Sunday, July 06, 2008

Coward Reputation

Why Football, er, Soccer Gets Ignored

On Canada Day I saw Toronto FC play the Vancouver Whitecaps in BMO Field. Toronto lost a frustrating match, 1-0.

After watching more than two weeks of Euro 2008 action, I was able to spot the difference between great football and North American 'soccer' almost instantly: tackles. In the European tournament, in European leagues and in many other parts of the world, players challenge their opponents with their feet. In the game at BMO I remember a single tackle. Maybe there was more than one but I doubt it.

World football is intense, physical and demanding; the North American variant looks weak, uncourageous and unskillful. There are 'goons' in world football; in soccer, you're more likely to come across a coward.

If North American players are unwilling to go for the ball with their feet, then I don't expect any person here to bother to watch those players sheepishly kick it around the pitch.


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