Soccer!

I’ve become a big fan of soccer these past few years – both the domestic and international versions.

I’ll find myself watching matches at various times of the day, courtesy of the wonders of technology (see: ESPN 3, now known as Watch ESPN.)

There’s just something really enjoyable about a good soccer match. The viewing experience (for those of you who are unfamiliar with soccer) is very ‘user-friendly’ and it’s pretty easy to get hooked.

Primary benefit as a viewer: No timeouts and no commercial breaks during play.

That’s huge. You know that feeling you get when you watch a basketball game and the last two minutes or so are coming up? That thing that makes you cringe? Knowing that you’re about to be barraged by countless breaks in both the action and the programming…you know what I’m talking about. You don’t experience that in soccer. They just play. Amazing concept isn’t it?

I love just sitting down and watching the match unfold, knowing that a little bit of stoppage time is all that will be added to the end. Sure, the prospect of a match ending in a draw is not exactly all that appetizing as an American sports fan but I can live with that. Besides, the matches that really count are always played until a victory has been declared in the end.

My first interest in soccer came back in the 1980’s, watching Diego Maradona and Argentina dominate the rest of the world. However the Dutch team has always been my favorite international squad and I watch them whenever I can.

I’ve taken to watching club matches lately. La Liga, Premier League, etc. I love how the fans get into these matches and throw their support behind their clubs. Neat stuff.

I’ve also become more interested in Major League Soccer within the past year or two as well. Much of that is due to David Beckham’s presence in the league, which could actually be coming to an end tonight. Beckham and LA Galaxy will take on Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup, starting at 8:00 p.m. CST.

His contract expires after the match. I hope he’ll re-sign but certainly wouldn’t blame the guy if he decides to head back overseas. It’s safe to say his time spent in the league has had a positive impact though. I really enjoy watching him play. What a talent.

Anyway, I am realizing as I type more in this entry that this has become a rambling mess of words here. I don’t know what my original point was. Oh yeah, soccer is cool. That’s right.

So there you go. I have the MLS Cup cued up on my browser and it’s time to settle in for the big match tonight. Should be fun to watch.

UPDATE: What a finish! Beckham to Keane to Donovan for the winner. Way to go LA!

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