Soccer, more so than any other team sport, emphasizes less of the one-on-one interactions and more of ball movement that leads to the casual fans’ frustrations.
“Don’t kick it backwards you idiot!”
“What kind of pass was that?”
Soccer, or futbol, is more of a 3-D chess match, if pawns and rooks and knights were allowed to move simultaneously. It is a game where the fan must recognize what the defense is setting up in response to the offense’s unrealized attack; where looking two steps ahead is not the advantage but rather the norm.
Space is at a premium on a field measuring 300′ by 150′: 20 men manage to shrink its dimensions noticeably. Although the goalkeepers never leave their designated areas, their presence is more than noticeable as they line up their forces to act, react, and counter-act strategies untold.
Anticipation is the most helpless feeling in the world; and soccer fans are held in agony throughout the match. Despite the constant flag-waving and drum that serves as the heartbeat of the stadium, the restlessness and unrecognized enthusiasm holds each tongue in limbo; a water balloon filled to capacity; a lit fuse that slowly travels its path to legacy.
The restlessness of fans grows more noticeable with each passing minute; the stadium announcement of halftime is uncomfortable as the home team trails.
Although concessions and souvenirs offer distraction, there is a noticeable uneasiness in the stands as the 15-minute intermission unfolds.
At full crescendo, the volume is as a bullet escaping a chamber; peak decibels quickly neutered or exploding as fireworks, with no inbetween to describe.
The halftime show, despite its productive donations to charity, falls flat as its intended goal of entertainment. Fans are forced to fend for themselves in search of relief and satisfaction as the clock counts down to return of the action. It is as though a junior high pep rally…the announcer tries desperately, but to no avail to maintain the attention of a increasingly bored crowd. Even past highlights and artificial noise shown on the video board flame out as the crowd merely tolerates the break from action.
The release of volume lingers as the crowd releases tension; the second score from the opposing team unnerves the crowd exponentially as it grows noticeably tense.
Despite the clear midsummer’s eve, a fog settles in over the crowd. With just under a half-hour left in the match, a substitution is made which revives the attendees. However, good intentions go for naught as the team remains lethargic and uninvolved.
As time unwinds the team grows desperate and the fans become increasingly gullible, roaring cheers at each unreachable cross or uncontrolled header before re-collecting game awareness.
A polite cheer grows as the home team offers a weak attack on goal only to be turned away dominantly by the visitors. Despite ample time with 20 minutes remaining, the visitors have stolen the soul from the Sounders and sucked the life from CenturyLink. Little is left other than the clock to run out as a third goal is stricken on the scoreboard for the adversary.
With the outcome all but decided, the home team embarrassingly goes though the motions, but there is no fight. There is no joy, no passion, no pride, no desire evident anywhere from these professional athletes. Disappointment reigns supreme as the three minutes of stoppage time only prolongs the agony and inevitable outcome.
The Vancouver Whitecaps convincingly defeat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 for the fifth time in seven attempts to extend their Northwest dominance.