Q&A with Scott Linder 

Director of Operations at the Memphis Futbol Club

With the World Cup well underway in Germany, soccer is getting tons of play in the international media. There were the Dutch supporters who were forced to watch a match in their underwear because their lederhosen -- er, pants -- bore a beer company logo. Adidas and Nike are battling for the fans' feet, and some players have complained that the new World Cup soccer ball is "unpredictable" and "goalkeeper unfriendly."

Which to some Americans might seem as foreign as, well, lederhosen. But at the Memphis Futbol Club, which has been training pros for 15 years, they take soccer pretty seriously.

Director of Operations Scott Linder talks about the World Cup, the game's stigma as a middle-class sport, and what his club is doing to bring soccer to the masses. -- By Bianca Phillips

Flyer: Were you watching when the United States lost to Ghana?

Linder: Yes, I watched it with my daughter. I was disappointed that they weren't prepared.

Why is it that Americans call it "soccer" and not "football"?

The world will never know. It was football before it was soccer and I guess we had American football going on.

And you guys call it "futbol"?

Our coaching director and founder, Richard Bute, is from Poland, and it was just referred to as futbol.

When America plays the World Cup, what do we call it?

We still call it soccer.

How come soccer isn't as popular here as it is in other countries?

It's still a suburban-driven sport. We're actually trying to get into the inner city as much as we can.

How so?

We have a new junior director of our program, Ross Paule, who was on our original soccer team when we first started. He ... played nine years in the professional ranks. After head injuries and concussions, he had to retire and he came back here. One of his passions is to take soccer into the inner city through camps and clinics.

What does it mean to "bend it like Beckham"?

Bending it just means striking a ball in a position on the ball with force causing the ball to bend or curve. It's like a hook or a slice in golf.


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