After not even being considered a major sport by many Americans, soccer, or football as it is known by many, has been in the shadow of other more popular sports. However, with talents like Christian Pulisic, Weston Mckennie, and Giovanni Reyna currently starring in the biggest soccer leagues in Europe, there has been a massive outpouring of hype associated with the US Men’s Soccer team.
Now, after their elite showcase in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, their impact has unlocked superstardom that has exceeded even the likes of soccer capital Brazil and reigning world champions Argentina.
After a statement draw over England at the World Cup and a Round of 16 berth, Team USA has inspired many to continue the growth and development of soccer around the world. The sport had transformed throughout the years, crossing international borders and peppering talent across varied leagues. A beacon of his generation, star midfielder Pulisic has made a name for himself by representing his country with skill and pride on both the club and international stage—with his recent performances leading to him even being regarded as the LeBron James of soccer.
In a country where baseball, football, and basketball are a mainstay, the US Men’s Soccer Team has proven that they too belong in the discussion. Apply this to the Philippines where basketball and volleyball are ever popular, and we begin to wonder if it’s possible to propel our national soccer team to the next level. Perhaps we may even have our own version of Pulisic: the Robert Jaworski of Philippine soccer.
Inspired by the recent events and progressions in the USA’s soccer scene, the DLSU Men’s Football Team has decided to rebrand to the “DLSU Men’s Soccer Team” in an effort to replicate the American success found at the world and club stage. In a public statement, the team agreed with the public and believed that the game has stagnated throughout the years and needs to be updated to cater to Filipino fans.
Getting facts straight
Soccer is often mistakenly called football by so many people in the world—including the Philippines. Fighting the spread of misinformation, the DLSU Men’s Soccer Team vows to help spread the word and clarify the differences between their sport and the one true football, American football.
DLSU goalkeeper Enrico Mangaoang shares with The LuhSallian, “I have played both sports and I can truly say that the real football is American football, I don’t even know how soccer got in the conversation in the first place.”
His teammates Mikio Umilin and Paolo Go, both of whom have also played American Football, agree that the dynamic fast-paced sport deserves the crown of “real football”. Stating some of the differences between the two sports, they express their admiration for some of the calls in football, wanting the systems implemented in soccer.
Although soccer is the world’s most popular sport and the FIFA World Cup is considered to be the biggest sporting event on the planet, there is no denying that it plays second fiddle to basketball and volleyball in the Philippines.
Many Filipino basketball fans have proclaimed that soccer lacks the excitement that the other sports bring because it does not have end-to-end action. Twitter superstar Ryan Alba has even criticized the sport’s governing body for not making rule changes long ago.
DLSU Head Coach Alvin Ocampo agrees with the imposition of changes to make soccer more palatable to the casual fan. He posits, “I think the main change we need is to get rid of the offside violation. Why should the striker not be allowed to hang back and wait for a long ball? The build-up is unnecessary. We should be able to have the goalkeeper pass it to the striker in the opposition’s box.”
The seasoned coach also claims that to make soccer more exciting, only two defenders are allowed on the field for each team. “All teams should be playing the 2-4-4 formation so we always have eight attackers against two defenders. This would allow us to score 10 goals per game.”
In a shocking development, the DLSU Lady Booters have disclosed to The LuhSallian that they also plan to follow suit and rebrand as the DLSU Women’s Soccer Team to pay homage to the two-time defending Women’s World Cup champions, the US Women’s National Soccer Team, and their own run as four-time defending champions in the UAAP.
“People sometimes forget that the women’s teams can be more successful than the men’s—that’s something the US and Philippines both have in common,” captain Bea de los Reyes remarks, earning a grunt of approval from Coach Hans-Peter Smit.