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0275 A Soccer Match

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 275: A Soccer Match.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 275. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at eslpod.com to download a Learning Guide for this episode that contains all of the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, additional vocabulary not talked about in the podcast, as well as a cultural note, and a complete transcript of this episode.

This episode is called “A Soccer Match,” what in most countries of the world would be called a “football match.” Let's get started!

[start of story]

Shandy: Oh, that player just hit my boyfriend! Did you see that? That was definitely a penalty.

Giuseppe: No, I didn’t. I was watching the goalie. The referee isn’t doing anything.

Shandy: I can’t believe it. Why isn’t the coach talking to that referee? I’m sure the other player deliberately kicked Fabio with his cleats.

Giuseppe: Hey, look! Fabio has the ball and he’s taking it all the way down the field. He shoots, he scores! That’s his second goal of the game. He’s going to win the game for the team.

Shandy: What’s he doing now? Why is he on the ground? Is he hurt?

Giuseppe: I don’t know. The trainer is helping him off the field. It doesn’t look serious.

Shandy: That’s good, but he hates sitting on the bench. He won’t want to watch the rest of the match from the sidelines.

Giuseppe: Look at the stands over there!

Shandy: What’s happening? Why are they all standing up? Oh, they’re starting a wave. I thought for a minute that the fans were getting into a brawl.

Giuseppe: It’s coming this way.

Shandy: Okay, here we go!

[end of story]

This episode is called “A Soccer Match.” What we call “soccer” here in the U.S., most countries call “football.” When we say “football,” we mean American football, which is very different.

This is a dialogue between two people who are watching a game; we would say two “fans” (fans). The first fan, Shandy, says, “Oh, that player just hit my boyfriend!” This is not, then, probably a professional soccer game, but one with amateurs; people who are not being paid. I should also say that the word “match” (match) as in “soccer match,” is another word for game. So, soccer match – soccer game – means the same thing.

Shandy says that there was definitely a penalty when this player hit her boyfriend. A “penalty” (penalty) is a punishment against a team or a player who breaks a rule during the game. Most team sports – most sports that have teams playing it, such as basketball, soccer, American football, hockey, if you do something wrong, then there is a penalty.

We can also use this word “penalty” for anything that you have to do when you are caught doing something wrong. Any punishment could be called a “penalty.” The “death penalty,” for example, is when the government kills someone because they did something wrong. Well, this isn't as serious as a death penalty; it's just a penalty in the soccer game.

Giuseppe, Shandy's friend, says, “No, I didn’t. I was watching the goalie.” The “goalie” (goalie) is also called the “goalkeeper,” and that is, in soccer, the player that tries to stop the other team from getting points by not letting the ball go into the net. Each team has one goalie. There are also goalies in hockey, for example.

Giuseppe says that the referee (referee) isn't doing anything. The “referee” is the person who – or one of the people who watch the game, and make sure that everyone is following the rules.

Shandy then says, “I can’t believe it. Why isn’t the coach talking to that referee?” The “coach” (coach) is the person who leads the sports team; the person who is in charge of the team. Shandy says she is sure that the other player deliberately kicked Fabio, her boyfriend, with his cleats (cleats). When we say that we “did something deliberately,” we mean on purpose; it's what we had planned to do. “Cleats” are shoes that have many small points on the bottom, and these small points go into the ground and help the person wearing them avoid falling down or slipping. So, the cleats, if you kick someone with them, could be very painful because they can be sharp.

Giuseppe says, “Hey, look! Fabio has the ball and he’s taking it all the way down the field.” The “field” (field) is the outdoor or the grassy area where sports games are played. You can have an American football field; you can have a baseball field; you can have a soccer field. Each of those fields, of course, looks different.

Giuseppe then says, “He shoots, he scores!” “To shoot” here means to kick the ball towards the net of the other team. “To score” means to make a point; to score a point; to win a point. When you kick the ball into the other team's net, we call that a “goal” (goal), a goal. The word “goal” has a couple of different meanings in English; take a look at our Learning Guide for this episode for some additional definitions.

Shandy says, “What’s he doing now,” meaning what is her boyfriend Fabio doing now. “Why is he on the ground?” Giuseppe says, “I don’t know. The trainer is helping him off the field.” The “trainer” (trainer) is the person that gives medical help – medical assistance – to the players when they get hurt. So, every big team has a trainer, a person who goes out and helps the players who get hurt during the game.

