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The Mass Media

How to get started with European soccer

Logo of the English Premiere League.

Logo of the English Premiere League.

Watching and following sports leagues throughout the world is very much a social activity. The reason many Americans struggle to get into soccer is that they don’t know how to get started and they aren’t familiar with soccer terminology and teams. I hope to write this article to help Americans interested in soccer familiarize the European leagues and European soccer tournaments. Getting an idea about leagues, players and tournaments can help someone looking to get into soccer a good idea regarding what kind of soccer fan they want to be. 

Picking a competition to support: 

Europe boasts the best soccer competitions and leagues in the world. The world’s best leagues are in Europe, and fans from around the world tune in every week to watch the world’s best soccer players face off in Europe. Europe is known for five highly influential leagues. These are La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy), English Premier League (England), and the Bundesliga (Germany). While each of these leagues is impressive in its own right, the English Premier League is widely considered to be the most competitive league with the best talent from across the world. I would encourage fans to follow this league because as England is a fellow English speaking nation, watching games, reading articles, and following the league will be easiest as the league operates in English. I would additionally recommend that anyone interested in following soccer should follow the Champions League, particularly the later stages of the tournament. Being familiar with the tournament and teams involved will help you better understand the European soccer scene. 

Picking a team to support:

When getting into European soccer, one must make a decision regarding what team they want to support. My personal recommendation for Americans is to support Liverpool FC. Liverpool FC competes in the English Premier League and the Champions League. Liverpool is also owned by Fenway Sports Group, the same sports organization that owns the Boston Red Sox. Liverpool also boasts many famous fans such as Lebron James. The LA Lakers star even owns a portion of the soccer team and publicly wears their merchandise to his games. For a new fan of the sport, I would suggest following Liverpool because of its obvious ties to the United States. 

Following Americans playing abroad:

Elite European soccer teams have a whole host of nationalities represented on many different soccer teams. Getting familiar with American players that play in Europe can better help you join the most popular sport in the world. Here are key players and what teams they play for in Europe. 

  1. Weston McKinnie, Juventus FC, Italy 

  2. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea, England

  3. Zack Steffen, Manchester City, England

  4. Sergino Dest, FC Barcelona, Spain 

  5. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig, Germany 

The American national team is nothing to laugh at. Currently, the national team is full of young, talented players who play for some of the best teams in Europe. Recently, the United States tied with the small nation of Wales, which boasts an extremely strong soccer team. This young team, coupled with their excellent experience, could really improve the state of soccer in the United States. Although American soccer is not perfect, it is currently on an upward trajectory that could see both the Major League Soccer League as well as the U.S. Men’s National Team improve on the international arena. And while soccer is not the most popular sport in the United States, it won’t be long before it is.