Why You Should Watch Soccer, Part 1: How I Got Into Soccer

Champions League Picture

Most purists would probably have me shot for calling the sport “Soccer” instead of “Football”, but I am an American and in the interest of not confusing one great sport with another, I will call American Football “Football” and the world’s most popular sport “Soccer”.

Over the weekend I watched three soccer games: 1) a heart breaking 2 – 1 Sporting Kansas City loss to a terrible Toronto team; 2) A fantastic 3 – 2 Liverpool win over Tottenham; and 3) the small market San Jose Earthquake come back against the large market New York Red Bulls to win 2 – 1.

After watching these, I decided that this week I need to share my passion for soccer with you.  It isn’t a passion I have always had (I didn’t play soccer in High School or anything), but rather it is one I have developed over my four years in college.  And I genuinely think that this is a sport more Americans need to get into.

So today I will share the story of how I got into soccer.  Later this week I will make a case for why Americans should support soccer, especially in relation to Travel!  And finally, by the end of the week we will look at why you should specifically get into the MLS.

As a freshman in college I went on a trip to Mexico City.  Two of my friends on the trip are avid soccer fans, one a fan of Manchester City and the other a fan of Chelsea.  They went on and on about soccer the whole way down to Mexico.  Finally when we arrived I decided I needed to do some research and pick a team, just to keep up!  Not only keep up with my friends, but all of Mexico wants to talk soccer (Futbol) 24/7!

Now, at this point I have been playing FIFA for a couple of weeks.  I had never played before and it was immediately addicting.  I’d even venture to say that it is the best sports game out there.  But FIFA may be just as responsible for my soccer fandom.

I began looking through all of the crests of the football teams.  I wanted something that looked old, but in a cool storied history kind of way.  There was Manchester United, but I knew enough about them to know I didn’t want to pick them as my team.  It was too easy.  They are the better team, with more followers, and with more money!  They are like the Yankees and I just couldn’t bring myself to pick them.

Liverpool FC Crest

Then I came across this crest (to the right) and it just looked awesome.  I knew two things about Liverpool: 1) The Beatles are from Liverpool; and 2) The Wombats are also from Liverpool.  I like both of these bands, so I did my research and read the wikipedia page of this team from Liverpool.

It turns out that they are one of the most successful clubs of all time, but haven’t won the league in 20+ years.  They are in a huge drought.  They have history.  Their stadium was built in the 1880s.  They are also the historical rivals of Manchester United. They are the smaller market that is trying to have success against the clubs from Manchester and London.  And they have the best fans in the world (the last part might be more opinion based… might be).

THIS is a story line I can get into.  A historic team seeing its troubles in recent years.  And the rivals of the most valuable team in all of sports (Manchester United).  And so I picked to follow them, bought a jersey and never looked back.  To make it even better, not long after I began following them, they were bought by Fenway Sports Group, the owners that turned the Red Sox around and ended their historic drought. Hopefully things will turn out similarly for Liverpool Football Club.

That is how I got into Soccer.  I picked a team based on the design of their crest and the fact that two bands I like are also from there.  Stay tuned for the near future when I share Why You Should Learn About Soccer for Travel.

9 Responses to “Why You Should Watch Soccer, Part 1: How I Got Into Soccer”
  1. Pit says:

    As a native German, I prefer soccer over football still, even after nearly 5 years in the US, cf. &
    I still miss watching the Bundesliga on tv. It’s apoor substitute to keep track of the matches and results in an online reader.
    Best regards from southern Texas,

    • Justin says:

      Thanks for the comment! I follow the bundesliga loosely… who’s your team?

      • Pit says:

        My team?
        Leverkusen. But I’m also rooting for Dortmund [as they were the Double winners last year and are playing a good modern kind of soccer] and, for old times sake [when they played a very attractive kind of soccer in the 1970s] Mönchengladbach.

      • Justin says:

        Leverkusen is doing well. The most I usually see of German teams is in Champions League play. I was amazed how Bayern just dominated Arsenal in their first leg

  2. Richard says:

    I was raised on American Football but I have been trying to get in soccer lately. I know it’s called football but like you, I don’t want to confuse the two. Since the only team I knew about when I started watching was The Manchester United, that was the team I started supporting. I know, it’s like a British guy coming over to America and cheering for the Patriots lol. But I have been able to find a lot of their games on the Internet. It’s been fun so far I hope to learn more about it int he future as I continue to watch.

  3. KY says:

    Welcome to the soccer fraternity. Wait till the World Cup! But in the mean time, all domestic and international leagues should do.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] few months ago I began a series of posts about why I like soccer, but I have since left it unfinished.  This video provides a little insight to my love of soccer […]

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