Let's talk about soccer

Organized soccer in the United States is broken down into various levels. The lone league to be given Division I status by the U.S. Soccer Federation is Major League Soccer, with their billions of dollars and questionably-allocated Clint Dempseys and whatnot.

Although the USSF only sanctions divisions I through III, more leagues are considered an unofficial part of the system. As such, the organizational structure looks something like this:

It's a pyramid
It should be noted that there is no “break” between levels two and four. Although Division III looks as empty as the 19th floor at Wayside School, two proposed leagues will be filling that void starting in 2018.

Meanwhile in England, the Premier League represents the upper echelon of club competition. The English Football League operates the three leagues below that, while the Football Association operates down through level 11. Other leagues operate on unofficial tiers below level 11, all the way down to the Mid-Sussex Football League Division Nine, the lone resident of English football’s 22nd level.

Both England and the United States share a common thread that their systems are often referred to as “pyramids.” Spain, Germany, Mexico, and Italy are other countries that have a pyramid structure, while Brazil actually has two concurrent pyramids.

But among all 195 countries that exist in the world, and among all 211 members of FIFA, perhaps there is no more puzzling quandary than this:


That was a mighty long walk for a short drink of water, but Egypt is a desert, and with traffic currently backed up as bad as it is, a short 11.4 km drive from the Great Pyramid to the Nile is going to take over 30 minutes.

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