15 July, 2012


If you have ever said, "soccer is boring", "soccer can't really hold my attention" or anything of the sort this post is for you. I am a recent convert to soccer/[world-]football advocate however my first real introduction to soccer was about 10-12 years ago.  At that time I realized that soccer was a sport I could really get behind but as there wasn't really any where to go to watch soccer without being that creepy guy at high school and college games without a connection to anyone in the game. So as time went on my intrest waned. Fast-forward to 2010, FIFA World Cup comes back around and admittedly it peaked my curiosity again. Watching the World Cup, I wish I could say that it was a rekindled love at first site. It was not.  It took some time.  I then found out Chattanooga (TN, USA) had a soccer team, the Chattanooga Football Club (link: http://chattanoogafc.com/) I went to a few games and was suddenly beyond fascinated with the sport.  I began to watch it more and more on tv (when I could find it) mostly English Premier League but whatever I could find. I started keeping up with MLS (link: http://www.mlssoccer.com/) started following the New England Revolution (link: http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/) who played the Columbus Crew(link: http://www.thecrew.com/) at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga -- unfortunately I missed that game. Later I found myself a fan of the Vancouver Whitecaps (link: http://www.whitecapsfc.com/). My daughter even has grown up knowing soccer, when she was first getting interested in TV she would often bring me the remote where ever I was in the house and say, "soccer?" We now play soccer - or some form of it - most everyday. She can often be found marching around singing Believe (the Real Salt Lake anthem - link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa1DJ008t9Y). So as you can see soccer has become as commonplace as hockey in Casa del DruiD. 

Last night after the litte one had gone to bed, I began flipping the channel and found nothing, the wife had fallen asleep on the couch and so I had decided it was probably bed time. I continued flipping and gave my self one pass of the guide and if nothing jumped out at me, it was bed time. I began paging through the guide and what to my wandering eyes should appear but "MLS Soccer" glowing in green in the middle of the screen.  I press "Select" and the game has just started. It was the David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy (link: http://www.lagalaxy.com/) against the Portland Timbers (link: http://www.portlandtimbers.com/) so I decided I would give myself the first half then go to bed. I decided that despite not having any investment in either team I would pull for the Timbers. Three minutes into the game Kris Boyd plants the ball in the net. "That was quick," I said aloud.  1-0 Timbers. This three-minute goal said to me this was a good sign for the Timbers. After that Boyd's goal the Timber seemed to take it easy on the Galaxy allowing David Beckham to perform his magic and land one in the net at the nineteen minute mark. 1-1. Five minutes went by when the Galaxy were awarded a free kick. Beckham takes the point and flys the ball just over the head of the Timber players -- who did not bother  leaving the ground to block the ball -- and continued to the back of the net.  2-1 Galaxy.  Three minutes later the Galaxy get yet another kick and in a move that was genius Landon Donovan takes the point. The Timbers would have been much more prepared for the mystical prowess of Beckham and the logical thing it would seem to do would be let Beckham go for the hat-trick. Instead throw the Timbers off their game and let Donovan take the kick. A strategy which proved very successful. 3-1 Galaxy. One minute later the ball found itself on the wrong side of the Troy Perkins, the  Timber's goal-tender in a smooth play by Robbie Keane getting the assist from Mr. Landon Donovan. 4-1 Galaxy. 

At this point all hope seems lost for the Timbers. Twenty-eight minutes have passed and the home team has only been blessed with green smoke once and at this point it's questionable if anyone even remembers that goal it was so long ago. Twenty-five minutes have passed since Kris Boyd drew first blood and his team was already down by 3 goals.  Fear not, six minutes later at thirty-four minutes Kosuke Kimura puts one in the net changing the tide ever so slightly and keeping the Timber's hopes alive. 4-2 Galaxy. The forty-five minute mark comes and goes. The first has been recorded in history. With forty-five minutes left to play Portland came out swinging. It would not be until the sixty-four minute mark before the ball finds itself inside the net and unfortunately it would be for the Galaxy. Keane would be setup by Sean Franklin and David Beckham to pour salt in the open wounds of their hosting team. 5-2 Galaxy.  Later Eric Alexander sets up Kris Boyd to yet again find the net at the seventy minute mark. This would be the end for both teams however the fireworks were not over. 

For the remaining twenty minutes each team would come very close numerous times and played their hearts out. Each team was playing as if their lives depended on it. Even David Beckham took a nasty fall and a with an obviously painful crash on the head which proved it difficult for him to stand on his feet for a moment. He was pulled moments later for Bryan Gaul to take his spot. This game was amazing it was exciting and stayed fast paced. These are the games which spread the popularity of the sport.  I long to see more MLS games televised. The best way to grow the sport is to put the games out there for people to see. Now back to you the soccer skeptic - these are the games that you should see. These are the games that show the soccer skeptics why we fans love this sport.

Game Highlights: http://youtu.be/Tmmpnk5WGBk 



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