Johnny and Frank were working hard in the off-season to impress Coach Harris. Johnny was a natural striker, while Frank tended the goal as a keeper. They were really thankful to Johnny's dad for putting up a soccer goal in the back yard for them to practice with. It was even portable if they wanted to practice at the park. Their dedication would pay big dividends when the season started in a few months.
As an owner of the 1998 World Cup sets, I have been waiting for the new soccer sets to come out for a long time. 3401 was the first set I managed to find in the stores and it was worth the wait.
The new soccer line seems to have actual playing at heart, rather than putting the sets together and arranging them into displays. This set includes 2 players, one from each of the two "generic" teams (one with green and white horizontal stripes, the other with blue and red vertical stripes). The main part of the set is the player-shooting stand, a soccer ball, the goal itself, and the goalie-manipulating wand. The goal is about 16 studs wide and is formed of one clear piece. The wand goes through a hole in the back and with an attachment allows the keeper to pivot, turn, and block any shots that come his way. The player-shooting stand is a unique piece to the soccer sets and allows the player to trap one of the new Lego soccer balls, position it, and shoot it with its spring-action. The set also comes with 3 targets (made up of train windows without the glass) that can be used if you do not have another person to play the keeper.
This set has great play potential for two people who want to pass time in a soccer shootout. I think this is what Lego had in mind because they made a special cover to fit over the goal that turns it into a belt pouch that holds all the pieces. This makes it very portable and easy to take to a friend's house or anywhere else. It fits in very well with the other sets in the Soccer series, and it can be used in conjunction with other sets to create a soccer field or to expand an existing one.
I heartily recommend this set to anyone. Even if you don't collect Town sets, the play value is tremendous and it really is fun!