FUEL Soccer Talk for 10/4: The Kick Hall of Fame Statue, New Relegation League, and Soccer Dogs!

Today we’re talking about the new statue at the Hall of Fame, the Kick, a new league with a relegation system, and a very good boy on the soccer field!

We’re back for another installment! Here’s what’s fueling our conversations on this lovely Thursday morning.

1. ‘The Kick’ Sculpture Unveiled Outside National Soccer Hall of Fame (National Soccer Hall of Fame)

Check out the new statue, just unveiled outside the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas.


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A new addition in front of our entrance on the south end of @toyotastadium! #NSHOF18

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While modeled on the incredible kick most often identified with Pele, the status is actually deliberately designed to be representative and identifiable to anyone. Said art consultant Paul Dorrell:

“One thing that was intentional on our part, and Clark and Dan were very much on board with it, is that a soccer player of any age or any race could identify with the piece, and that includes boys and girls,” said Dorrell. “Whether they’re a soccer player who’s in their 40’s or older, Hispanic, Asian, White, Black — I want them to be able to identify with this piece and be inspired by it and see themselves performing that kick.”

We can’t wait to see everyone start to post their selfies with the statue on social media. It’s sure to inspire players for years to come.

Role Models: Who are your inspirations in the game? Who best represents soccer to you?

2. New pro-rel soccer league formulated in the US (Sport Business)

A new soccer league, NSL, has formed in the US, and in something you don’t often see state-side, will incorporate a relegation system. In relegation systems, teams that underperform lose their place in the bracket, and are replaced by lower teams that perform better. This is how most European soccer leagues operate already.

“The National Soccer League (NSL) is a proposed open system that will according to a business plan acquired by SportBusiness, provide access and opportunity to every independent club beginning with local and state leagues administered by state associations all the way up to a professional national league. “

Interestingly, they will also incorporate you leagues into their system.

“The league system also plans to have a youth league, the NYSL. The NYSL plans to create regional youth leagues based on metro markets and population density to minimize operating costs and travel.”

While not every league will last the test of time, it’s heartening to note that the game is still growing so rapidly that we see new leagues and associations pop up almost every week.

Getting Organized: How do you think this league will affect the broader sport in the United States? Is your local club affiliated with any leagues?

3. Very good dog invades Argentinian soccer game demanding pets, has to be carried off field (The Loop)

Finally, a fun story. Check out this game from Argentina, where they had an unexpected visitor.

This dog was no stray, however.

“As it turns out, Roberto is well known around Unión De Santa Fe, with the club’s spokesperson saying of the team’s unofficial mascot, “He is a good dog and people love him. He’s our team’s dog. The members of the club attend to him as if it were their own.” In other words, stick to basketball, Air Bud. Roberto has this soccer thing covered.”

This one is sure to make its way around and around social media over the next week. Who doesn’t love a good dog on the field?

Best Friend: Does your team have an unofficial mascot? Do you ever bring pets to your games?

What’s fueling your soccer conversations today? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan and tell us your point of view.