This NY Times piece is actually a good argument for the value of soccer. There are very few sports around the world that are based on free play, soccer being the biggest and internationally the most important. Of the big sports in America, basketball and hockey come close to soccer's movement, although each has restrictions not present in soccer, i.e. a smaller playing surface and smaller teams.
But if you want hockey and basketball and then look at soccer you will see many of the same geometries and shapes that lead to good play.
This is the first peice I have seen in a long time that shows the similarities. I only wish I had been as eloquent.