If you are not having fun, then you are missing the point.
My wife and I are great soccer fans (football to us, Europeans) AND gaming fanatics. Because we always play with the same people on our weekly gaming nights we absolutely know that none of them like sports games. So our BIG question is, are there any (official) rules to play this game by two people?
I can't help you with 2-player rules. But I must say this: Do NOT discount playing this game with non-sports fans. This is a fun game, playable even with non-sports fans. Remember - people play games with all sorts of themes. If this was a game of battling civilizations, would they play? If it was merchants in the middle ages?
Your friends might surprise you and play the game. They might even enjoy it!