I personally think that soccer is the best and most exciting sport. I remember one day specifically when my family and I were watching the Seattle Sounders play at what was formerly Qwest Field, now named Lumen Field. I remember standing for the entire 90 minutes cheering for the team I had looked up to my whole life.
I do also understand that at first soccer may seem boring. There isn’t constant scoring, there aren’t any breaks besides halftime and the best teams in the sport are overseas.
Teams like Paris-Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona FC are all located in Europe. Leagues like the Premier League, Champions League and Bundesliga are all played and located in the U.K. and Europe.
The reason this is a massive barrier to entry for most Americans is that we will never see or interact with the best soccer players because they don’t regularly play in North America.
There is a huge correlation between watching a game live and loving to watch it on TV. Most, if not all my friends who follow sports such as basketball and football have been to at least one or two games in person.
I personally have had the privilege to see a soccer game in Italy and — while it wasn’t between any of the top teams — the atmosphere was completely different. Everyone in the stands, even those who didn’t have tickets, knew of and viewed the game.
Whether they were playing the sport or enjoying it with their family, most European children are exposed to soccer at a young age. I believe that we should do the same thing. Most American families push sports like baseball, football and basketball on their kids and rarely show them the opportunities that soccer holds.
While I don’t think the other sports are boring, I do believe that the lack of exposure to soccer is what drives most Americans away from the sport.
More Americans need to watch this great sport so that our country can start to compete with the teams overseas who, as of now, are so much more talented than we are. Overall, I think that once you understand how soccer is played, it is truly the most beautiful sport.
Gavin Britton is a photographer for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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