Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Innocent Abroad: 'Sports Guy' Gives Take On USA-Mexico Qualifier
ESPN.com, August 19th, 2009 4PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

ESPN's Bill Simmons, also known as the "Sports Guy," serves as the snide and opinionated voice for millions of American sports fanatics. After spending his career so far musing on mainstream American sports, he's turning to soccer, a sport that represents a strange new world for him. Reporting from Azteca on last week's World Cup qualifier between the USA and Mexico, Simmons gives a unique take on the experience, fandom in Mexico, and the state of soccer in America.

Simmons writes of his new attraction to the sport: "What the hell was happening to me? Why was I starting to get hooked by soccer -- a sport I have never totally liked and even actively hated at times? Was this an extremely early midlife crisis? And if so, why soccer of all things? Couldn't it have been a Porsche or an 18-year-old Starbucks barista?"

On the game: "Watch Mexico play, and you end up thinking, "Why doesn't everyone play that way? It looks so easy!" It comes down to a catalyst and a mindset; if you're missing both, you can't pull it off. In basketball, think of the teams that play beautifully together (like Duncan's Spurs or Nash's pre-Shaq Suns) versus stagnant offenses that stand around watching their best player go one-on-four (like LeBron's Cavs). You might win going one-on-four; you're just making it harder on yourself, that's all. Same goes for soccer ... and unfortunately, the Americans lapse into soccer's equivalent of the one-on-four offense too often. You know it's happening when they lose patience and forget about controlling the ball; you know it's happening when they repeatedly sail passes downfield with no rhyme or reason; and you definitely know it's happening when the defenders seem jumpy. The best soccer defenders clear out a play, then hold the ball for that extra second or two as they size up the field for a counterattack. In Mexico, the jumpy Americans handled these situations like they were dumping a hand grenade. I gotta get rid of this thing! That guy's coming right at me! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Report: Mackay Out of Palace Running    
Malky Mackay, who was considered a shoo-in for the vacant Crystal Palace job, is no longer ...
UEFA Investigates Tavecchio Comments    
Italian soccer federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio is being investigated by UEFA over an alleged racist ...
Report: Glazers to Keep Man United Five More Years    
The Guardian reports that despite mounting unrest over the Glazer's ownership of Manchester United, the family ...
Barca Denied Transfer Ban Appeal    
Barcelona will be unable to sign any players in 2015 after FIFA rejected its appeal against ...
UCL Playoffs: Higuain Rescues Draw vs. Bilbao     
Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde says he had "hoped for something more" following his team's 1-1 ...
Wenger Bemoans Ramsey Suspension After Gunners Stalemate    
Aaron Ramsey was sent off as Arsenal eked out a 0-0 draw away to Besiktas in ...
Simeone: Di Maria is Real's Best Player     
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said he thinks that Angel Di Maria is Real Madrid's best ...
Colorado College will be Team USA in 2015    
Colorado College, a Division III school, is moving to the Mountain West this season from Conference ...
Hazing investigation prompts cancellation of UNM opener    
In the aftermath of an incident in which Albuquerque fire and rescue and ambulance personnel were ...
Johannsson Has Groin Surgery     
AZ Alkmaar on Tuesday announced that USA forward Aron Johannsson had surgery on his right groin ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives