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American Soccer

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.

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  1. joe boland

    July 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The us was at least trying to score goals sometimes more attacking play d esnt produce goals but most of the time it does .Everybody including nonamericans like myself would like to see more,because goals generate excitement and the attempts at goal generate excitement .attacking play must be encouraged.In the german bundesliga the goal scoring average is nearly 3 goals a game because it is an attack minded league and one of the best attended professional sport leagues in the world.Other leagues need to be encouraged to come out and play and not defend all day

  2. joe boland

    July 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

    the game desperately needs more goals the way to this is not changing the rules of the game but by league structure.if you give 1 bonus point for a team that scores 3 or more goals one point only for 0-0 Two for a scored draw 6 for awin teams will have come out and try to score goals in the fiftys soccer was a much more high scoring than it is now because of the attitude that their was then.these changes would force teams to attack rather than defend and hope to nick the odd goal

    • The Gaffer

      July 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

      Scoring or points is not an issue. Take for example the game between Algeria and the United States. Nil-nil until the 90th minute and one late goal in injury time made it the most incredible ending in US soccer history.

      The Gaffer

  3. Wally

    June 12, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Why not eliminate the goalie position entirely and see what happens?

  4. dezmembrari masini

    February 16, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I dont think it is a good idea. It must be let like now.

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  6. Soccer Blog

    January 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Americanizing soccer? LOL! 1 goal = 10 points. Are American sports fans that dumb?

  7. Jonathan

    January 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Change the rules and structure, but it will come at a cost. Viewership wil go down. Note that GolTv, FSC, and Setanta are easily available. Create an abomination at the expense of MLS credibility and viewership.

    Isn't the reputation of MLS horrible as it is in the US and CONCACAF?

  8. Beau

    December 31, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    “No way that FIFA is changing anything?” Don't be so sure. One day, one of Blatter's offhand ideas might actually come to fruition.

    We've seen a few minor changes in our lifetimes. Remember all those old “Soccer Made In Germany” broadcasts in which the only deterrent force against backpasses to the goalkeeper was the crowd's incessant whistling?

    FIFA also was behind many of the experiments in American history, many of which were enacted by British men in charge of the leagues in this country. Let's not kid ourselves about the rest of the world's willingness to use the USA as a laboratory (and then wash their hands of it later).

    All that said, I'd see some tinkering with the offside law (direct free kicks? Why?) before anyone tinkers with the goals.

  9. defmonk

    December 31, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Silly or not, this post misses the point entirely. The mountain will come to Mohammed. It is the radical demographic changes in the US that will continue to drive the growth in soccer in the US. If you think that soccer plays to a niche in the US, remember that the great European leagues thrive among national populations that number in the tens of millions, rather than hundreds of millions (the US has nearly 300 million people). Simply put, we don't need a particularly high rate of penetration domestically to have a thriving world-class league. The trick, then, is to achieve a quality of play and fan experience that allows us to build the domestic base and export our “futbol” product (as the EPL have done so successfully. Leave the goal alone.

  10. John

    December 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    lol what makes you think the most watched sport on the planet will change in any way to appease a few million in America whose fanship does not need? There is no way that FIFA is changing anything.

    Maybe the NFL should “Europeanize” and make each touchdown worth 1 point so that it creates a fanbase in Europe? Do you realize how silly your suggestions sound?

  11. CR

    December 30, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    The best argument I've ever heard for enlarging the goals is the fact that the average goalkeeper size has increased considerably since the current goal size was standardized. A proportional increase in the goal size seems entirely reasonable. Then again, I'm a forward, so I'm a bit biased.

  12. Brian

    December 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    To me, trying to “Americanize” soccer is disrespectful to the historic pedigree of of the game in this country, which has a history as long, if not longer, then the game has in England. Most of the so-called “mainstream” sports fans in the US have a bias against soccer that is irrational and cultural. Messing with the game would just be viewed as blatant marketing by Rome and his ilk, which will dift to the sheeple that follow them. Messing with the game in the US would also have a detrimental impact on the USMNT's ability to compete on the global stage. Let's not make this minor league baseball, the growth of the MLS in its short existence, when compared to the NBA and NFL during the same time span, is excellent. Let's focus on improving tactical skills and the officiating, not gimmicks.

  13. FCU

    December 30, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I have an idea myself – how about eliminating all pads and helmets in the NFL? Everyone gets injured in football anyways, so lets be able to see it more clearly. Your soccer ideas? Yeah, those stink.

  14. Steve Nash

    December 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read…

  15. DC Cavaliier

    December 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I'm all for making some changes, but not to the goal or field.

    I'd accept something as small as taking a page from our US timed sports and make the stadium scoreboard clock the OFFICIAL clock. Also, I don't care much for a tie, and I would again look at US sports were a tie at all levels of sports are shunned in order for their to be a winner and loser. Maybe a page from hockey where a loser on PK's or a shootout gets at least a point, but 0-0 or 1-1, leaves an empty feeling with me.

  16. firefan

    December 30, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    where do they get these idiots? there is nothing wrong with soccer, nothing that needs to be changed. it will succeed as is.

  17. Philip

    December 30, 2008 at 10:39 am

    hey why not just take the goalie out altogether, in fact lets take a few players off each team and we can have 12-9 scores or 10-8, it may not resemble football at all but we can still call it that. Have you ever seen the passion of the fans when a team scores? Do you really think that would be happenning if we had these ridiculous scores? If someones attention span doesn't allow them to watch a game that doesnt have basketball scores then i feel for them, as for changing the game, not a cance in hell.

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