This I Believe

Adam - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Entered on September 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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Soccer: America’s Sport?

Soccer does not get the respect in America like it does around the world. In Europe and around the world, soccer is called fútbol. Many people agree that America’s sport is American football, not soccer. I believe that soccer is the world’s sport.

During this past World Cup, many people were not surprised with how the United States did as a country. I feel that the reason for this poor outcome was a vital missing part: passion. Passion was and is the key to success in soccer. I believe that the reason other countries do so well in soccer is because of their love for their country and the game. An example of this passion for the game is the country of Ivory Coast. The Ivory Coast is a small country off the coast of Africa. Before the World Cup, the nation was in a Civil War. After the Ivory Coast qualified for the World Cup in Germany, the governor called for a one month stop to the war so that all could “cheer on” their country. The Ivory Coast did not make it out of their group play, but the passion with which they played with was priceless.

In Europe, especially England, fútbol is a way of life. There, they play fútbol whenever they get a chance. Three years ago, I traveled to England with my club soccer team. While I was there, wherever you looked, people were either playing or watching fútbol. I got to witness some of the best fútbol in the world. There is such a difference between the way that we, Americans play, and the way that they, Europeans play. Over in England, kids are required to go to school until they are sixteen. Many continue with school, but some go and dedicate their lives to fútbol. Instead of going to school, they train and play fútbol all day long with their club team. When I was in Liverpool, I met many young people who had followed this way of life. When we watched them play, I could understand why they made their decision. The ultimate goal in making this decision is to be recognized by the top clubs and coaches in the world. If they succeed in doing this, their lives are changed dramatically. They consider it a great honor and privilege to be a part of.

I believe that soccer is the world’s sport. In America, we have moved on to another sport because of the outcome of our teams. The Major League Soccer (MLS) does not draw many people to it. This is because in my opinion, they do not play very good soccer. The game is very slow, very boring, and it does not look like they are interested out there. Also many people turn away from soccer when they see our United States National Team play. They do not play with the passion and love that other countries play with. I believe that passion is the key to good soccer.