Here’s what’s fueling our conversations this Tuesday morning at FUEL HQ.
1. Men’s soccer looking good so far, but big tests await (The George-Anne)
We came to this piece because the premise was a bit of a chin-scratcher. What do you say about a team with a 3-3-1 record? It’s not bad, but not great? What does that tell you?
In her piece on the school’s soccer team, Assistant Sports Editor Kaitlin Sells explains the story very much how you’d expect. Everything is generally fine, but nothing really stands out in her take on what can improve their record other than, basically, keep playing.
“Watching the Eagles play this season has been interesting, as they’ve always got a lot of energy on the field. Sometimes they’ve been unlucky and have fallen short, but their all-around game play has been good and aggressive considering their competition.”
But this passage stuck out to us, because Sells hits on a particular aspect of the game that we don’t often see talked about. She writes:
“One could argue the Eagles play too aggressive of a game, notching 14 yellow cards and one red card- but I don’t really believe there’s such thing as too aggressive in soccer. If you’re soft you’re not going to win. If you’re allowing yourself to be shoved off the ball and to be thrown around by your opponents there’s no victory in that.”
Just where is the line between playing hard and playing too aggressively? Can you even put a fine point on that line, or is something you only know when you see it? As Sells notes, on paper, the number of yellows and reads might tell one story, while her observation of the actual gameplay reveals a completely different story. They’re going for a win.
This is especially important to take into consideration for young players. As they’re still unlocking their full athletic potential, there’s a lot of room for both learning their own strength as well as learning how to properly utilize their physical presence in a competitive situation. And left unsaid in all of this, of course, is that wherever there is aggressive play there follows an increased risk of physical injury.
Personal Training: How do you draw the line between playing hard and playing too aggressively? How do you remain fair and respectful without being pushed around the field?
2. ESPN+ breaks new ground for soccer streaming in United States (World Soccer Talk)
It’s always nice to know when the corporate suits are hearing you. As soccer fans, we’re already used to seeking out a multitude of sources for our games. We know we can’t rely on TV. We’ve been all over the web, platform to platform, seeking out the right game. Well in promoting their new digital app, ESPN’s John Lasker gave us digital soccer fans a shout out.
“Soccer fans throughout the United States have long been digitally savvy and capable of searching to find content, notes Lasker. This has allowed ESPN to move programming originally on linear channels and move it to the OTT service without creating much controversy.”
When they’re right, they’re right. World Soccer Talk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer outlines some of the ways their digital soccer content will be centralized in one location.
“The launch of ESPN+ allowed Major League Soccer to move its MLS Live product for out-of-market matches to the new OTT service, giving it more exposure and a less expensive price point than in the past. This transfer caused some heartache among a few fans but the overall change has been well received.
Similarly, the United States’ second division, USL, moved its live streaming match content to ESPN+ from its previous home of YouTube.”
It’s nice when these guys seem to get us as soccer fans. They know the pain of having to dig around for what you’re looking for, but then again, we think there’s something to be said for that process of exploration and discovery. Sure it’s tough to always find a stream for your favorite team’s game, or find the perfect podcast for your morning workout, but you never know what you might find along the way.
New Media: What are your favorite ways to find soccer content? Apps, channels, platforms? What cool soccer content have you discovered out there?
3. Meet Lansing’s craziest fans: Sons of Ransom (Lansing State Journal)
OK, this one is just fun. Check out this video by James Edwards III that he shot spending a day with some local soccer fanatics. Warning, there’s some very mild salty language, so headphones are recommended.
We especially love the activities that involve the other fans. It makes the game special for everyone in the stands. Well, except the coach of the rival team.
Home Coming: Who are the super fans that come to your game? How has their passion and support impacted your game on the field?
What’s fueling your soccer conversations today? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan and tell us your point of view.