The long throw-in is one of the many different things MLS does than other leagues.
The Long Throw-in: A USA Tactic
Major League Soccer is different than any other league. It is not only different because of its Eastern/Western division and for being the only one that uses the word soccer in it. There are a lot of things that make it very distinct and to a certain degree truly American. Football (soccer) has being Americanized and you can witness it if you watch MLS. It happened to soccer just like a lot of different foods have come to this wonderful land and became Americanized, such as pizza, tacos, sushi, etc. Now, there are a lot of things MLS has done different from the very beginning, but it did not catch on and it actually hurt the league. Different rules from the standard FIFA issued ones did not work as they expected, such as the countdown clock, shootouts to resolve tied games, amongst other rules that alienated traditional soccer fans and were then taken out. New things that are introduced in this country have to go on a natural path for them to become truly American and I believe soccer is on its way.
One of the different things MLS does that developed its natural course is the long throw-in. My whole life I have followed soccer from different regions, mainly Mexico and Europe, and I usually never see the long throw-in tactic being used. Yes, a lot of teams use it as a desperate measure to get an equalizer, but in MLS it is used all the time! Whenever a team has a throw-in from an offensive position they will try to get into the box. It is a very small thing in soccer, but it makes the sport more physical. A throw-in which is used around the world as a "get the ball back into play" tactic, in America is used to create a battle inside the box for a header that could create a chance at goal. Here's a goal scored by Jack McInerney of the Philadelphia Union from last week's MLS action against D.C. United:
However, I'm not claiming that MLS is the only league that uses long throw-ins. I have witnessed it in every other league, but as a rare occurrence or a desperate last minute measure. It is such a rare that while searching through the internet I had trouble finding a good video of other leagues scoring from a long throw-in, though I have seen it. Ronaldinho showed he still has some tricks up his sleeves
when he took advantage of a throw-in not that long ago playing with Atlético Mineiro, yet this wasn't really a long throw-in.
There's a rule that not many people are aware of. That rule reads that
during a throw-in, a member of the opposing team must be two meters away
from where the throw-in is taking place, rule #15 page 12 on the FIFA handbook.
This kid wasn't aware of such rule:
The long throw-in is a tactic taught to Americans from a very young age:
As a new fan of MLS I have noticed a lot of different things in this style of soccer than the football I am used to. It is a complete different sport and one that is still evolving. The more I watch, the more I love the league and believe USA will be the best in the world playing the beautiful game sometime in the near future. The long throw-in is one of many tactics that could give Americans an edge to score more international goals in the future.