Many people around the world refer football as the official name for soccer and therefore according to them the two names are simply Synonymous. However in America, football is very different from soccer. Football is used in western countries to mean American football (Colin 46).
The major difference between American football and soccer arise from the rules and technicalities of the two (Morrow 23). In soccer, the only person who can touch the ball using hands is the goal keeper; the rest can only use the legs and the rest of the body to handle the ball. The ball is kicked by the players all round the field aiming to score at the opponent goal. On the other hand, in Football the ball is carried by hand or thrown by hand only and only person allowed to kick the goal is the kicker and the punter. The team aims at a touch line or turning the ball to the other team (24).Nevertheless, the two sports have similarities in that they are played very hard and rough.
Both sports are in most cases thought to be brutal and masculine hence attracting very few women to like the game. Football players wear full helmet and pads for protection while their soccer counterparts wear pads and other protective materials. The fans for both sports are similar in their love for the sport, they separate according to the team they are passionately cheering for, while hating the opponent team (Frankline 134).
The popularity of American football as compared to soccer is one of the major reason as to why soccer is not is famous in United States. According to McGill, The origin of what is now known as modern American football can be traced from the early versions of rugby football at around 1869 (58). Both rugby and American football stems in the varieties of football that was being played in Europe in the middle of 19th century. Soccer or the real football as many would like to refer to it, have its root in the Boston game way back in 1873 at Harvard from the Boston game at Harvard University in 1873. Although American football has its roots in United Kingdom, it was adopted in United States more than where it came from (114).Sports culture in United States is another reason why soccer is not famous in United States. Rogers notes that, despite the fact that sports are an important part of the American culture; their sporting culture is very different from other countries (56). They have unique set of favorite sports while discriminating the rest (57).
Among the most preferred sports in United States are basketball, American football, baseball, rugby and ice hockey. The fact that these sports are rarely available elsewhere in the world seems to make United States like their sport culture even more (82).Roger observes that Soccer in United States attracts very minimal media exposure as compared to other games in United States (13).
In addition most investors are attracted to other sports rather than soccer, leaving the soccer industries without enough finances to attract massive competition and the media. Other major leagues of the other most preferred sports attract enormous media coverage and also prominent competition leaving a major financial base and huge domestic market behind them (29).Lack of developed systems for soccer in United States is among the major contributor of reduced popularity of United States soccer. Soccer associations in United States are far much behind as compared to the United Kingdom. System of promotion and relegation of soccer clubs does not exist in United States like in Europe. Moreover major sports leagues exist as system of exist as associations of franchise making it Very hard to development soccer (Frankline 48).
According to Morrow, the extent to which various sports are associated with tertiary and secondary education is unique in United States (77). Basketball and American football are the most favorite game in learning institutions. It is no wonder that they are also among the favorites nationally (80). Looking at football in high school and tertiary institutions, it is regarded as the game for the affluent and there fore given stereotypes names.
The younger generation develops their dislike for soccer right from these institutions translating the same to the older generation (82).Americans prefers electrifying and adrenaline raising sports activities which soccer may not provide. Life is on the first lane in United States, and therefore increased stress and anxiety disorder is the order of the day (Franklin 50). An exciting and electrifying game is essential for the fans to release stress. Soccer is not regarded as one of the electrifying sports and therefore not one of the American favorites. Most of the soccer games take time before any team scores a goal and this leads to the fans being too eager for the team they are supporting to score.
If the team they are not supporting score a goal this may lead to some fighting with people who are supporting the other team. Anyone, who maybe suffering from attention disorder cannot make it to watch soccer since waiting the teams to make a score demands patience from the funs (Franklin 69). Other sports which dominate in popularity are considered exciting for both players and funs. Competitions from other sports like basketball, baseball and hockey have also led to soccer having fewer fans. There are other entertainment which keeps most of the youth busy in USA hence they do not pay much attention to soccer and its importance to them (Franklin 82).Majority of people who plays soccer outside USA have made it their career and they earn lucrative amounts. In united states, soccer have not grown to that level and even most people who play it, do it not for dollars but not for fun.
This has impacted in reduced morale and motivation to advance soccer to greater heights since players are expected to juggle sports with other careers in order to earn a living. When Soccer was introduced in USA, it was viewed as a sport for working class. It was until recently that the mentality has changed. It is now viewed as a sport for all people including suburban, middle and upper middle class people (Morrow 90).
The quality of soccer in united states is still very low as compared to other sports in united states .although the quality have improved over the years comparing it from earlier days when soccer was introduced, soccer in Europe is far much advanced.The footholds of soccer in United States is however beginning to show up especially in town areas where there are working-class.
This can be explained by the high percentage of people who are immigrants from soccer dominated countries (Morrow 92).A bad example set by the regions where soccer is highly valued may have led in one way or another to reduced popularity of soccer in United States. Violence based on racial differences amongst the funs and players is not a thing the peaceful Americans may want to be associated with.Reasons as to why soccer is not popular in western world ranges from demographic, economical and social aspect to the culture of the American people (Colin 235). One of the factors of course is the marketability of soccer in United States which according to Colin, is always faced with its own fare share of hurdles (235).
Another factor is the issue of gender and the people s perception on the major league soccer and the masculinity of the game. Majority of women in the United States for example have negative attitude in their mind that, it is only men who can participate in major league soccer. They strongly believe that football is for men a notion that Colin consider to be misplaced since football is a good sport for women as well (238).The masculinity mentality has been entrenched even to the women soccer funs leading to shortage in female soccer funs who are regarded as pace setters when it comes to cheering a team. In addition, soccer is still considered as an alien to some people in United States.
Mostly of the Kids in United States are socialized to view soccer as a sport for foreigners the same way marathon and long distance athletics is viewed. Most people who did not grow up with soccer see it as a boring sport and find it hard to be fans of soccer. Constrain of conservatism as Franklin says, can also be a factor leading to anti-soccer entrance. Majority of people in US have this assumption that soccer will never be popular (95).
Nevertheless, soccer in United States is now gaining grounds in most of the states. It is one of the most favorites among the large European and Latino immigrant population like in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Texas (McGill 74). The dramatic growth in participation of youth has have over the year accelerated the national steady growth in their style of playing since 1990. At the moment almost as many girls as boys play soccer in United States and that has contributed to the women national team growth as well (76). Although the major leagues have not attracted adequate attention as the major leagues outside United States, they have shown an upward progress in popularity (77).Over the years, the soccer federations have continued to grow and expand from a single team membership to many teams and they have also advanced beyond being just a soccer championship. Roger observes that, Soccer have grown not only to be one of the popular televised events in United States but also a major source of advertising source of revenue for the television network (123). He concludes that, although soccer still have a long way to go considering the minimal media coverage, it is beginning to attract recommendable media coverage as the number of advertisers wishing to debut elaborate and expensive commercial continue to increase day by day (125).
The soccer governing body is the heart of soccer in any country, it operate league systems and normally categorizes teams in various divisions. They come out with a clear schedule on how each team will play each other in the league at home and away. At the end of the season, the officials of the soccer governing council come together to determine the winner of league and the best payers for the season. The council is mandated to reward the best performer and share the salaries between clubs.
The governing bodies also help to stop the rich team from stockpiling the top players (Colin 15).