Let’s start off with this super funny commercial that Landon Donovan made. First it is totally awesome that he can have fun with it and laugh at himself and second he should have been on the team. You can’t tell me he was not better than at least one of the 23 Klinsmann took to Brazil and just out of respect you let him play his last World Cup. Make sure to watch all the way to the end.
If you are like most of the world you’re probably watching at least a few of the games in the World Cup. If you’re not and want to but don’t understand the game here are some pointers so you can better understand the game. If you want to watch while you are working (wink, wink) check out ESPN’s live streaming, much better quality this time around. I’ve grown up playing soccer my whole life and still play and coach and my 3 kids also play. It’s a fun game and even if you don’t understand it there are a lot of cute guys to watch run around! 🙂
Here are a few basics:
1. There are 32 teams in 8 groups to start. The 4 teams play each other and the top two teams in points move on to the next phase which is single elimination.
2. There are 10 field players and a goalie on the field. Each half is 45 minutes and they get a 15 minute break at half time. There are 3 substitutions of players allowed in each game. If you get a red card your team has to play with 10 players and that players misses that game and the next game. Cards (yellow or red) are given for fouls. You can get a straight red or two yellows equal a red.
3. Offsides can be one of the more confusing rules for people. You are offsides when the ball is played forward to you on the opponent’s half of the field by a teammate and there is only the keeper, between you and the goal. It is when the ball is kicked so if you are fast and get ahead of the player you are not offsides. You also can’t be offsides on a corner kick or throw in.
4. The object is to keep possession and pass the ball around until you can take a good shot. Soccer is usually a low scoring game like 2-1. Because Americans like higher scoring games they give you 7 points for each score you make in Football. Psychological trickery!
5. There are a lot of actors on the soccer field, diving, rolling and grabbing their shin or ankle and then getting up to play one minute later. Unfortunately they do not give oscars for performance. But you can make a game out of it if your bored.
That should get you through most of the game, if you have any questions I’d be happy to help, just give me a shout!