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Understanding Offsides in Soccer

Today, Team USA battled to a 1-1 draw with powerhouse England in its first game of the 2010 World Cup.  Don’t they all end in draws?

Brazil fans: An excuse to watch boring soccer games.

Brazil fans: An excuse to watch boring soccer games.

The World Cup only comes once every four years so it’s ok if you didn’t watch baseball this afternoon to support the Yanks in the World Cup.  After all, four times as many people watched the USA-England soccer match today than watch our Super Bowl!

Well, since we are now even with the Brits who make football (soccer) their most important professional sport, it’s time that we Yanks understand the rules of the beautiful game.  So, here’s our look at how an American can understand what offsides is in soccer since they don’t have a handy line on the pitch (field) as we are used to in ice hockey.

Let’s say you are in line to buy a six pack of beer and you have now reached the cash register.  You notice, however, that you don’t have your wallet with you.  In the back of line is your mate (friend) so you yell for him to throw you his wallet so you can pay.  You can’t pay unless the money makes it in front of you to the cash register.  You can’t run ahead of the guy at the cash register without the money.  Get it?  If you did, it would be offsides.

Maybe next Olympics, we’ll take a crack at explaining curling.

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