How to Increase World Cup Goal Scoring

Note From David. This newsletter was written on June 12, 2010... the second day of the World Cup. Thus far, the most goals scored by a team has been 2. Even the talented teams from England and Argentina only scored one goal. That caused me to think about the typical criticism I hear about soccer - that there isn't enough goal scoring. That is the suject of this newsletter.

I admit that this article won't have any impact on the subject, but in the spirit of the World Cup and every fan's right to voice an opinion, I'm writing it anyway.

After the first 5 games in which a total of 7 goals were scored, I think FIFA should consider doing something to increase scoring.

Here is my 2 cents worth. There is a simple solution - make the goals 2 feet wider. I think doing that would add 2 more goals per match (think of how many shots hit the posts or just miss).

Why is this justified? I can think of 3 reasons:

  1. It would be good for the sport because it would increase interest. Yes, I know soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but I live in the U.S. and it would be good to have more fans here and fewer remarks about how soccer is boring because few goals are scored. I think to most people, including me, 0-0 scores usually aren't as exciting as 2-1 scores. One reason we are seeing such low scores is that some teams are packing in the defense to make it hard to score and the objective becomes not to lose instead of trying to win, and hope to get a goal on a fast counterattack or by a stroke of luck. That approach is effective but boring. Another reason is because some of the defenders and Keepers are really great.

  2. Defenders are faster and quicker than they used to be and that makes it harder to score.

  3. Goalkeepers are taller and more athletic than they used to be. Making the goal wider would make it more comparable to the way it used to be in terms of the Keeper's ability to stop shots.

I hope you are enjoying the World Cup and that England, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and your favorite team break loose and start to score lots of goals. It is great fun even with the low scores, but it will be more fun if more goals are scored.