Women’s Soccer Revisited - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Women’s Soccer Revisited

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:47 pm

A few weeks ago I had the temerity to criticize the highly regarded U.S. Women’s Soccer Team for rolling up the score (13-0) on a weak opponent. Thanks to a few letters, and a lot of Coronado soccer moms I have been educated in the game of soccer and its nuances. What follows is the sharing of what I have learned from the moms.

First of all, ‘rolling up the score’ is a result of FIFA (the ruling body of women’s soccer) and its questionable way of seeding teams that tie, and move on to a higher bracket. FIFA deems that all the goals a team scores during their bracket play should determine which of the tied teams should get the higher seeding. That consideration motivates teams to be relentless in scoring goals over weak teams, which accounts for what Germany did in 2007, whipping Argentina 11-0, and the Ivory Coast 10-0. I believe drawing lots for tied teams is the best way to go - but that’s me.

Some soccer moms wish the rules would allow more substitutions, and also recommend the play of four quarters rather than the present two 45 minute halves. This change would allow a few more rest periods and coaches more time to assess needs.

All lauded the great conditioning soccer affords their children, and believe strongly that contact sports are more dangerous. Yet no sport is immune from injuries and soccer is no exception. One mom told how her son broke both his fibula and tibia on a soccer mishap. Practicing ‘headers’ into the goal nets can’t be doing their brains any good either. Coaches have to be pro-active in making soccer as safe as possible.

Others, knowledgeable in the game were adamant that soccer needs more referees, certainly on the professional level. The NFL (football) has seven refs for 22 players, MLB (baseball) has four umpires for 10-13 players, and the NBA (basketball) has three refs for just 10 players. Hopefully more referees would negate a lot of the ‘flopping’ that occurs in soccer when players get tangled up. Basketball is notorious for ‘flopping.’ It’s when a player who is defending is brushed aside with some contact but flops on the floor like he was hit by a truck.

One of my male friends compares watching women’s soccer to “watching paint dry.” He admits he’d watch more if women who scored critical goals would rip their jerseys off a la Brandi Chastain. He is an unredeemable chauvinist pure and simple. He also is bothered by pitchers duals in baseball when there is no or little scoring into the late innings. The nuances of both soccer and baseball clearly escape him.

The soccer moms would like to see equal pay in both men and women’s soccer. Equal pay for men and women has been my experience in all my working days. With 20 years in the military and the same in public education, all I have known is equal pay for the sexes. A captain in the Navy, male/female is paid the same salary. A school counselor, male/female gets the same pay. Professional tennis now pays the men and women the same prize money. Professional soccer, I trust, will soon follow suit.

I would like the thank the soccer moms who have bothered to write letters, stop me on the street and even approached me in my water aerobics class to explain the nuances of soccer that eluded me. I watched all the U.S. Women Soccer Team playoff games with amazement and admiration - for their professionalism and consummate skill that paid off with another World Cup. I am now a fan, not only of womens soccer, but soccer in general.

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