TAKING OVER THE WORLD'S GAME

Lance Zierlein: The World Cup and ugly Americans know how to "fix" soccer

Hey guys, let's fix soccer. Victor Araiza

Americans love them some America. Whatever we do is the best. Don’t believe it? Just ask us. We expect you to speak our language (even in your country) and many Americans would just as soon eat at a McDonalds abroad than than eating the local cuisine. I know, I know….not everyone is like that but there are enough to make that generalization and have it stick.

When it comes to sports, we are even worse. We rule and you suck because we have American football. We aren’t really into the World Baseball Classic like the Latin American countries and we barely even lift our heads when the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team ends up playing abroad - even in the Olympics. As a country, we tend to like things when they are on our terms when it comes to sports.

When it comes to the World Cup, there appears to be a growing number of American fans who are following matches irrespective of the lack of U.S. representation in the event. I’ve been all-in with the World Cup since 1998. I love the passion and I love the tension that builds during each match. I watch as many World Cup matches as a I can every four years and I wouldn’t change a thing, but you just know that there are a couple of Americans in a bar every night trying to make soccer “more watchable.”

“I KNOW WHAT WILL MAKE SOCCER BETTER”

Guy 1: Are you watching the soccer thing at all?

Guy 2: I’ve seen it when I flipped channels but it’s just too boring for me.

Guy 1: I’m the same way! There just isn’t enough scoring. If they had more scoring, I might watch.

Guy 2: What they need to do is add a 2 point line where if you make a goal from outside that line it counts as 2.

Guy 1: You nailed it! But I would also add a 3 point line too so teams have a chance to make a big comeback. How much more exciting would soccer be if guys were shooting goals from deep trying to make a 3?!

Guy 2: And they basically just play zone the whole time. Make them play man-to-man defense.

Guy 1: Also on the throw-ins I think they have to use two hands but you can’t throw it as far that way. They should allow people to just chunk it with one hand so they can throw it further down the field. Maybe you can make more fast breaks that way.

Guy 2: Oh, also all that flopping has to go. They should make it where if you get caught flopping you have to go to like a foul box or a penalty box for 5 minutes or more and the other teams gets to play with a an advantage. It would knock out flopping and we might get more scoring.

Guy 1: I hate that flopping and rolling around on the ground stuff. Unwatchable. If you act hurt then you have to stay out of the game for 10 minutes. That’s my rule. Those guys are wussies!

Guy 1: And they should allow them to set picks to get guys open. Way, way more scoring if they did that.

Guy 2: I was thinking about the 2 point and 3 point thing we talked about. I think we are going to have to make the goal bigger too.

Guy 1: Oh definitely. It looks super easy to keep the ball out of the net when I watch. Let’s make it harder by adding three feet on each side.

Guy 2: That’s a given. Every sport makes changes to make scoring easier and soccer needs to get on board if they want anyone to even watch that crap.

Guy 1: While I’m all for scoring, I also want to see more contact to toughen these guys up.

Guy 2: Are you talking about tackling?

Guy 1: Yes. I’m not saying have tackling all the time because that would keep the scoring low, but I want one guy to be the designated “hitter” and he can just lay people out once every ten minutes.

Guy 2: So that’s like 8 or 9 punishing hits every game then. That would be awesome! If they would do what we say, their sport would be so much better and I might even watch!

 

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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