SoccerIt would seem that soccer is returning to America. I...

the Forum

July 11, 1994

Soccer

It would seem that soccer is returning to America. I have to agree, however, with the skeptics. Too many negatives and not enough positives.

It is a fun game to play but not to watch. For most Yankees there is a lack of scoring in a game overly controlled by the official due to the hi-jinks that go on in tackling and the silly off-side rule.

With the World Cup, America is witnessing the cream of the crop in player quality. But that frequently is offset by the flagrant fouling, faking of injuries and abominable officiating, both by linesmen and at critical moments by the referee.

Even the commercial side of the game was better on foreign-language networks. American television offered weak announcers, extended commercials and poor coverage.

American telecasters continually misidentified players and repeated unnecessary information.

ESPN/ABC commercials constantly covered a portion of the screen, while Univision had catchy ads for only very short periods.

ABC coverage frequently resembled a camcorder-equipped parent panning the whole playing field at his child's soccer game.

I believe soccer is an excellent game for kids to play, right through college. It teaches teamwork, skill and humility at a budget price. But the foreign professionals will still dominate the world scene.

In fact, I believe it is better for the game and those who enjoy playing that it remain a high school and college sport, avoiding the many evils evidenced today in our own professional sports.

Soccer is now pure. It should remain that way.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

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