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SmorgasBorg: Deep down fans love anti-soccer

25 April 7:15 de la tarde

SmorgasBorg: Deep down fans love anti-soccer

By Simon Borg

We're seeing lots of this lately:

"I think we were the better team, we had more chances, but they did well holding on for the win.” -- FC Dallas' Brek Shea after his team's 1-0 loss to Vancouver on Saturday.

"We didn’t give up many chances. We played well but came up short even though I thought we created more chances. Sometimes, that’s the way it happens, but we kept pressing it. All in all, I was happy with the performance.” -- Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes after his team's 1-0 loss to Portland on Saturday.

“If you look at the game and the number of chances we played, and potential opportunities, possible ... questionable calls that could have led to different results ... We did quite a bit tonight and could have been rewarded a bit more for what we did.” -- Chivas USA manager Robin Fraser after his team's 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

"We should have won the game on the scoreboard. When you create so many chances and play so well, it's just so frustrating. But you have to take a positive from this game. We were by far the better team ... We did everything possible to win the game." -- Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor after his team's 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday.

“I’m disappointed with the result. We had a couple more chances and could’ve won this game, but we just got a point.” -- Columbus Crew manager Robert Warzycha after a 2-2 draw against Houston on Saturday.

That's five MLS teams who feel they didn't deserve the verdict adjudged by the field. All on the same DAY.

You get the picture here. Barcelona fans get it loud and clear these days.

But don't blame the coaches, who see the payoffs that result from betting on defensive "anti-soccer" tactics. Blame the format of competition.

Fans don't want to see teams bunker in? Create a competition format that draws them out. Reward goals scored handsomely. Lavish the team that scores more of them with a bountiful bonus package. The greater the goal differential in your match? The more points you take away in league play.

But fans and soccer officials around the world would rather huff and puff about goal-line technology, which would only have a marginal effect on the game.

There is a much more meaningful discussion that could be taking place. That it's not is perhaps the most revealing sign that soccer fans actually enjoy the status quo but are too hypocritical to admit it.

That's because the status quo allows for cinderella stories. It creates "villains" and even allows them to win now and then. If the good guy won every time, that'd be a lot less compelling, wouldn't it?