A listener of the American Soccer Show sent me this email yesterday, asking an interesting question. While I could wait to use it on the next show (and I probably will mention it), I thought I'd share it here first. It's obviously in response to the debate over Thierry Henry's punishment for injuring Kevin Hartman.
Date: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 11:26 PM
Subject: Why all the American soccer conspiracies
I am a new soccer fan having only really started to follow the national team and MLS during the last World Cup qualifying. Something I seem to notice is all the conspiracies that are so widely spread on many soccer forums. Example MLS did not suspend Henry because it wanted him so they could have all 5DPs or MLS getting jobbed in Champions League. Are the real reasons not MLS gave a big money fine, for MLS standards, for a freak play and just CONCAF refs in general are terrible. Why do soccer fans always tend to go to a conspiracy for their go to excuse?
Unfortunately for Dom, I'm still trying to figure out the answer to his question myself. Therefore, I'm putting it to you to help a new soccer convert understand why American fans are always so quick to look for ulterior motives when it comes to things like Henry's fine/non-suspension and CONCACAF tomfoolery. We seem to have an inability to trust anyone, even those charged with being the custodians of the game in our own country (and who aren't doing too bad a job, honestly). Is this a soccer issue, or a general reflection of societal attitudes?
Help me find an answer for Dom.