By Matthew Selman
The debate between soccer and football has been ongoing for centuries, and many people think the term “soccer” is a form of Americanism, but several countries call the sport soccer, such as Australia, Canada, South Africa, as well as some Asian countries call it soccer. Why are there two names for the sport, and why is it such a heated debate?
The United States never got onto the wagon of soccer, while other sports such as basketball and baseball have been in the spotlight since the 1800’s. Not to mention the other football Americans adore. European countries on the other hand, love soccer and everything about it. Soccer is so adored by people because of the accessibility to it, anyone can play the game, regardless of age, gender, economic situation, etc. Americans fell in love with other sports for the same reasons, creating a divide between Americans and the rest of the world regarding soccer.
American football was originally called gridiron football, but the people of America shortened it to football. Football was much more popular in the US, so Americans adopted the name soccer-football, but of course ended up shortening it to soccer.
Whether one calls it soccer or football, the sport is evolving in the United States, and for the first time, millions of Americans are watching the World Cup. The world cup is going to be hosted in the United States and Mexico in 2026, and it will be interesting to see “soccer” and “football” collide.