Over at Bruce’s Belly,
Bruce The Belly talks about the recent USA vs. Poland matchup in the snow. Its one thing to watch some NFL in the snow, but quite another watching futbol players try to control a slick ball on a field where their cleats aren’t grabbing much.
I’ve seen some soccer games in the snow over the years. The Revolution vs MetroStars playoff game was the last one, but the snow in that game wasn’t anything like the blizzard we witnessed for portions of yesterday’s match. You know it’s serious weather when they bring out the high visibility ball!
The game against Poland was the first time I’ve ever seen one of "my" teams plugging away on the snowy field. Perhaps that’s what made it so clear: I love watching soccer in the snow. That was great! I didn’t want it to end. Yes, by any objective standard it was a lousy game, a terrible game. But I loved every snowy second of it.
There’s something soothing yet exciting about watching sports in the snow – the added variable/difficulty, etc. But not everyone thinks it’s a good thing. Adam over at This Is American Soccer notes that any game under these conditions will be like vanilla ice cream and sauteed spinach Um, ok then… His point being they don’t go together and any game in those conditions will be a "a defensive, ball control game".
This brings up a much debated point about the MLS schedule and aligning with the FIFA calendar. Doing so would mean more wintry games for the MLS. Is that a bad thing?
Bruce The Belly notes
I see a lot of belly-aching about MLS aligning itself to the FIFA calendar because it’d almost certainly require a wintrier schedule. Even if MLS adopted a split schedule and took a break in the deepest of deep winter, there’d still be a good number of games played in cold, (hopefully) snowy conditions.
It’s likely true in those winter months the summer supporters and the sunshine fans will, in the cold, shrink from the service of their teams.
Still, we should not fear the cold and the snow and whatever else nature’s wintry fury might hurl at a soccer field. (I do confess some fear of freezing rain. That stuff sucks.) No, the time has come for American soccer fans to embrace winter’s challenge.
The benefits go far beyond the drama and novelty of soccer in the snow. It’d certainly force MLS to sell long sleeve jerseys. And we’d finally have genuine use for our scarves. And I haven’t even mentioned how playing in the snow would help dispel that persistent soccer is for sissies canard.
Who says soccer fans have to be fair weather fans? How do you explain NFL fans up North who still don’t have a dome? They still turn out in droves. If soccer is catching on like many of us believe – then the fans will come. Especially the kids – you know how they love snow! (Yes traffic issues come into play – I’m not advocating risk taking with the kids – put the bat down) But if North Carolina can embrace hockey in the South, hey anything is possible.
There is no question playing on a snow covered pitch is tricky at best and dangerous at worst. But professional fields stay covered during snow – the only snow cover happens during the match. Would some wintry MLS matches be that horrible? It sure would make the lull between Fall and Spring youth seasons more exciting for the young soccer fanatics in our households! I say bring it on!
If our kids can do it so can the pros