Students fall victim to ‘Soccer Fever’

Soccer. Futbol. Joga Bonito. The beautiful game. It seems as though the entire world succumbed to the sickness known to many as “soccer fever” this summer, due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is an event that takes place every four years between countries whose soccer teams qualify to play. This year, Spain won the World Cup by defeating Holland in the finals. The World Cup is a symbol of unification and peace to many countries around the world. Many people believe that it unites the world unlike any other sporting event. The United States, which isn’t a very soccer oriented country, seemed extremely involved this year in supporting the national team. Even after the World Cup, the United States was in full-on soccer mode, with tons of fans attending soccer games across the nation. Some friends and I eventually gave in to the madness and purchased tickets to watch Manchester United vs. Kansas City Wizards in Kansas City. Manchester United is the biggest soccer club in the world, with an enormous amount of hardcore supporters around the globe. Knowing this, I hesitated when asked which team I was going for. I was actually pretty torn between the two, as I thought Manchester obviously had the upper hand and because of their massive fan base. Upon arriving, I realized how many people actually supported the Kansas City Wizards. A sea of red and blue was all I could see across the stadium. Fifty-three thousand people attended the game. That’s more than the entire population of Liberal. The match was exciting and the audience was enthusiastic. My friends and I enjoyed ourselves while in Kansas City. We also found out that most hotels in town were booked specifically because of the soccer match taking place. No matter where we went in the city, we always found crowds of people wearing Manchester United jerseys, or sporting some sort of Manchester United fodder. The KC Wizards won the game 2-1. However, Manchester fans didn’t seem to mind the loss as long as they had the opportunity to watch their favorite soccer superstars play.

Kansas City and Manchester United listen to each other’s national anthem. Both anthems were sung by professional singers for the match.
Kansas City and Manchester United listen to each other’s national anthem. Both anthems were sung by professional singers for the match.