Fans' View

Fans’ View: A Flashback to My Youth

Although there was no Union match this weekend, there were plenty of opportunities to get my soccer fix. The most notable of them were the U.S. women’s friendly against Norway and the men’s world cup qualifier against rival Mexico. Instead, my most entertaining soccer bit took place closer to home and brought me back to my childhood.

The Street Soccer USA Cup took place this past Saturday and Sunday in Philadelphia on the steps of the Art Museum. The event was seemingly a star-studded affair, attracting the likes of Sons of Ben, members of the Philadelphia Union, Heather Mitts and Hope Solo on Sunday. At least, I read the members of the Sons and Ben and the Union would be present on Sunday (I wasn’t on the steps of the Art Museum on Sunday but I saw a picture on Hope Solo’s instagram of her and Heather Mitts at the event on Sunday).

In any case, when I saw the teams competing on miniature hockey-rink like surfaces, I immediately thought of my childhood soccer-playing days. Back in the day, my teams and I would occasionally play indoor tournaments, which totally felt 180-degrees different from playing on a normal field. But I recall those games being a lot of fun because playing indoor was faster paced and a challenge that enabled me to work on a a new set of skills. In addition, watching games being played in a tournament setting also brought me back to the days when I would play multiple games in one day (I’m assuming the teams who participated in the event did so). Probably because I haven’t played organized soccer in so long, I had forgotten about the days when I had three or hours between games.

Anyway, as for the Street Soccer USA Cup, I was reminded once again about the diversity of the sport. There were teams composed of adults, teenagers and young kids. There were also coed teams and as well as squads were predominately Hispanic, black and Caucasian. But most of all, I saw teams and spectators enjoying themselves on the steps of the Art Museum. Admittedly, I can’t say I’m very knowledgeable about the Street Soccer USA Cup. But it is fun to watch soccer – whether in person on on TV – without telling yourself, among other things, “This team is playing a 5-4-1” or “When No. 7 enters the match, check out how the other team responds.” When I was fortunate enough to find soccer on TV as a young child, I would just feel a sense of awe at this seemingly mythic sport appearing right in front of my eyes. And while watching young players perform brought out a sense of envy: “Why couldn’t I have had such an opportunity when I was younger?”

Avenues to get soccer out to the masses can only benefit the sport as they show how soccer can be a focal point at an iconic location. Maybe the tournament will only be a one-time event in Philadelphia. But even if it is, we should try to run more events like this.


  1. Thanks for the report. Sounds like the Street Soccer USA Cup was a fun event.

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