Questions for Soccer Lovers, and Soccer Haters

With the Seattle Sounders a dayaway from kicking off its maiden MLS season and the Kitsap Pumas driving toward the start of its first season as a United Soccer Leagues PDL franchise, it seems like a good time to ask these questions.

First, for the soccer lovers:

1. We’ll start with a three-parter: Who’s your favorite American soccer player, who’s the best player in the MLS and who do you think is the best player in the world?

2. How many fans do you think the Kitsap Pumas will average for their home games this season at Memorial Stadium?

a. 3,000 

b. 1,000

c. 500

d. 200

3. Will the Sounders average more fans for their home games than the Mariners this season?

4. Sounders or Pumas? If you can only go to one game, do you buy a $6 ticket and support the home team or jump on a ferry and spend $100 for tickets, dinner etc. to watch the Sounders? 

5. John Wedge, Sigi Schmidt, Fredy Montero, Ben Pecora, Robin Waite, Kasey Keller and Sebastien Le Toux. Of those seven, who plays for the Sounders? (No cheating).

OK, for you soccer haters, here’s your questions:

1. What’s so bloody boring about soccer? Isn’t soccer much more exciting than baseball, where the players spend most of the time just standing around?

2. If you understood the rules and complexity of the game, do you think you’d like it at least a little bit?

3. Would you go watch the Pumas if the tickets were free?

4. If soccer didn’t have so many nil-nil games decided by shootouts, would you like it better?

5. Why do you think soccer is so popular in the rest of the world and not here?

17 thoughts on “Questions for Soccer Lovers, and Soccer Haters

  1. soccer hater here.

    I like soccer at community levels, was sorry to hear the Viking cup was canceled.

    As for professional soccer, it is too boring. I watch soccer fairly regularly, cause it happens to be on the TV often at the establishment I frequent. Often I see games end in regulation 1 -0 or 0-0. zzzzzz

    They need more scoring to attract the average US sports fan. I often suggest they make the net larger, but the soccer fans usually grumble at that suggestion.

    Maybe shorter games? Not to mention, the whole time thing? It makes no sense the way the game clock runs. Why can’t they stop the clock instead of tacking more time on at the end?

  2. I’m just glad you are talking soccer, Chuck. Us die hard fans will take the small victories along the way. 😉

    I will have season tickets to *both* the Sounders and the Pumas, as no home matches conflict!

  3. Why not be both?

    I am a Soccer Lover, because I appreciate and enjoy organized sports and what they can do for a community. Some a heck of a lot more than others for sure (but that’s for the hater part). I love the fact that the Bremerton School District and Bremerton High School are reaping the rewards of facility upgrades and the additional side benefits from having a Professional Soccer Team contract to use their facility for the first two years. I congratulate the citizens of the community who do enjoy professional soccer that they now have a close local outlet for their particular sports passion and zeal. I will admit to some jealousy since I have to take my passion for my sport out of state.

    I am a Soccer Ignorer, because it REALLY is a boring sport. I use the word “Ignorer” instead of “hater”, because hate is a passionate reaction or response to something and frankly soccer does not inspire enough passion in me to even summon up some “hate” for it. Although the whole stereotype of the minivan driving Soccer Mom really offends me (some passion there). The “Soccer Mom” single handedly set back the image of “Sports Moms” a couple of decades. We have yet to fully recover.

  4. My best friend lives in Bremerton and has Pumas season tickets. I have Sounders season tickets. Since I’m from Seattle, I’d probably have gone with the Sounders no matter how cheap the Pumas tickets were. However, since I’m living in San Francisco at the moment, that definitively tips the scales towards the Sounders. I can justify flying up to watch the Sounders play in MLS, but it would be hard for me to justify flying up to see the Pumas play in USL’s PDL. If I still lived in Seattle, I’d probably catch quite a few Pumas games with my friend.

    As for the time in soccer, timekeeping is under the control of the match referee and is subject to his discretion. For example, if he feels that a team is deliberately wasting time, he can factor that into to time added on for that half. Also, since it can take less than 10 seconds for a team to move the ball all the way from deep in their half into the goal, refs are supposed to be sensitive to what’s going on with play at the end of the game. So, if we’re at the end of time added on, and the team with the ball could change the outcome with a goal, then the ref should allow the game to run until that situation resolves itself in one way or another. MLS used to have clocks that ran down and started and stopped and the end of the game was often just a joke. If you were down to one second and you have the ball sixty yards away from goal, all you can do is boot it and hope for a miracle goal. On the other hand, if the ref holds off on the whistle for a few seconds, you have the chance to make a long pass that could lead to a goal.

  5. Colleen, can you expound on your last statement? I think if you are going to make a cultural observation about something you claim to be ignoring, you should explain what you mean. Are you sure it isn’t the stereotype that has set you back?

    It bothers me that in the Kitsap Sun’s roundup of college athletes, they never mention the college soccer players from the West Sound, and there a ton of them. Not to mention the students who decide to stay in the game and attend Olympic College or Tacoma Community College, rather than go away to school, thereby saving their families thousands and thousands of dollars.

    It bothers me that Colleen’s grade-school or middle-school age son is playing football on the weekends at the SKSD stadium, and the actual students and certainly the community’s soccer players are barely allowed to walk on that field.

    If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. 32,000 people don’t care.

  6. I am a Soccer Lover: Played year-round for 30 years, soccer coach, soccer administrator, soccer field fundraiser and activist and even a soccer mom married to a soccer dad driving around our soccer kids.

    Growing up in the 80’s, I used to have to debate the Soccer Haters. Now we can all ignore them because there are so many of us. Soccer is the most popular sport for youth in Kitsap County and Washington State. More people play soccer than any other sport because everyone can play it from kids with disabilities in TOP Soccer to the World Cup. It’s fun to play and fun to watch.

