Soccer: The Worlds Game Essay

1399 words - 6 pages

Soccer (Football) is the most popular and fastest growing sport in the world. Over 240 million people play it regularly around the world. However, most people only get to view one side of soccer in their lifetime. They never get a glimpse of it in any other setting. For many people soccer is a very competitive organized sport. For others it is an everyday, fun activity. In some countries, soccer is their life, while in others it is just a sport. For those of you that don’t know, soccer is a sport where the objective is to score goals by kicking a ball into the other teams goal. It is a mix of offense and defense, with very fast paced action. You are allowed to use any body part except your ...view middle of the document...

Kids find it a lot easier to play sports that they see on a regular basis. They can watch the professionals do it on tv and then practice what they see. Thats why other sports such as basketball, baseball, and football have always had more youth players.
With all this in mind, soccer has been growing in the U.S. recently, just not the way expected. More and more Americans are started to enjoy watching soccer, but not the U.S teams. Statistics show that soccer players and watchers of the U.S. are more inclined to support and watch other teams around the world. In fact, Studies show that “The U.S. is the only country in which the national team's World Cup matches don't draw the highest domestic ratings; in 2006 Americans preferred games involving Brazil, Italy and Mexico”(Wolff 2). Many people just don’t find U.S soccer enjoyable.
This is for a few reasons. First of all the U.S doesn’t have their own style of play. Countries like Brazil have manipulated and molded their own way of playing the game which is very enjoyable to watch. Whereas the U.S, “ Is usually reacting to other teams in the flow of play instead of forging their own brand of soccer”(McCormack). This basically means that when the U.S. plays differently every game. This greatly affects youth soccer in America. If you are a kid playing soccer and are trying to figure out how you want to play the game, which country would you rather watch, American or Brazil? So, as kids grow up playing a certain style of soccer, they tend to keep playing that way the rest of their lives. Thats why, when they are grown up and are trying to play professionally they are much more likely to look for a league around the world instead of in the U.S. It is a vicious cycle. Kids grow up playing and watching other countries, and get really good. But when they grow up, they don’t want to play for the U.S teams. So, the U.S leagues still can’t create their own style of play. This is the main reason why Soccer just isn’t as big in the U.S.
Now, lets jump to the other side of the world, Africa. In Africa soccer is a completely different sport. It is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle and an escape. “From Morocco to South Africa soccer is a passion”(Zijlma). Also, it is a lot less expensive. In fact the only country that has a well developed, wealthy league is South Africa. If you walk around anywhere you will find young boys playing. But not always with a ball. In many African countries soccer is played with plastic bags tied together with string. But that doesn’t stop them from playing. They don’t need pumped up soccer balls, or thousand dollar goals, or even cleats. All they need is a ball and some space.
Even though almost every boy in Africa plays soccer, the African leagues still suffer the same problem as...

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