I don't hide the fact that I'm new to soccer. Never watched a game, other than my kids', prior to the first home game against DC at the Linc. I fell in love with the atmosphere (Seba picked a good night for the team's only hat trick), and bought season tickets when I got home that night. It certainly didn't hurt that my daughter - now 11 - also fell in love with it, and so having season tickets would give us something to bond over, time in the car to talk, and so forth. If it sucked after the first year, I could always bail. Well, I'm still here - and moved from the corner to the sideline section this year. We're hooked.
Over the last 4 years - which includes my daughter's first year playing - I've learned a lot. Not surprising, really, since when this ride started my knowledge of soccer could be summed up as: don't use your hands. I didn't know that kicking with your toes is bad; I didn't know what a sideline throw was, how to do it, or when it happened; I didn't know that the sideline is actually called the touch line. I knew what a penalty kick was, but had no clue when they happend. So I've come a long, long way. But there's still a few things I don't know and can't figure out. So here's your chance to help me learn some more.
- What gets factored into the amount of time the 4th official adds to the end of each half? Is it just the time guys spend rolling around on the ground injured? Only time spent with the trainer on the field? Some random number he makes up?
- During lots of free kicks and corner kicks, I see the ref hold things up to talk to players in the box. Presumably, he's telling them to behave? I ask, because after the ref gives his lecture, the players go right back to the pushing, shoving, grabbing, etc they were doing before the ref interjected. What's the point of the lecture if things are just going to continue?
- From time to time, I see the positions referred to by numbers. Not too surprising, since the same thing exists in baseball and basketball. I've figured out that "1" is the goalie. (Yeah, I'm so clever...) But I can't noodle out the rest. Are 2 and 3 CBs? What's the general position-by-numbers thing?
- Related to the above, what's a "false 9?"
- Why doesn't diving (or, I guess, "simulation" in soccer terms) get called more often? there's four officials on the field; they can't see the obvious dives that take place (unless Freddy Adu is the one being called for it)?
If I have more questions while this thread is still active, I'll add them in and post them to the comments. Thanks, in advance, for helping a guy out.