Like most Americans, I am ambivalent toward soccer. Sure I played it as a youth. But now I’m a grown up. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great game to play especially for kids. Lots of running around with minimal contact. That means moms love it (hence the term “Soccer Mom”). And the low scoring is great with the self-esteem crowd. Lot’s of ties and chances to say “Nice try, Ian”. But as an adult game it lacks a lot of what appeals to Americans. Contact, high scoring and strategy. That’s why we like Football and Baseball. Lots of these elements.

That being said I do appreciate the World Cup as a premier sporting event. I also like the international aspect of the competition. Good stuff. But nothing gets me fired up faster than poor officiating. At this level there is no excuse for it.

The American team was robbed today plain and simple. After digging themselves an early hole, they fought back against a determined Slovenia. Then late in the game they scored the game winner, only to have the goal taken away by a the referee. Disallowing a goal for anything less than a capital crime is unheard of. ย I guess the thought of the Americans advancing was too much for him. It’s a shame because a World Cup win by America would be the biggest boost the sport could EVER get. Much bigger than say by … Slovenia.



  1. Ingineer66 says:

    I heard about this earlier. What a joke. The World Cup has become the NBA. Protected players, questionable calls by the refs. Except in soccer, the fans are the hooligans not the players.

  2. Wyatt Earp says:

    Completely and utterly terrible. He was absolutely not offsides, and a Slovenian player had one of our strikers in a frakkin’ bear hug as the goal was scored!

    That being said, if the U.S. didn’t stink up the joint in the first half, we would be gloating about moving onto the second round now.

  3. Wyatt Earp says:

    Oh, and baseball has high scoring and lots of contact? Are you smoking crack? I’ll take soccer every day of the week and twice on Sundays before baseball, thank you very much. I won’t, however, try to force it on others.

    The sad fact is that many – but not all, of course – of the people who deride soccer are the same ones who don’t understand the game and/or the rules. A lot of the people who were ripping it on Ace of Spades didn’t even know why the goal was disallowed. When I mentioned that the ref thought the player was offsides, no one understood how you go offsides in soccer.

    Dude, people can’t argue against a call if they don’t even know the definition of the foul.

    I’ll let you guys look up the definition – knowledge is power – but believe me when I tell you, the ref was wrong.

    • Baseball is a strategy game. A game of situations. It also has the man against man, 1 on 1 element between the pitcher and batter. It’s a brilliant game. A team sport that is also about individual performance. Quintessentially American.

      The reason many people didn’t know why the goal was disallowed is because no one saw the call. The linesmen never signaled offsides, because no one was offside. There also wasn’t any foul by the Americans, but as the replay clearly shows about three Slovenia players had Americans in bear hugs. They scored anyway. WDF is that?

      Phillies game last night 9-4 Phills.

    • Ingineer66 says:

      A baseball game cannot end in a tie let alone a 0-0 tie. That is the number 1 reason why Americans don’t want to watch soccer. Personally I think soccer is much better in person than on TV much like baseball and hockey being much better in person.
      As for the call if even Cobi Jones does not know why the goal was disallowed I would think that most of us would not be able to figure it out either. I know how offsides works in soccer and I used to be a linesman when my daughter was on a U19 team for 5 years. The ref totally botched the call. That is like calling a penalty with 30 seconds left in a Stanley Cup finals game.

      • Wyatt Earp says:

        Cap – Watch a corner kick, watch a throw-in, watch an advance and try to sell me that “no strategy” crap. Every one of those situations have specific strategic movements – called “set pieces” for those not in the know – that position every player in the most opportune spot. Nice try, though.

        As for the blown call, is this specific to soccer? Until instant replay came around, blown calls cost NFL teams games all the time. Hell, they still run roughshod in baseball – just two weeks ago a blown call cost a pitcher a perfect game.

        And finally, as far as the high-scoring sport of baseball? You failed to mention Chi 2, Wsh 1; Col 2, Mil 0; Sea 1, Cin 0. Soccer is low scoring because defense is actually played and they don’t used steroids and a juiced ball as baseball is want to do.

        The issue I have with this is that it is the current hot talking point. Soccer sucks and people who like it are idiots. Because, you know, the 1 billion people who follow it around the world are all wrong. Soccer won’t catch on here because:

        1. The best soccer is found in the foreign leagues (England, Spain, etc).

        2. No American outlet bothers to broadcast those games. It’s a catch-22. People won’t be turned on to it if it’s not televised, and it won’t be televised if people aren’t turned on to it.

        Ingineer66 – I remember an All-Star Game ending in a tie. And until 2005, NHL games ended in ties all the time. Happened for close to 80 years and it never hurt its popularity. Remember the Eagles/Bengals game a few years ago? How’d that tie hurt the sport? People still watched and the NFL is as popular as ever.

  4. Bob G. says:

    …That’s why I prefer this much more “civilized” game…



  5. C/A says:

    Dude – don’t get me wrong. I don’t DISLIKE soccer. Like I said I played all the time growing up and I loved it especially indoor, because it’s super fast and the scoring is higher.

    I can’t think of a better sport for kids to play. As for baseball I can’t think of a WORSE sport for kids to play (Under say 9-10)Ever watch an 8 year old in right field? Pulling daisey’s and daydreaming. Sandlot is where it’s at at that age.

    I know all about the set pieces (basketball is essentially the same) and the corner kicks are more luck than anything else. Heading the ball for a goal is a one in a million shot. It is great when it happens, but it doesn’t happen enough for American taste that’s all.

    As for the rest of the world, soccer is hugh because it’s a poverty sport. It takes no equipment, no arena no nothing to play. All you need is a ball and some space to play. The ball is usually donated by American charities anyway (SNARK).

    You could improve soccer tremendously by doing ONE thing- instituting a back field rule like basketball (Back court violation). Once you cross mid-field there is no going back without a change of possession or touch. That would speed up the game, put an emphasis on the attack and a ratchet up the need for a strong and fast transition game. No lagging around playing keep away at the other end of the field. You would have to hustle back on defense everytime you lose possession.
    Hugs & Kisses (In a European manly fashion) ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ingineer66 says:

    You make some good points Wyatt. I remember the All Star tie. That was the only All Star game that I have actually watched in years and it ended horribly. It was like going to a beautiful wedding and the bride gets drunk and falls into the cake.
    And the tie in Hockey got the Sharks into the playoffs for the first time in 94. They had more ties than anyone in the league that year and then went on to knock off the number 1 seed Detroit.
    Maybe we just don’t like Soccer because we have our own Football and we don’t like other people’s sports.

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