    I and my family will go to Sounders games for a treat and go to Pumas games for everyday fun. Professional soccer for the price of a movie ticket-YEAH!

  7. Sorry Karen, I can see you are a soccer mom and my reference got your back up. No amount of explaining on my part would make much sense to you. Now the other sports moms I hang with and who know me, get the insider reference and humor without any further explanation.

    As far as the Pee Wee Football games that were played for the County Championship this last year at South Kitsap, I am pretty sure was a one time, one day deal. From my understanding the person responsible for scheduling all of the games and fields for Kitsap Pee Wee Football, dropped the ball and forgot to reserve the BHS field and it was not available by the time the discrepancy was discovered. The SKHS field was selected because it fit the parameters of the need and was available for the set date.

  8. I’m a fan of all sports. I would and did go to the games my kids and grandchild played…no matter what sport it was.

    I attended soccer games when my granddaughter played, Also basketball and baseball (my favorite)

    I think soccer is a strenuous game and have occasionally wondered how many kids get hurt due to the abnormal stress on the young bones, muscles and ligaments?

    Ho9w do soccer injuries compare (children) with football, baseball and basketball?

    The games I would attend without family members playing are horse jumping, dog agility, ice skating, skiing, hockey, recumbent trike racing on country roads and others.

    None of the above sport disciplines require the selling of beer and wine to attract fans.

    What is wrong with soccer games that no one will attend without being able to buy beer or wine?
    I’m sorry that soccer game attendance required that Bremerton city Council approve the sale of beer and wine at a city park for the soccer games….simply amazing.
    A Pee Wee mom and a soccer grandmother, Sharon O’Hara

  9. Colleen, I was probably reacting more to prejudices about the sport and some personal experiences than I was to what you said.

    There really isn’t anything wrong with being a soccer Mom except:
    When they get between the coach and their child.
    When they unrealistically expect their child is going to earn a PAC10 full-ride scholarship.

    Mr. Santos, the Athletic Director at South, brought in a public speaker for two years in a row to speak about REAL scholarship opportunity. He was a college basketball coach in New England and he was funny, engaging, and self-deprecating. He offered to go out to his car and get an hour and half video of his daughter playing basketball so we could watch it. Funny guy. I think all the SKSD coaches were at the lecture, I didn’t see any parents I knew.

    I do think scholarship-worthy athletes are rare and I trust the coaches recognize them when they see them.

    Go Freddy..

  10. Chuck – many thanks for bringing this to the fore and keeping soccer front and center in the sporting public’s collective eye. All of us building this club are most appreciative of the support we have received across the peninsula. Soccer is certainly in the air.

    A couple of points for Ms. O’Hara’s edification:

    First of all – in our multi-year agreement with the Bremerton School District we will not and cannot sell alcohol at our matches. I am not sure where that notion that has come from. Hopefully this message will put that matter to rest.

    Second, I have personally attended nearly all of the events Ms. O’Hara mentions above and enjoy them very much. I’m fairly confident in say that alcohol was served at many of them – particularly hockey matches.

    As far as injury in the sport of soccer – nearly every member of our (growing) organization has played and/or coached the sport at the youth level and I can assure her that injuries due to the “strenuous” nature of the game are no different than any other participatory sport.

    As a matter of fact, there is strong evidence that the inclusive nature of the game and it’s basis as a problem-solving endeavor – plus the fact that the player’s cardio-vascular system benefits greatly – show that soccer can greatly improve the lives of youngsters long-term.

    The Pumas would like to make the following offer to Ms. O’Hara: If you call our office, we will give you two tickets to our Opening Night match.

    And as we are telling EVERYONE on the peninsula – “Got Tickets?!”


    Ben Pecora
    Executive Director

  11. Apparently I’ve got the difinition of ‘soccer – any sport – mom’ wrong.
    I thought it meant any mom with a child playing sports. The mom who drives the kids to the practice and games, washes the uniforms after each practice and game, clean the cleats and cheer the kids on.

    I didn’t realize the games meant more than kids learning to play games, sportsmanship,learn teamwork skills, disaplain and have fun.

    I played baseball and basketball as a kid … baseball was fun.

    I hope the kids playing sports aren’t used as a pawn in a manipulative, political the mom or anyone else.
    Sharon O’Hara

  12. You’re right, Sharon. My “kids” are 20 and 21 years old. They’re young men and I’m not a “soccer Mom” anymore. Whew! What a relief! Thanks for reminding me. Now I’m just a fan.

    I have to say, I did see some beer being passed around Thursday night. Not much, but some. Overall, a very happy crowd.

    Go Fredy…

  13. I have to ask,

    Karen…who is “Go Fredy”? Another happy beer drinker and poor speller? :)(

    Sharon O’Hara

  14. Sharon: The crowd was happy because they were at an MLS game and because they are soccer fans. I don’t think anyone was there for the beer. The beer drinking was minimal for some and nonexistent for our group. It probably costs $7 or $8 a glass/bottle at Qwest Field?? Sorry, I couldn’t resist teasing you about the beer and sporting events.

    As for the poor spelling, I guess Fredy Montero spells his name with one “d”. He is 21 years old, he doesn’t speak English and will probably do more for international relations with his athletic prowess than most diplomats do in their lifetime.

    You should look at some of the pictures. Mr. Falk’s Seattle Examiner had a nice one of Fredy burying his face in the Colombian flag after the match. The News Tribune had a nice picture of the Chief Sealth flag and the Colombian flag being waved, together, above the crowd.

    Happy people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: