Trying to learn about Soccer

As I think I’ve mentioned before on here, I’ve never had much interest in soccer.  I prefer American football.  But lately, I’ve been trying to learn more about soccer.  It is the world’s most popular sport, after all.

Naturally, for me, the first step in this process was to get a soccer video game and give it a try to make some attempt at getting a feel for the game.  This may not be a perfect method, but it’s how I started to learn about football.  I’ve also been watching highlights of real soccer games, but I can tell I’m going to need to know more background about the teams and so forth before these will be really interesting.

So far, from what I can tell, it seems to be a game largely based on angles–the best way to score that I can see is to take the ball and allow a bunch of defenders to follow you down one side of the field.  Then, you kick the ball to one of your players who will most probably be running open down the center or opposite side.  This is soften how goals get scored that I would almost think this was just a bit of video game-ness, except I’ve seen it happen a fair amount on the highlights, too.

On offense, the game is mostly about trying to exploit mismatches that you lure the defense into.  In this respect, it’s a lot like football, except that in football the mismatches are created before the snap with the deliberate placement of players and personnel groups, whereas in soccer they get set up on the fly, even in the wake of other plays.

I still have a lot to learn.  For instance, I understand that there are different formations in soccer, though I can’t yet tell what they are, or what the purpose of them is.  It still all looks like two disorganized groups running around to me.


  1. It took me awhile to enjoy football. I would presume knowing what is going on does help. Still looks boring, though. : )

    1. My personal opinion is that the soccer field–or “pitch”, as it is called–is too big. I think the game would be better if it were smaller. But the soccer fan I know tells me this isn’t true; the size of the pitch is what makes the game so good. Go figure.

  2. Soccer, Hockey, Field Hockey or La Cross, even water polo are all basically the same game just played on different surfaces with different objects to kick, or throw through a small goal. I’ve always felt these games are about killing whoever has the ball.

  3. I don’t know how much this applies to the real game, but in the video game simulation, crowding the person with the ball is a very bad idea, because they always can get it out to somebody who can then take an easy shot on goal.

    It’s very counter-intuitive to a football fan like me.

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