12. It will give you something to talk about with just about anyone who is not from the US. Here’s a tip: in most other countries, the sport is referred to as football. I know, how novel, a sport that is actually played with the feet is called football.
11. No lock-outs (so far), although in Spain the teams are going on strike until contract issues can be worked out. So, while you are waiting to watch Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in action (if those names do not sound familiar, Google them immediately), please do American soccer a favor and check out a Major League Soccer game.
10. There are fights. Maybe it is wrong that I enjoy testosterone-ridden confrontations, but I know there are enough hockey fans out there who will appreciate this as well.
9. 1 goal = 1 point on the scoreboard. This just makes sense to me. And I like things that make sense.
8. Our women’s national team is actually really good. Yes, we lost the World Cup final this year, but we made it to the final, which is more than can be said for our men’s team (who I love with all my heart). Which ties in with:
7. Hope Solo. Seriously, the woman could be a model. And she’s a beast in the goal.
6. “Soccer season” never really ends. There is always a qualifier, friendly, cup, play-off or regular season match being played somewhere in the world. Which is good for us addicts and bad for our friends and family.
5. David Beckham. C’mon, this is a freebie. In case anyone has forgotten, he is indeed a soccer player and still a very good one. The phrase “Bend it like Beckham” refers to more than just a Keira Knightley film. Do yourself a favor. Check out one of his free kicks (and his gorgeous face) for yourself at a Los Angeles Galaxy game.
4. WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends). This isn’t actually one of my favorite aspects of the sport, but it could interest others. Around the world, WAGs are celebrities. Yes, we have Victoria Beckham. Imagine hundreds of Victoria Beckhams. Okay, so not every soccer player is dating or married to a model/actress/rich beautiful woman, but many of them are and trust me, there is drama enough between them to satisfy even the most tabloid-addicted American. Fun Fact: Shakira is a WAG.
3. You haven’t seen crazy fans until you’ve seen soccer fans. In many other countries, they start riots and smash cars. In the US, they are a little more subdued, but still intensely passionate (see: Timbers Army). These people actually have their own entrances and exits at stadiums and visiting fan groups are generally escorted by security. They can be heard singing and chanting and occasionally cussing out an opposing player or misguided referee for the full 90 minutes of a game, regardless of whether their team is winning or losing. (Shout out to the 1906 Ultras! Go San Jose Earthquakes!)
2. It is called the beautiful game for a reason. Beautiful plays, beautiful spirit and yes, beautiful people.
1. Your awesomeness level will go way up in my book. (This may or may not be the top reason for you, feel free to mix and match from all of the above!)