The Soccer Wars of the United States
While it is true the United States is one of the birthplaces of modern soccer, it is also one of the very few countries that have failed to embrace it as a national pastime. The reasons for this are varied.
Some say it has to do with the fact that the US is a country made up of immigrants. In other words, soccer simply did not make the cut with the masses of people who settled here.
Another claim is that soccer was simply too slow and boring compared to other activities the settlers may have known.
Whatever the reason may be, soccer is still known as a niche activity in the United States even today.
This is despite the fact that the United States has been a member of FIFA (the worldwide soccer organization) for over 90 years now. The United States Men’s National Team has played in two World Cups (in 1930 and 1950) in the 71-year history of the FIFA World Cup. In the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, the US fielded a women’s team in addition to its men’s team.
The First Incarnation of the NASL Began in 1967
Although the sport was introduced into North America in the 1860s, the first official American league was called the NASL, and it began play in 1967. The NASL (nicknamed the “Soccer Bowl” by many) would go on to play for 15 seasons, and was wildly popular during its time.
That first season was so successful that the NASL became a very real player in the fabric of American sports. Teams popped up all around the country, including in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and Boston. Each team had a roster with anywhere between 10 and 20 players, and some teams even began signing soccer stars from around the world.
The NASL also began expanding into Canada in 1968, which took the league’s popularity to an all-time high. Ticket sales were very impressive, and league matches attracted new soccer fans by the thousands. The league also began receiving a huge amount of media coverage, which further strengthened its popularity.
MLS and the Modern Game of Soccer in the US
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the United States and has come a long way since the first soccer league in America was founded in 1913. With over 32,000,000 registered soccer players in the US and a National Team that ranks in the top 20 teams in the world, it is not hard to see why.
Soccer and the idea of competitive soccer in the United States became popular in 1884 when the first American Football team was founded: The Oneida Football Club. This new team drew great interest, and by 1886 over 2,000 American Football teams existed.
This rapidly growing popularity led to the creation of the American Amateur Football Association in 1892. This organization made the rules and regulations for the sport of American Football. With the formation of this organization, American Football was on its way to becoming one of the most popular sports in America and the world.
Twenty-odd years after the creation of the American Football Association, the United States Football Federation was created. This organization also set rules for the sport of American Football, thus one of the first organized sports was established for both the game and for the growing sport of soccer in America.
The first pickleball paddle, invented in 1965, was a 2 x 4. Five Pickleball Association founders got together and decided they wanted to make a game that was as fun as badminton but much easier to store and transport.
They added a wiffle ball to the badminton net, and voila –pickleball was born.
Of course, the actual rules of the game still needed to be determined. They played an inning of tennis, and the one with the most net points won. The court dimensions were finalized and the 8-inch paddle was the most versatile – persons of different heights could use a variety of grips. On December 1, 1965, America’s newest sport was born.
For the next several years, the sport was printed in a few newspapers and magazines. Almost all information about the sport given to the public came from articles by the founders. Newspapers featured articles about pickleball and its tournaments. Magazine articles described how to construct a simple pickleball court.
So, the first pickleball paddle was born in America when a group of friends gathered to make a badminton-like game that could be played indoors during cold weather. Since then, the sport has spread worldwide.
Graphite Pickleball Paddles
Pickleball Sling Bags
One of the reasons that many people love pickleball is that it allows you to be active but still have some fun. If you want to make pickleball even more enjoyable, you can play with a sling bag. The best sling bags are made of a lightweight material and are large enough to hold a ball and pickleball paddle. A good sling bag also has some pockets and an adjustable strap. The adjustable strap allows you to adjust the bag based on how much you need to carry so that the bag is comfortable.
The pockets and extra space in the bag can be very helpful when you’re playing. For instance, you can store your cell phone, keys, water, and other things in an easily accessible pocket so that you don’t have to stop playing to get a drink or a snack.
You can even use the pockets to store extra pickleball balls. Then you can quickly grab the balls and return them to the game without having to run around looking for stray balls. With all these great features, there’s no reason to play without a sling bag. If you’re looking for a new pickleball sling bag, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Soccer Shoes Of All Time
Makers of soccer cleats were among the first footwear companies to offer customization options for soccer shoes. In fact, almost every major soccer shoe brand offers a selection of customization options for soccer footwear. From a single color-scheme to an all-over design, you can choose to represent your team, your number, or your individual style and personality.
Ideally, your soccer shoes should be quiet and constructed from a lightweight material. They should also fit comfortably.
With the recent move of Major League Soccer to Minnesota, and the Minnesota United FC (MNUFC) becoming the twenty-fourth franchise in the league, soccer is going through an exciting era, with the sport increasing in popularity and prestige. Top soccer players are starting to receive more recognition, as you may have noticed in recent broadcasts of Major League Soccer (MLS) games.
One of the more popular players these days is forward, Kei Kamara, who plays for the New England Revolution. Kamara has scored a total of 89 goals in just 144 matches for the Revolution. He leads the team in goals, assists and shots. Kamara is an inspirational soccer player who has been extremely successful in MLS.
Best Soccer Balls In The World
The best soccer balls in the world are called Adidas.
The Adidas Brazuca was the official match ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The ball received a lot of attention during the tournament because of its unique qualities, including a seamless design. Made of six panels, the ball has been touted for its aerodynamics and grip. Each ball used during the world cup weighed 560 grams and was 69 centimeters in circumference. Most importantly, it features six polyurethane panels that make it easy to control.
Don’t get me wrong there are great soccer balls out there with superior grip, dribbleability and inners. Some name brands to look out for are Abizero, Finale, Sells, Topper and Mitre.
How Soccer Players Can Avoid Hamstring Injuries
Soccer has one of the highest rates of hamstring injuries among professional athletes. This is partly due to the excessive combination of speed and endurance required in the sport. Soccer players use their hamstrings in over 70% of their physical movements and have an incidence for hamstring injuries of 17%.
Hamstring injuries can be seen at any age, even in young men. Greater than 60% of the time, the injuries are preceded by changes in physical activity. The most commonly reported signs and symptoms include tenderness, weakness, and functional limitations.
Hamstring injuries can be difficult to treat and lead to unsatisfactory results. Ice and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not seem to reduce the length of the recovery time. Additionally, the most commonly used NSAIDs can cause gastric ulcers, headaches, and hypertension.
Evidence suggests that eccentric hamstring strength training is at least as effective as ‘static stretching training’ for preventing eccentric hamstring injuries. Hamstring strengthening is important in training for professional players and should be performed as a warm-up to exercise sessions, as a supplement to the main training, or as a post-training measure.