Sports

A 2018 FIFA World Cup That Bettered Soccer

After watching one of sport’s greatest events of the world, I gathered up my thoughts to say why I liked this World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial spectacle of skill, speed, and play. I can talk all day about soccer, but I’m only writing about this tournament held in Russia- eastern Russia to be specific. All that transpired there led to me liking everything about this tournament. What I liked most about it was the inclusion of video assistant referee (VAR), reaction of Germany’s surprise elimination, and the country’s hospitality, all of which bettered soccer.

Throughout the game’s history, there have been oft-questionable calls by the main and sideline referees, particularly near and inside the penalty area. Constant talks went in and out by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, on introducing video technology to this World Cup, including replay for the referees. In comes the VAR, made official this year before the dawn of the World Cup. During the tournament and after, VAR was praised and criticized. It had viewers talking with mostly praise than chide, thus marking the VAR a success.

Success, however, was not in Germany’s favor this year. Known as the four-time  winners of the World Cup, Germany advanced past the group stage since 1938. Germany began their 2014 title defense against Mexico, and lost 1 to 0. Sweden became the next opponents of Germany, which they won 2-1 and earning them three points. For the final game, Germany faced South Korea. Facing elimination, Germany needed a victory to qualify to the knockout stage. Only a scoreless draw was happening in this game until injury time, this time South Korea scoring not one but two goals. 2-0 was the final and Germany became eliminated, causing worldwide reaction according to a BBC Sport website article .

Russia’s national team was also eliminated despite making the quarterfinals losing to Croatia via penalty shootout, but the country gained respect and praise for hosting the tournament. Major network analysts and world prime ministers were skeptical of Russia hosting a world event. Russia has been scrutinized for racism, negativity towards the LGBT+ community, and political stances to name a few. It was only during and after the World Cup that every thing said and seen about Russia changed- more well-receptive hospitality of Russians in and around the stadiums and little to no violence throughout the event. According to an article from soccer website goal.com, there have only been “few recorded incidents of travelling fans being subjected to the sort of racial or homophobic harassment that was initially feared.”

A tournament without violence, technology to aid the referees, and a early, shocking Germany exit provided a sporting event like the World Cup so much rejuvenation. Viewers, fans who have attended, and broadcasting companies have so much to look forward to in the following years after witnessing a successful World Cup and possibly more good tournaments well-organized in countries such as Russia did this year.

As of now, the next World Cup is hosted by Qatar for the year 2022.

Can TSU Include Men’s Soccer?

IMG_20150228_231430

While Texas Southern University (TSU) has a women’s soccer team, some question why there is no men’s team.

There are college sports that have both men’s and women’s teams, but other sports either have men’s or women’s only, and one of them is the sport of soccer.

Yes, TSU has a soccer team, but it doesn’t include men and women teams.

So, like other colleges in the country, TSU only has a women’s soccer team. Some attending TSU, student or faculty member, addressed why a men’s team is not in place.

TSU graduate student Lora Naranjo said that “the budget” is a reason why there is no men’s team.

Sophomore student and TSU soccer player Valarie Cortez said that there is an “intramural men’s team.”

TSU’s intramural team is the recreational after-school organization, mostly known as a club.

Andrew Roberts, Texas Southern Sports Information Director, said via email, “There is not currently a program at Texas Southern.”

Michael Taylor was the President of TSU Men’s Soccer Club. He said that “historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) do not have men’s soccer.”

TSU athletic director Charles McClelland spoke on the topic.

“The conference does not support soccer.”

McClelland also pointed out factors on the topic.

“From a financial standpoint and gender equity, we cannot add men’s soccer to our athletics program.”

He said, “Women’s soccer was added because of Title IX”.

Title IX is known as the law of an education amendment that prohibits discrimination of sex in any education program or activity. Soccer is where the number of women expanded, and has more women’s teams than men’s in college.

TSU Women’s Soccer Coach Kathryn Saunders thinks there should be men’s soccer.

She said men’s soccer is “a good opportunity and diversity.”

Even Naranjo would like to have men’s soccer as well.

“The men can help out the women,” Naranjo said.

She also said that having men’s soccer will “make each other better.”

But men’s soccer at TSU may not happen. It is unsure if, in the years to come, the school would include men’s soccer.

“The conference does not sponsor men’s soccer at this time,” Roberts said via email.

One thing would be the school’s budget, which is the main issue of adding men’s soccer in the college athletics program.

“They would have to share money,” Cortez said.

There are questions about sharing money once the inclusion of men’s soccer occurs.

McClelland said that “gender equity” is the issue of adding a men’s team to soccer, yet the budget issue is the biggest.

“Limited space, and difficulty,” Saunders said.

“Coaching, staff, the budget, and investing in resources and funds,” Taylor said.

Another thing of the coaching and the staff is that both teams have to share. Adding more coaches is the other element that provides more work for the program.

Since HBCUs do not have men’s soccer teams, especially in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), budgetary reasons also come into play. And time will tell if it can be included to the school.

TSU Women’s Soccer

tsuwsoccer

It is early morning at Texas Southern University (TSU). Placed in the corner, near the Recreation Center is the soccer field. Female soccer players are in a huddle and getting ready to practice. In practice, early or late, the team’s preseason is literally kicking off to a rising start.

Fall season is in the books, and while it is only springtime, TSU Women’s Soccer is optimistic about the future. Their concentration on next season and the championship is the main goal for these group of girls.

Even though they didn’t bring one last season, championship is still the prize the Lady Tigers have their eyes on. TSU soccer player and health studies major Maya Turner already knows the task at hand.

“We got a lot better, and I got a lot better,” Turner said.

Turner is only in her second year at TSU, and she sees the improvement in not just herself, but her team.

“Our speed and our ball movement is there.”

This improvement is also seen through the eyes of their head coach, Kathryn Saunders.

“It is definitely our goal (this upcoming season),” said Saunders enthusiastically.

The team’s goals start with the trust in one another.

“I believe we are finally coming together as a team on and off the field,” assistant coach Jordan Creel said via email.

Although she started this past August with the team, Creel has been seeing a lot in her team to know that they are laser focused on the next season.

“Also in the weight room and while doing fitness they are lot more motivating to another,” said Creel.

Saunders, who is in her first full year as the team’s head coach, views her team’s growth as a sign of confidence and determination.

“They have gone through a lot,” Saunders said.

“Their tenacity. They are just a good group of girls.”

Along with Maya Turner, the team is preparing by working out four times a week and practice four days a week.

“We have little tournaments and scrimmages as well,” Turner said.

“Even our communication is better,” said Turner.

With communication comes a goal that can be achieved and increasing possibility, even though there are steps to take in order for the main goal to be reached.

“It’s one game at a time, so I believe if we focus on the task at hand every game then we are setting ourselves up for a very successful season,” Creel said.

Creel is showing optimism in the team’s seasonal plans, and Saunders has seen the positivity in the improvement of the team.

“The fitness, conditioning, and the attacking are coming together well,” Saunders said confidently.

In addition, Saunders also said that the team had success in goals against them. With that been said, they are making other teams having difficulty scoring goals. Not only are the players bonding on and off the field, but they have also bonded with a coaching staff who have a belief that their goals, including the trophy, can be accomplished.

tsuwsoccer2

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s