Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve had at least one small brush with soccer. Soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, is the most popular sport on earth. Despite this, it’s something that Americans have never really embraced en-masse. While you might love basketball or our own brand of football like you could love no other sport, I think soccer is greatly misunderstood by a lot of Americans. Here are a few reasons to give it another chance…
It’s Gaining Traction
The NFL certainly isn’t in any danger of being knocked off of its pedestal in America. However, there’s no denying that soccer is steadily gaining its fandom and momentum. MLS, the US’s official professional soccer league, has a small but very passionate following, the US men’s national team boasts its own ardent fanbase, and CONCACAF Gold Cup tickets from Ticket Liquidator and other sellers are more popular than they’ve ever been. The ratings for 2014’s World Cup were also much higher in America than they’ve been in previous years. I’m not suggesting you should blindly jump on every bandwagon that comes along. However, if you think that soccer is still a tiny niche among Americans, you’re greatly mistaken!
The Passion and the Pageantry
If there’s one sport where you can count on all the spectators to stand up and chant from kick-off to the final whistle, then it’s soccer. You can look at all the NFL, NBA and MLB footage you want, but you’ll never see the intense passion and pageantry you can find at a soccer game. Yes, there are places in Europe where this passion escalates into full-blown riots. By and large, however, you’ll be fairly safe in the stands at an American soccer match. With so much passion in the fans, you’ll find an added element of excitement and intrigue to the game, that you may have never considered before. It’s almost the opposite of modern-day baseball games, which have become extremely slow-paced compared to the electricity and thunderous passion that originally made it “America’s favorite pastime”. If you’re sick of sports where the fans just don’t seem to care enough, then soccer could certainly be a breath of fresh air.
A High Degree of Strategy
Just how hard can it be to get a soccer ball in a net that’s eight feet tall and eight yards across? The answer is extremely! In 2010’s World Cup, the average rate of scores was a tiny 1.56 per game. While this was low even for a meeting of the best players on earth, it’s the result of another distinguishing trait of soccer. It’s very tough to score, which may be maddening to the casual American observer, but behind this is a complex school of strategy and teamwork which can swing a match easily. The nuances of this flow and strategy, and the way that all the different pieces of a soccer match mesh together, adds a unique dose of intrigue that may just captivate you.