The FA Cup is the oldest association football competition in the world. The definition for “association football” is “soccer.” The word ‘soccer’ was somehow – I don’t know how you’ll have to ask the late 19th Century Brits about that – derived from the word “association.” So when Manchester United and Crystal Palace meet on Saturday, May 21, they will be partaking in the following:
- High-stakes soccer: the winner of the cup earns a trip to one of next season’s European tournaments. Although Manchester United has already earned a trip to UEFA Europa League by finishing 5th in the Premier League, the underdog Crystal Palace is still fighting for a chance to play in Europe
- Tradition: the FA Cup dates back to the 1871-1872 season
- Chance for Records: Manchester United will tie Arsenal for most appearances in the FA Cup final (19) and with a win would also tie Arsenal’s record of FA Cup final wins (12).
- Chance for Revenge: Crystal Palace appeared the FA Cup final one other time (1989-1990 season) and lost to Manchester United. The 1st game finished 3-3 and the rematch – these days we would see penalty kicks if the game was tied after extra time – went United’s way by the score of 1-0.
These factors definitely fit our criteria for picking a game to watch with your kids and sparking their interest in soccer. In the meantime, here are some links to get you a bit more excited for the game that kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.