While soccer is not nearly as unpopular as it's often made out to be, it still lacks universal appeal — even in a sports-crazed state like Massachusetts.
Fortunately, A.J. Soares of the New England Revolution is here to help us all understand.
The 22-year-old defender is set to play against Manchester United on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium, and the prospect of being assigned to Wayne Rooney has the California native excited beyond belief.
"As a player, this is the experience of a lifetime," he wrote on Boston.com. "As a defender, my marking Rooney will be the equivalent of getting on the mound to pitch to [David] Ortiz at Fenway. I am excited to measure my play and the play of my teammates against the best in the world."
Soares, who was a college standout at Cal, understands there will be a lot of folks cheering for the "road team" but hopes to see some New England pride in the crowd.
"Obviously," he wrote, "there will be loads of Manchester United jerseys, and as a fan of the club myself, I understand that people will be cheering for the superstars. But I will have a special appreciation for the people who come out with their Revolution gear on, ready to cheer on the home team."