All South American Final

I was rooting for Chile against Brazil, and thought they might have a chance.  Brazil had shown some vulnerabilities in the tournament.  In the last game of first round action in Group G, Portugal played them to a scoreless tie.  A scoreless tie!  But against Chile, Brasil looked invincible, like a team out to show the world that they are the ones to beat.  Posting a 3-0 win against a tough and talented Chilean team, Brasil looks ready to take on the Dutch and the world.  But they just might not have to take on the world if things roll a certain way.  They may only have to take on their neighbor, Argentina in an all South American final.  I’d like very much to see that happen.

Soccer Needs a New Scoring System

I confess.  I’m not a big soccer fan.  I didn’t grow up playing the game as a kid. I do remember playing a variant of the game as a 6th grader on an outdoor basketball court with a kickball, but that’s the extent of my experience.

I began following the sport a little bit in 1990 when I watched the 1990 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.  I was in Venezuela at the time and ended up watching the game with some Venezuelan fans who were cheering on Argentina.   They thought I was a soccer player because I had on a pair of Addidas Samba.  And one guy was convinced that I was a fan of Germany because I looked like Jurgen Klinsmann, which, by the way is not true. I told them I didn’t play, didn’t know how to play, but they couldn’t comprehend that, or maybe they thought that my Spanish was bad.  Interestingly, Venezuela is not a competitive soccer playing country, but Venezuelans do love soccer.  I guess this is due in part to Latin American pride in the success the continent has had in the sport and the fact that there are so many families of European decent living there.

I do like watching World Cup soccer, but I’m not wild about ties, especially scoreless ties such as occurred between Uruguay and France in Group A competition yesterday.  Can’t they do penalty kicks at all stages?  Or sudden death? Why not have the players essentially play until they drop?  A tie is like the game was never played.  No winner.  No loser.  And yet each gain a point.  I wonder if teams play to tie.  And why not adopt defensive tactics to preserve a scoreless tie.  Conserve energy.  Win a point.  A win win.  There’s something wrong with that mentality.

Soccer still hasn’t caught on in the States, and I think it never will, precisely because a game can end in a draw.  There’s not enough scoring for the American appetite.  Where’s the equivalent of the three pointer in basketball, a touchdown in football or the home run in baseball?  In these American sports, there are multiple ways to score and various point values assigned to the scoring.  Couldn’t soccer adopt something similar? Let’s say 3 points for a scissors kick goal and 2 points each for a goal as a result of a header or a kick that hits the net in the air.

I’m half kidding of course, but I might be on to something.