or Germany.  If this year’s World Cup ends after the group stage soccer will again be set back years in North America until it can gain some real national notoriety as a sport.  It is good to see the men’s team get some attention while they’re out there representing our colors.  God Bless them and here’s hoping they don’t have to return on top of their shields.

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