Shandy says that’s good that is not serious, but she knows that Fabio hates sitting on the bench. The “bench” (bench) is a long seat where members of the team sit when they are not playing. So, if you're “on the bench,” you are not actually playing in the game. So it means you are not as good as, perhaps, the other members of the team or that you have been hurt. When I played basketball for a very short time as a boy, I would often sit on the bench during the games. I was not one of the better players. I was also one of the shorter players.

Going back to our story, we find that Shandy is saying that Fabio won’t want to watch the rest of the match from the sidelines. “Match,” we already know, means game. The “sidelines” (sidelines), in this case, refer to the area around the sports field where the team members are standing when they aren't playing in the game. So, like the bench, people will sometimes use the word “sideline,” or “sidelines,” to refer to people who, or a place where you find players who are not playing. It is even a verb: “To be sidelined” means that you are taken out of the game for some reason, or something bad has happened to you and you can't continue doing what you were doing before.

Giuseppe says, “Look at the stands over there!” The “stands” (stands), these are the rows of seats where people sit during the game. So, if you are a fan, and you go to watch the game, you can sit in the stands.

Shandy says, “What’s happening? Why are they all standing up? Oh,” she says, “they’re starting a wave” (wave). A “wave,” at an American sports game, or any sports game, is something that started maybe 20 years ago, where everyone stands up in a certain part of the stadium, and then the people next to them stand up, and you sit down. And this continues like a wave of water, all around the stadium. “Wave” has a couple of different meanings as well. Again, take a look at the Learning Guide for that.

Usually in the wave, people put up their hands as they stand, and they take their hands, or arms, down as they sit down again. It was very popular 10-15 years ago. I'm not sure if it is as popular today, but you will still see it.

Shandy says, “I thought for a minute,” meaning for a short time, “that the fans were getting into a brawl” (brawl). A “brawl” is another word for a fight, a very loud, noisy fight. Often, when people drink too much alcohol – when they are drunk – they get into brawls, especially men. That, of course, sometimes happens at some soccer games, but not most of them. It can happen in any sport, of course, especially swimming. Those swim fans – be careful!

Now let's listen to the dialogue again, this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of story]

Shandy: Oh, that player just hit my boyfriend! Did you see that? That was definitely a penalty.

Giuseppe: No, I didn’t. I was watching the goalie. The referee isn’t doing anything.

Shandy: I can’t believe it. Why isn’t the coach talking to that referee? I’m sure the other player deliberately kicked Fabio with his cleats.

Giuseppe: Hey, look! Fabio has the ball and he’s taking it all the way down the field. He shoots, he scores! That’s his second goal of the game. He’s going to win the game for the team.

Shandy: What’s he doing now? Why is he on the ground? Is he hurt?

Giuseppe: I don’t know. The trainer is helping him off the field. It doesn’t look serious.

Shandy: That’s good, but he hates sitting on the bench. He won’t want to watch the rest of the match from the sidelines.

Giuseppe: Look at the stands over there!

Shandy: What’s happening? Why are they all standing up? Oh, they’re starting a wave. I thought for a minute that the fans were getting into a brawl.

Giuseppe: It’s coming this way.

Shandy: Okay, here we go!

[end of story]

The script for this podcast was written by a big soccer fan, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2007.

Glossary
penalty – a punishment against a team or a player who breaks a rule during a game

* The team received a penalty when one of its players started fighting with members of the other team.


goalkeeper – goalie; the soccer player who tries to stop the other team from getting points by not letting the ball enter the net

* In soccer, only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his or her hands.


referee – the person who watches a game and makes sure that the players follow the rules, usually dressed in black and white clothing

* The player became very angry when the referee said that he wasn’t following the rules.


coach – the person who leads a sports team and tries to make the players better

* The university hired a new coach for its basketball team because the old coach didn’t win any games last year.


deliberately – on purpose; with the intention of doing something; doing something that one planned to do

* Ramona deliberately broke her glasses because she was embarrassed to wear them in front of her friends.


cleats – shoes that have many small points on the bottom that push into the ground and help the person wearing them to not slip and fall

* People who live in very cold climates often wear ice cleats that help them walk over slippery ice.


