Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to a Major League Soccer Game
The minivan loaded up with kids, sweaty and grass-stained from soccer practice, is a true hallmark of American suburbia. After all, the term "soccer mom" didn't materialize out of nowhere, right? But all too often, investment in your kids' games and even their own investment in their teams doesn't translate to a strong interest in the sport itself. Thankfully, the best way to spark that interest is also one of the easiest: attend a Major League Soccer game as a family outing. The popularity of Major League Soccer is on the rise after a banner year in 2016, and it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Going to an MLS game is more than just a fun day out; it can be a memorable bonding experience if you go into it with the right mindset. Here's how:
Your kids get a chance to be the experts.
You've been sending them off to practice, buying the equipment, and filling out the paperwork for camps and leagues, but at the end of the day, your kids are the pros here. They're the ones learning the rules of the game and actually getting out on the field, so use the outing to let all their hard work shine. Chances are, they're excited to show off what they know. Play the part of the willing pupil and let them be the teachers.
You'll shine at their next youth game.
Attending your kids' soccer games might be part of your regular routine, but it doesn't necessarily mean you know much about the sport. It can be hard to follow beyond the basics (ball goes in the net), especially with really young kids, whose games are more of a glorified game of tag. By taking some time to watch the pros with your kid, you'll be more likely to pick up on some of the more nuanced aspects of the game. So the next time she has an important match, you'll be able to rehash it better afterward.
Yes, Major League Soccer is on the rise, but it's not quite there yet. That means nabbing reasonably priced tickets (even for a successful team) is often easier to do than with the bigger American sports, such as basketball and football. By not needing to break the bank to have some quality time, the game can become part of a new tradition, turning your family into true soccer fans.
They'll love learning the chants.
Songs and chants are almost as big a part of soccer as shin guards and cleats. Unlike an American-football or basketball game, where crowds keep their cheers and jeers pretty simple, soccer crowds are notorious for having their own unique ways for vocally supporting their team. Check out your local team online to see if there's a listing of the official songs and chants, then you can practice them together as a way to get psyched up for the game. Sing-along anyone?
MLS scarves are a fun (and functional) way to support the team.
More affordable than a jersey, more functional than a baseball cap, MLS scarves are part of a long soccer tradition. Along with wearing them during the chilly months of the offseason, MLS fans use their scarves at games as badges of pride, holding them up as banners during excellent plays. If you're particularly crafty, you might even be inspired to get other parents to help create your own scarves for your kids' team.