Thursday, September 14, 2006

Trecker actually has a point today.

Jaime Trecker, Fox Sports World's senior soccer writer, seems to have actually found a good point in his latest column.

Check it out here.

Yeah, the piece on how the UEFA Champions League is pretty almost better than the World Cup is pretty insiteful, but what I am referring to is the piece on US College and High School soccer. He is spot on with this issue. Did I just write that?

The rules that allow for unlimited and multiple substitution that are in effect in High School and College soccer are "bald" spots on American soccer. The rules themselves are a joke and they fail to do the one thing that we as soccer fans in America need them to do...prepare our younger players for the next level. Trecker is right, until the High School player is made to stay on the field for 90 minutes, we will continue to have problems.

I grew up living in several places, 4 years in Europe (Germany and Belgium) and 2 in China. I played soccer as a kid, stopping after High School. When I played in Europe with American kids and European kids, we American brats noticed and moaned about how we wanted to take a break and such. I don't remember hearing from the European kids about their need for a break.

When I lived in China, I was the only US kid on my High School team my sophomore year. We had Argentinean, German, Bangladesh, Polish, Danish, Australian, Chinese, and Italian players. I was goalkeeper because I had better hands than everyone else. Everyone played for 90 minutes, and we only had 3 subs. When I moved back to the states for my senior year, I was shocked when our coach was subbing in guys left and right. We had a better goalkeeper, so I played defense (poorly, as beer became more of a friend with Marlboro and Camel as sidkicks) so I only had to play 4 or 5 minutes at a time. It wasn't the game I played in China and in Europe.

What I am getting at is that until we start using the FIFA rules for all organized competitions in the US, our players will be ill prepared for the big time. High School Football (grid iron) resembles the College game. They have the same basic rules, as does High School basketball. Once the kids get to college, the rules get closer to the NFL and NBA rules, with some exceptions (40 minutes in basketball and the fairest football overtime rules on earth). Why can't College and High School soccer follow suit?


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