Americanizing Soccer for the U.S. Sports Fan pt. 5
A purely American soccer league must take the step of changing the goal post dimensions. As it is now, posts are at a height of 8 feet. An American league should make the bold move of moving the height of the crossbar higher. The crossbar needs to be adjusted by the length of 2 soccer balls to make the new height 8 feet + 2 balls.
At first glance, this adjustment in the goalpost appears to be only for offensive purposes. But, for every goal scored under these new conditions, there will also be one great save made by the goalkeeper.
An American soccer league must take into consideration that sports fans will not settle for an average score of 2.5 goals per game. It is all about offense. Americans are looking for at least double or triple the amount of goals that are being scored now. The ideal average score to attract sports fans to soccer in the U.S. would be 4-3.
Making the sport mainstream should always be priority, unless soccer is only looking to fill a niche, and is satisfied being a peripheral sport in the U.S. Raising the goalposts will create more drama, entertainment and the unexpected. By having the posts a little higher, players can aim a little higher.
Common sense dictates that there would be 10 times the amount of richochets than there are presently. Goalkeepers, averaging 6 foot 3 inches, are now able to get to almost every ball level with the crossbar. But raising the crossbar would mean that they would not be able to get to every ball level with the crossbar.
These ricochets from the goalposts back onto the playing field will delight the fans. Fans tend to always ooh and ahh when balls hit the posts. With the ricochets, come more saves, more surpise and more pace.
Recently, a still living legend, the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden, winner of 10 NCAA basketball championships with UCLA, said that basketball should raise the rims from their present height of 10 feet. This declaration by the most recognizable teacher of the game is an admission that the game as it is now, according to Wooden, can be better. By raising the rim, players will have to be more creative with their shots, and thus, will rely less on dunks and put-ins. Basketball has lost a good deal of strategic play because of the ease of the layup.
Sports must evolve with the times. Players are taller and more athletic than players from the past. Dimensions from the playing field should progress and change according to what is best for sports fans to enjoy.
Regardless of the goalie’s position and distance from the goal, few scores are made that actually travel over the extended arm of a goalie who is in a standing position. It is time for American pro soccer to take its shot. Increase the size of the goal and see how many more attempts on goal there will be and see how much more exciting the game can be.