VS: Soccer > Football

Why Soccer Reigns Supreme


Photo by DJ Hudson

Junior football player Jimi Saul squares off with junior soccer player Mason Reidy .

Elanie Prater, Staff Writer (and Soccer Player!)

Some suggest that the history of soccer dates back as far as 2500 B.C., during which time the Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese all appear to have played in foot-based games involving a ball. The first recorded soccer game was between Barnes football club and the Richmond football club. The game ended as 0-0. After that, soccer started to spread throughout the world, changing sports forever.

Soccer may not be referred to as “America’s favorite sport,” but it is more popular than you think. It is played by an estimated 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. In European Countries, especially England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, and Russia, people are quite passionate about the sport and tend to spend lots of money on soccer clubs. It is also famous in most African countries, especially Mali and Zambia which are more occupied with soccer players than any other African country. Thus, every four years, each country selects players who were born in that country to play on their team in a grand champion tournament known as the World Cup.

“The world gets more excited for soccer and it is more popular worldwide than football. This is, in part, due to the World Cup,” said junior Brittany Weatherford, a center mid-fielder on the girls’ varsity soccer team. “The Super Bowl isn’t even the most watched sports event, it doesn’t event compare with the World Cup.”

Not only is soccer a world-wide sport, but you’ll find it in almost every community throughout America. From youth programs to adult leagues, it caters to both males and females.

“In our Northmont community, football is way more popular, just because of tradition. It’s a homegrown thing and this is a football-driven community, but football is over-rated” said junior Toni Burton, a member of the girls’ varsity soccer team who has played soccer for 12 years. “I like it and I support it, but as a soccer player, I don’t feel we get the credit we deserve.”

Soccer allows players to take whatever is going on in their lives, good or bad, and put it to the side. It is a way to let go of stress and enjoy what you’re accomplishing on the field or when you’re practicing.

“When I step on the field, nothing else matters. In those moments, everything fades away, except my passion for the game,” said senior Nick Latessa, who is the goalie for the boys’ soccer team.

The only problem is that most people don’t know the main rules of soccer, other than one team has to kick the ball in the other team’s net. They don’t know it’s illegal to trip, scratch, and bite. If a person had watched the World Cup, they would understand.

“Soccer is a contact sport and, unlike football, we don’t have any pads to suppress the pain. And the last time I checked, [Northmont] football didn’t make it three rounds deep in the playoffs,” said senior Jacob Winchester, a varsity soccer player.

It can be argued that soccer is a much harder sport because players are always running, must have great eye-foot coordination, and it is not as easy as it seems. Soccer players are always getting pushed around, tripped, and tackled. In football, players run into an opponent for a couple of seconds and then throw or run the ball, and this gives them a lot of short breaks. The only break from running in a ninety-minute game for soccer players is if you get a substitute player. That adds up to a tremendous amount of running that requires incredible endurance.

“Soccer has put me in the best shape of my life,” said senior Ian Fleming, who is the varsity team’s sweeper. Fleming has been playing soccer for 9 years.

However, soccer still doesn’t receive the recognition that football does.

“There is a Northmont Athletics page on Twitter,” said junior Ashley Trottier, a member on the girls’ varsity soccer team. “Soccer receives a final score, but football receives play-by-play updates. People don’t give soccer enough credit. Last year, the girls won the GWOC. This year, the boys went to the third round in the tournament, and last year the girls did. Yet no one cares. Boys’ and girls’ soccer combined has won six state titles. Football has zero. But, no one knows about us.”

Though soccer may not have the same American popularity as football, soccer remains a dominant sport on the world scene. Soccer can only continue to grow stronger in America with its prevalence among youths and school teams.