Learning More Than the Rules Through World Cup

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Sunday’s soccer match between the USA and Portugal ended in a draw (or tie in non-soccer terms). The USA now faces powerhouse Germany to advance to the next group. Now to understand what all that means! Soccer is a great sport. My 4-year-old scored a whopping six goals last fall at one game. He ran hard to earn his snacks, but advancing was only a matter of showing up the next week to play again. You see, I never played soccer, and honestly the rules of the game still elude me. I don’t really know all the positions and their roles and I can’t exactly figure out why at the end of a professional soccer game they sometimes add on a little more time.

I grew up playing softball and taking dance lessons. Soccer never was the game my sister or I chose to play, nor did my family follow, and as a result, I feel kinda in the dark about all the goings on with the World Cup’s groupings, draws, wins, extra minutes, yellow and red cards, etc. etc. But I want to know because I enjoy watching the games and the world-wide excitement. Plus, that 4-year-old of mine likes the game and I want to be able to explain the rules of the game to him so he can continue on his quest for big goals. So I loved this breakdown by Natalie Morales on NBC’s Today Show about nine questions you want to answers to, but are too embarrassed to ask, about soccer

As for whether the U.S. team advances isn’t just about winning; there are a lot of variables. Whether you know all the rules of the game or not, I feel like this month of soccer is a great time to settle in with the family and watch not only some soccer greats from around the world, but a good way to open discussion about cultures around the world. Talk about geography and where teams come from, and discuss Brazil, where the games are being held. What kind of foods to they eat? What’s school like for the children? Listen to different languages. Look up pictures of places and customs online. Tune in Thursday to watch the U.S. take on Germany. Go U.S.A.!