field – the outdoor grassy area where sports games are played

* The teams can’t practice on the field when it rains because it destroys the grass.


to score – to make a point; to win points

* Jackson scored more than half of the team’s points in the game last night.


goal – the act of a ball passing through a net or crossing a line so that the team wins a point

* How many goals did Rick score in yesterday’s game?


trainer – a person who provides medical help to players

* The trainer told Melissa to put ice on her knee after she fell on the field.


the bench – a long seat where team members sit during a game when they aren’t playing

* Jimmy isn’t a very good player, so he spends most of the games sitting on the bench.


match – one game between two sports teams or players

* How long does a tennis match usually last?


sidelines – the area around a sports field; the area where team members are when they aren’t playing in the game

* When you’re watching a game, you have to stay on the sidelines. Never stand in the field where you might be in the players’ way.


stands – bleachers; the rows of seats where people sit while watching a sports game

* Several people were walking through the stands, selling soda and beer.


wave – the movement that happens when groups of people in a stadium stand up and put their arms in the air and then sit back down while the next group begins to do it, so that it looks like a wave is moving around the stadium

* People do the wave because it’s fun, and because they want to show support for their favorite team.


fan – a person who watches a game and makes loud noises because he or she hopes that one team will win

* Danielle is a big fan, so she dressed in the team’s colors and even painted her face with the team’s name.


brawl – fight; a noisy fight in a public place, often when people are drunk

* There was a brawl in the bar on Friday and the owner had to ask people to leave.

Comprehension Questions
1. Why does Shandy think there should be a penalty?
a) Because the referee isn’t doing anything.
b) Because another player kicked Fabio.
c) Because Fabio has the ball.

2. Why does Fabio hate sitting on the bench?
a) Because it’s uncomfortable.
b) Because it’s not on the sidelines.
c) Because he wants to play.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
goal

The word “goal,” in this podcast, means the act of a ball passing through a net or crossing a line so that the team wins a point: “In soccer, each goal is worth one point.” A “goal” is also the area where the ball has to be put to win a point: “In soccer, the goal is a large net that the goalkeeper stands in front of.” A “goalpost” is one of two metal posts that a ball must go between to score a point in football: “The player accidentally ran into the goalpost and hurt his head.” Outside of sports, a “goal” is an objective or something that a person or business wants to do: “Jenny’s goal is to become a doctor.” Or, “The company’s goal is to increase sales by 200% next year.”

wave

In this podcast, the word “wave” means the movement that happens when groups of people in a stadium stand up and put their arms in the air and then sit back down while the next group begins to do it, so that it looks like a wave is moving around the stadium: “It was difficult to get the wave to start, but then it lasted for several minutes.” At the ocean, a “wave” is a line of water that moves toward the beach: “A lot of surfers come to this beach because there are good waves here.” The verb “to wave” means to move one’s hand in the air to say hello or goodbye: “Aunt Pam was waving as we drove away.” The verb “to wave” can also mean to move in the air: “The flag was waving in the wind.”

Culture Note
In the United States, baseball, football, and basketball have traditionally been the most popular sports. “Consequently” (as a result), soccer is not as popular in the U.S. as it is in much of the rest of the world, but it is growing in popularity. Today many children play on school soccer teams and there is growing interest among people of all ages in professional soccer.

Major League Soccer, or MLS, is the best known professional soccer league in the United States. A “league” is a group of sports teams that “compete” or play against each other. MLS was “founded” (first created) in 1996 and it plans to have 16 teams by the year 2010.

Currently there are 7 teams in the Eastern Conference and 6 teams in the Western Conference, for a total of 13 teams. These teams include Chicago Fire, D.C. United, New York Red Bulls, Colorado Rapids, and Los Angeles Galaxy. Many of the players on these teams were born in other countries.

The MLS “season” (the months when games are played) is from April until October. The MLS Cup is the annual “championship game” (the game that determines which team is the best in that year) and it is played in the middle of November.

As professional soccer becomes more popular in the United States, more MLS games are “broadcast” or shown on television. MLS is also attracting more “investors” (people and businesses that give money to make the teams better or to build new stadiums) and “sponsors” (companies that give money to MLS to receive publicity and advertising). Most people think that soccer will continue to grow in popularity in the United States.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c