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Brews and Views Essay Series: Why American Soccer?

We continue our new series on the Free Beer Movement. It's called “Brews and Views” and we pose a question or topic to various prominent soccer persons and, well, they give us their view on it.

We've got loads of get people that have already responded to our call for essay submissions and each week we'll feature a unique perspective on the current topic/question at hand. Kicking it off (pun intended) we're asking our respondents the question, “Why American soccer?”.

As inhabitants of the U.S. of A we've got loads of soccer viewing options and limited amount of time. We want our panel of essayists to make their case as to why the American version of the world's game is the one we should all invest in.

Regularly readers know where we stand on this issue. Buy American. It's ours. Build and shape it so it ranks as one of the premier leagues in the world.

The series will include such diverse voices as former U.S. Men's National Team player Alexi Lalas, The Shin Guardian, MatchFit USA's Jason Davis, Church of Soccer, Nutmeg Radio, FutFanatico, MLS Insider, and many, many more.

Interested in submitting your own answer to the question, “Why American soccer?”, then send us an email with your response. Please keep your submission to under 1000 words (that's like 2.5 pages typed!) and include a picture that you feel goes well with your response. Send it to freebeermovement(at)gmail(dot)com.


By Abram Chamberlain / “Front Office Blog”

There’s nothing more American than bad sports movie clichés: the undisciplined team in search of a coach, the player who’s personal faults get in the way of his own success, and thelittle team who shocks the world.  Yet finding these tropes playing out in real life is difficult, if not near impossible.

As heroic as Willie Mayes Hayes looks jumping up the wall to save his team from a homerun, it’s not the same feeling we get while watching Carl Crawford do the a similar job. We watch sports movies and ignore their clichés, because we want life to imitate art, but it rarely does. Yes, we know that Woody and Wesley will always make up in time to beat The King and Duck, Hickory High School will always win the Indiana State
Basketball Championship, Ricky Vaughn will always get Clu Haywood swinging, but the climaxes are enthralling every time.

We care for these players and they're not even real.  In those worlds these fictional characters make less money than us. In those worlds these fictional characters make everlasting memories that get engrained in our consciousness.  In those worlds the actions of these fictional characters draw everyone, the crowd, the team, the communities, the families – except for Rosie Perez- back together.  The only sport that comes close to the clichés is American soccer.

This is why Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria is better than Roy Hobb’s homerun.  It is why the 2009 Confederations Cup against Spain was more powerful than Rocky Balboa finally taking down Apollo Creed.  It is why RSL’s loss to Monterrey in the second leg of the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League Final was more devastating than watching the Permian Panthers fall just short of their ultimate goal -poor referring and all. And
while MLS is not the best league in the world I cheer for them, because as sports movies have shown us repeatedly everyone loves the rough, rugged runt. Just look at Tanner in The Bad News Bears.

Why American soccer?

Because everyone doubts America’s abilities as a soccer nation (Gridiron Gang).  Because Spain is better (Miracle).  Because of second half comebacks in the 2010 World Cup (Diggstown). Because of the failures at the 2011 Gold Cup (Sunset Park). Because of last second hail maries to Juan Agudelo against Argentina (The Replacement). Because everyone loves an underdog (every sports movie since the original Karate Kid).

Everyone loves the sports movie cliché, and no sport brings these clichés to life better than the beautiful game as played by Americans in America.

About Aaron

He is a soccer contributor for “Front Office Blogs”. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

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