It goes without saying, but the COVID-19 pandemic has had major effects on a lot of industries, including sports. What do teams and players do when on-field activity – the backbone of their existence – is taken away from them?
The void left by the postponement or cancellation of soccer-related activities has left many sullen and longing for normalcy. With no end in sight, however, many have turned to social media and video games to keep fans engaged.
Our favorite quarantine activities from the soccer world
The soccer world is full of creative people and desperate times call for desperate measures. How are players, clubs, and media outlets around the world staying relevant in a period of on-field inactivity? By now you’ve likely all seen the #StayAtHomeChallenge or perhaps even juggled a roll of toilet paper yourself.
Far beyond the virality of 1- and 2-ply TP, many teams and players have found other ways to be creative and remain relevant. See a few of our favorite examples below.
The Athletic removes paywall for My Favorite Story series
The sports-centric, subscription-based media outlet has some of the top soccer writers in the U.S. In an attempt to introduce new subscribers to the medium, The Athletic let authors pick their favorite article and promote them as free. Here are a few great articles for you to read while working from home:
- Paul Tenorio – The first American coach to win a Champions League match: Inside Jesse Marsch’s historic European night
- Matt Pentz – Miscast from start, Clint Dempsey will leave Seattle with complicated legacy
- Meg Linehan – The inside story of Sky Blue’s 2020 NWSL draft
- Pablo Maurer – The story behind the most famous photo shoot in American soccer history
The Athletic has since removed the paywall for the entire site during the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check out Pablo’s and Sam Stejskal’s accounts of 25 stories of previously unknown pranks and hilarity in MLS history.
Connect Four and tic-tac-toe provide brief entertainment on Twitter
In absence of a Premier League game, Southampton took to Twitter to engage with Norwich in a friendly game of tic-tac-toe. Norwich never engaged, so Manchester City stepped in at half time and completed the game.
An intriguing tactical battle comes to an end.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 14, 2020
In the most ambitious crossover you didn’t know you needed, Bayer Leverkusen’s U.S. account and Hull City engaged in a riveting game of Connect Four.
IT’S ALL OVER!!!! THE TIGERS HAVE DONE IT!!!
— Hull City (@HullCity) March 15, 2020
MLS teams use FIFA to simulate league game
The Timbers and Revs took to FIFA and simulated a 90-minute game on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to a combined ~90K viewers. You can view the entire thrilling 4-4 draw here!
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 14, 2020
Leyton Orient creates their own version of March Madness
College basketball fans are without the pinnacle event on their sports calendars; however, fourth tier English club, Leyton Orient, were quick to create a FIFA tournament bracket to potentially fill the void. After announcing an open call for FIFA players representing interested clubs from around the world, 128 – from Amsterdam to Orlando to Sydney – heeded the call. See upcoming fixture dates and updated results here.
🤷♂️ Sure, connect four is cool but we’ve got a better idea!
We need 63 other teams to enter a knock-out FIFA 20 tournament.
To enter, all we need is the club to RT this tweet.
We will host a live draw this Tuesday…
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) March 15, 2020
Watford simulates game using Football Manager
After news of the 2019/20 Premier League season postponement, Watford turned to their partners at Football Manager to simulate what was supposed to be their next game. The stream has been viewed almost 750,000 (!) times on Twitter.
The show must go on 👀
— Watford Football Club #StayHomeSaveLives (@WatfordFC) March 14, 2020
Inter Miami takes social distancing to new, creative levels
As we all continue to practice social distancing by staying home, Inter Miami took the advice close to the heart. Earlier this week the club debuted a new look for the club’s logo with the herons separated.
We miss you and we want to see you 𝘀𝗼𝗼𝗻. For that to happen we all need to stay home, be smart and practice 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴.
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) March 23, 2020
Forward Madison uses YouTube to unveil jersey
While it remains to be seen when the USL League One season will get underway, forward-thinking club, Forward Madison, got creative with their away jersey reveal. Their scheduled release party was postponed leaving only one alternative: YouTube! The team also hosted a Coffee with the Mingos video hangout featuring executives from the club and USL – part of an ongoing series. The club also hosted a cooking show!
USL turns to Rocket League to engage current, new fans
Staying in USL, the league announced it will conduct a 32-team Rocket League tournament. Citing a need to try something different (aka not FIFA), USL Championship and League One teams will compete in the USL eCup beginning on March 31st.
The matches will be streamed on Twitch, with each club also selecting a charity benefiting their local communities that viewers can donate to during the broadcast.
New this morning: amid a pause in its seasons, @USL_HQ is rolling out its first esports effort – a @RocketLeague tournament for 32 @USLChampionship & @USLLeagueOne clubs, aiming to engage fans in a fun, lighthearted way:https://t.co/VF7cDYX8ta
— Ian Thomas (@byIanThomas) March 25, 2020
Categories: Just For Fun