Should the US Be Faking More Soccer Injuries?

We're among the few teams that avoid the practice: Sam Borden
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2014 11:52 AM CDT
Should the US Be Faking More Soccer Injuries?
In this Nov. 19, 2013, file photo, US national soccer team player John Brooks dribbles against Austria during a friendly soccer match in Vienna.   (AP Photo/Hans Punz, file)

If you've been watching the World Cup, you've surely seen some players howling in apparent pain; perhaps you caught Frederico Chaves Guedes of Brazil topple downward, wailing, after his shoulder was touched by an opposing player. Such exaggerated "flopping," which draws the ref's attention to potential penalties, is standard for most teams—but not the US, Sam Borden notes in the New York Times. Former US player Tab Ramos, who also played in Europe, agrees: "Absolutely that’s something we don’t do the way other teams do."

Why? Maybe because flopping "runs contrary to the ethos of idealized American sports," Borden notes. "As Ramos said, American athletes are typically honest on the field, no doubt influenced by years of being told to be strong, battle through contact, and finish the play." But any ethical victory is overshadowed by the fact that it may be costing us victories on the field. US goalkeeper Tim Howard says he'd support teammates flopping; coach Jurgen Klinsmann wants to see more "nasty" play from the US. Borden doesn't offer a definitive answer. "It comes down to this: Should the Americans dive with almost everyone else or stand on the moral high ground?" Click for his full piece. (More Jurgen Klinsmann stories.)

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