How to Fix the Problems With Soccer

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The first two knock-out round games show everything that’s wrong with soccer:

1. Trench Warfare. Almost all the scoring was early, four out of five goals in the first twenty minutes or so. The next two and a half hours of soccer, one goal, Maxi Rodriguez’s beauty for Argentina in Overtime. But the point is, the game turns into an endless trudge of determined foes. And so indecisive that it has to be decided by an arbitrary farce: penalty kicks. Like having a great basketball game decided by a competiton of H-o-r-s-e.

2. Referees Ruin the Game. Sweden had no chance after Lucic, I think that’s his name, was given a red card after a half hour or so. So they’re down 2-0 and are playing with ten men; they had no chance.

Soccer should change the rules:

1. Allow endless substitutions. We’d get to see more players, there would be more scoring. Games would be decided when the players weren’t half dead, or worse, by Penalty Kicks.

2. End the death penalty: Make red cards last for 10 minutes, not a whole game.