Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The U.S. vs. the World

He played the game overseas and experienced the culture, so Brian Dheel knows why Americans fail to embrace soccer like the rest of the world.

“It’s just a really big deal outside of this country,” he said. “Towns and cities shut down for big games. That’s all they do. That’s all they know.”

Dheel, the 31-year-old rear-tire carrier for Red Bull Racing Team’s No. 84 car, lived and trained with club teams in England and Holland in 1995-96 and played at the semi-pro level in the United States. He once coached high-school soccer in his native northeastern Ohio.

As the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing approach, all eyes are on the American men’s team, which has never medaled in the summer games. The women’s team, however, has won gold twice.

So why are American men so hapless in the world’s most popular sport? Dheel’s offering is that the U.S. doesn’t treat soccer like its international rivals.

“It’s completely different than almost everything over here,” Dheel said. “Over there, they come up with songs about their players. They come up with songs about the other team’s players. Over here, it’s more rah-rah when something good happens … blow a few horns. Over there, it’s almost like a festival during the game.”

America likes points, something soccer rarely delivers.

“I think you can have a scoreless game and one-nill games that are some of the greatest games you’ll ever see, lots of great defensive plays,” Dheel said. “America is more into the flash. I really don’t know if it’s ever going to be the No. 1 sport in America.”


Anonymous savannah david said...

I don't even know the player positions on a soccer team... so I guess I can't really comment on the soccer thing.

On the other hand, there's a really good sound bite with Jimmy Ellege in the audio section of RBRT website. It's so nice to hear confidence, positivity and enthusiasm in his voice. Go get 'em boys!

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also do not know much about soccer, how ever I do know it's about time for a Red Bull driver to be in Victory Lane this weekend!
Good Luck to both Brian and AJ and hope Brian can keep the car running!
We fans believe in you both, show us your stuff.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad the New York Red Bulls (Major League Soccer) aren't doing as well as the NASCAR team.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Yahoo boys think the #83 will give them hell on Sunday. I agree and I'm sure the #84 team will be up there contending too.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Hazleton Jason said...

Was just rading 'Dinger unleashed on Yahoo sports (as I always do bi-weekly)and I was suprised to see that AJ at the moment has not been tendered a contract by red bull for 2009.
I am pretty sure that he will get picked up as he and BV were signed to 3-year deals at the beginning, but AJ seems to think he is driving for his job...
I am pretty sure he will be just fine, as the results are starting to catch up to the immense talent... Red Bull needs to do the right thing and see this thing through. And if AJ struggles in '09 then ya, cut bait, but if not- SIGN THIS IMMENSE TALENT to another 3 year deal and watch him, BV and eventually Scott Speed in a third TRB car race for wins and hopefully a chase run!

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If RedBull doesnt sign AJ again after what he has been through and compared to how he is running now they are crazy. I cant believe they would let this talent get away - cause im sure someone else will snatch him up. I too hope they do the right thing. He has put his heart and soul into this and deserves to be signed again.

9:11 AM  

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