Sunday morning, I watched a soccer game. This is not something I do regularly. In fact, I can tell you precisely the last time that I watched a soccer game; it was four years ago when the USA women were playing in the World Cup Final.
In between, I’ve watched zero soccer and openly mock the sport to any who try to endorse the game.
Oh, soccer defenders, they’re a lovely bunch aren’t they? The supporters who have waved the banner for the sport behind their slogan “It’s the most popular sport in the REST of the world!” As if that’s a reason to enjoy something; why copy the rest of the world in athletics where soccer is their number one sport and its merely our 5th or 6th (depending on your feelings on stock car racing).
But this isn’t the time for my patented anti-soccer soap box, that’s as long of a running show (and just as tired) as Cats. I have a compromise for soccer, a deal if you will and I think that it’s more than fair.
I have been told my entire life that soccer is the sport of the future and right about now it would be the most popular sport in this country. We’re still waiting on that to happen.
Two years ago the USA men’s team failed to even qualify for the World Cup, which seemed dubious for the future of the sport of the future.
But the women? The women are the bomb! (Do people still say that?) The women are dominant! They have gone to three straight cup finals and won two in a row.
The women are brash, they celebrate goals, they run the score up on inferior competition and are unapologetic about it. This is a brand of sport that we Americans can get behind.
Brash-cocky champions? We love that. Think of the Fab Five, the ’85 Bears and the Dream Team. We don’t just want to beat Angola, we want Charles Barkley to dunk on Angola, tell Angola he’s dunking on them and if they don’t like it, to then hit Angola in the mouth.
Here’s my deal for soccer: our women’s team is dominant and could be for years to come. Let’s lean into that as a country. Not just every four years but every day! The recipe for soccer to take hold in America was that generations would grow up playing it, eventually develop stars and thus take over the world. That is what this program has done.
I couldn’t care less about men’s soccer, so let’s cash in our chips and be done with it. As far as soccer goes in America, it belongs to the women. It is their territory and the men’s game is completely secondary. The men make wild money and produce nothing so they get the back burner now. It’s time that women’s athletics get its due and soccer is the platform to get just and fair compensation and recognition.