Soccer never sleeps.
In fact, one may argue that is the reason it’s the world’s most loved sport. We may not get football 10 months of the year and we may not get a year-round basketball league, but soccer is always there.
While many football, baseball and (except for this year) basketball fans dread the long offseason, the short offseason in soccer is filled with crazy transfer stories and day-to-day hair-pulling madness.
Will your favorite player break your heart for some team that will just sit him on the bench? Will your team finally bring in that star striker that they have been desperately needing for many years? Probably not, sorry for the spoiler.
With the World Cup behind us and so many fans in the United States finding this new love for the beautiful game, let me help you out on where you can get your soccer fix.
It’ll take some dedication on your part, but in the end, the heartbreak after your team concedes an extra-time goal and the pure bliss you feel after your star nets the goal of the season, will be worth it.
The World Cup proves that there is immense talent all over the world. The problem with watching this talent for the typical American is that a huge percentage of it is not televised.
Let’s start with our own domestic league here in the states, Major League Soccer.
The MLS is relatively new, having been founded in 1993 as a promise to FIFA in order to host the World Cup in 1994.
It wasn’t until 1996, however, when the MLS began play with 10 teams.
Fast forward to 2014. The MLS now has a total of 19 teams with many more in the works. There have been high-profile players such as David Beckham, Theirry Henry, and most recently Frank Lampard join our league from across the pond.
Although I don’t watch MLS the most out of any league, it’s still important to support your domestic league if you want to get your soccer fix in. There’s no better cure than to see a match live and chances are, the MLS will be the only one to provide that for you.
Plus, most of the United States squad you fell in love with in Brazil play their soccer in the MLS. You won’t find Kyle Beckerman’s hair anywhere other than in a Real Salt Lake uniform.
Don’t wait too long to get into the MLS, the future of the United States Men’s National Team will most likely move abroad in the coming years as that is where the high-level competition is.
Speaking of moving abroad, let’s move to the World Cup winners league, the Bundesliga.
Germany won’t give you the closest title race, in fact, Bayern Munich won the title in 2012 with the second place team being 25 points behind them. In 2013, when Bayern Munich won the title, they were ahead of the second place team by 19 points.
There are still some talent spread throughout the league, however. Borussia Dortmund, who pose the biggest threat to Bayern Munich yet sell all their best players to Bayern Munich, are filled with passionate fans, an eccentric manager and promising young talent (who will eventually find their way to Bayern.)
While Spain had an abysmal World Cup, their league has two of the best clubs in the world: Barcelona and Real Madrid. I would mention Athletico Madrid, however they just sold two of their best players and their goalkeeper, who was there on loan, was sent back to his club.
Spain has the world’s best players. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, and Andres Iniesta. You guessed is, those players all play for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
You can catch the Bundesliga on GolTV which has already started and La Liga on beIN Sports starting Aug. 26.
The English Premier League is the most watched foreign league here in the States, partly because NBC has television rights and the language barrier us Americans are all afraid of does not exist.
Luckily for us, the EPL is the most competitive league in the world. Last season, there were four teams competing for first and numerous others competing for the coveted fourth spot. Fourth in the EPL will get you into the Champions League, a league that has all of Europe’s greatest clubs competing for one huge trophy.
Even if you don’t know soccer, you’ve heard of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and perhaps Liverpool, all who of which play in the EPL.
If you’re already missing the USA in action, it’s ok. The women’s national team, which historically is FAR better than the men and regularly hold the number one rank, start the World Cup qualifying campaign this October.
Get your red, white and blue spandex ready for 2015 as both the men’s and women’s teams will be in competitive action. The men have the Gold Cup which will be hosted in the USA starting July 7 and the women have their World Cup, which will be hosted in Canada from June to July.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, we have our own men’s and women’s soccer teams here at Citrus. The women start their campaign at home on Sept. 3 against Ventura at 6 p.m. and the men will begin Sept. 2 as they host San Diego Mesa at 4 pm.
The World Cup may be over, but the new-found love so many Americans have for the sport is still fresh. There are plenty of ways to consume this awesome sport. Choose a league that fits your style and choose a club that fills the fire in your belly.