you can't have one without the other without this one
OT: help for the soccer newb
Jazz taking Exum? Not with Burke around.
Jazz would be greatly helped if they find themselves in the top 3 and having a pick of Embiid or Parker,
Three soccer threads in one day? What in the hell is going on here?
There, now it's socially acceptable.**
Yeah, if you're a communist.
I would say the EPL (English Premier League) would be an easy follow, as it is already broadcasted on NBC and NBC Sports. Top talent, great atmosphere.
I can honestly say, I wasn't a huge soccer fan a few years ago until I started going to MLS games and really got hooked. I would just watch whatever you can, whether it be EPL matches, whether it's league play or European tournaments like the Champions League (where top European clubs play eachother outside their own leagues).
Also, the UEFA European Championship (The Euros) are very similar to the World Cup, in that they are every 4 years, but include only the top European nations. It's nice because you get elite soccer tournaments every 2 years between the World Cup and Euros, much like the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Next one is 2016 in France.
Would just add that teams have to qualify for both the World Cup and the European Championships. Euro qualification begins in September, just a few months after the World Cup ends and continues until the fall of 2015.
If there is a particular country you are interested in following or you just enjoy the international game over club soccer (maybe easier to develop a rooting interest), then check out the schedule and you will have 10+ matches for every European nation (some of which you probably didn't know existed).
From here on out, the Euro will have 24 teams in it, so it's no longer just the top European nations.
I guess the NBA Playoffs(16/30) and NHL playoffs(15/30) aren't the top teams either since they admit a larger percentage of teams than the Euros do (24/53).
I'm not sure what you're arguing . . . does anyone honestly claim that the NBA/NHL playoffs contain nothing but elite teams? The Atlanta Hawks have a (theoretical) chance to win the NBA championship despite going 38-44 this season.
Europe is even more skewed though, because the gap between, say, Germany and San Marino is humongous. That's not like the Heat playing the 76ers - it's like the Heat playing a team from the local YMCA.
UEFA contains a bunch of microstates which have no prayer of ever qualifying, making them easy cannon fodder for the big boys, who will qualify with ease now that there will be 24 spots.
only England has ever failed to qualify since it went to 16 teams, and it only happened to them once. It's not like they're having great difficulty anyways, so that's not really an argument against expansion. An argument FOR expansion would be that if you look at the UEFA rankings the difference between the 16th and 24th ranked UEFA teams is only 15 spots in the world ranking, which is four less the the gap between the USA and the 3rd ranked team in CONCACAF.
Besides, having a David vs. Goliath type battle is what makes tournaments like the NCAA so exciting. I don't think the switch to 24 teams will diminish the quality of the tournament and is definitely not a reason to avoid tuning in.
I would agree if they'd kept the knockout stage at 8 teams. Pool play would've been blah, any groups of death would've been significantly watered down from before, but it would've spread out all the powerhouses and given us a better chance of seeing a really interesting knockout. But they bumped it to 16 teams. Now pool play is still kind of blah because they're still watered down, and plus goal differential now matters so any remotely minnowish team that happens to qualify is going to get totally steamrolled three times so that the third-place team can assure itself of qualifying.
Besides, David vs. Goliath in international soccer is nothing like it is in the NCAAs. The talent difference is far wider. David gets stomped every time.
I think you need to brush up on your soccer history.
A, chill, and B, compare how often huge underdogs win in soccer vs. how often they win in the NCAAs. Put North Korea or Trinidad and Tobago into the World Cup and the very predictable happens. The US beating England 64 years ago does not disprove the point.
A, I'm plenty chill, don't know what about my one sentence post made you think I'm not
B, we're talking about the top 24 teams in Europe, not North Korea or Trinidad and Tobago. There's not any truly bad team invited to the NCAA's (excepting a shock conference tourney winner) and there won't be any truly bad teams in the Euro finals. David vs. Goliath would be something like Switzerland vs. Spain, which could definitely be won by Switzerland, although not likely. On the other hand, the #1 seed in the NCAA tourney is still undefeated against #16.
So yeah, maybe you should brush up on your soccer history.
I'm fine with my soccer history, thanks. I'm not the one contradicting myself by pumping up "David vs. Goliath" matches and then claiming there really aren't any.
Apparently you are the one with reading comprehension troubles though. I said David vs Goliath was like Switzerland vs Spain, which could be an opening round match in the Euros. Trinidad and Tobago vs. Spain is like a 5-year old vs. Goliath, and not something people would enjoy watching.
Airs lots of English league games on Saturday and Sunday mornings, so worth tuning in there to see some action from one of the top euro leagues. Try watching some games that don't include the well known clubs like Man United, Chelsea, etc., you may find that you like watching one of the smaller less succesful clubs better and become a fan of them. Or if you prefer to do what I did start rooting for Newcastle United and never have anything to be excited about because your team is always going to be subpar no matter who is playing for the team...............To hell with Sunderland!
I don't really have a favorite EPL team, but I like to watch Swansea because they pay the brand of soccer I enjoy watching.
you sound bitter ;)
Truthfully I feel bad for the teams in the bottom 10 of EPL - it is like you never have a chance to win a championship.... economics dictate it! Would suck to be a lifelong fan knowing that. That's one nice thing about US sports - even the worst "club" has a chance*.
*Unless you are a Detroit Lions fan
Just the reality of being a Newcastle fan! I grew to like the club back at the end of the 1990's when Alan Shearer was a striker for them. The guy was incredible to watch and was a goal machine. The team actually did well during his time there, challenging for the league title a few years. The new owner though seems to be the type that is much more concerned about the bottom line than he is about on field success. No matter how poorly they play I'll still always be a fan. Going to one of their games during my honeymoon in 2008 was the best sporting event I've ever been to in my life, and naturally they of course lost the one and only game I will likely ever attend!
I think you're going to have to provide a little more info on what exactly you're looking for. There are many ways to attack this.
National teams - Europe and South America are good. North America and Asia sometimes give them a run for their money.
Club teams - MLS is a very big step below Euro football. Check out anything you can get on the Big 4 leagues - England (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, etc), Spain (Real Madrid, Barcelona), Italian (AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma), and Germany (Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Leverkusen).
Rules - If you're just getting in to it there are some good youtube vids to explain the basics - offsides (though this is always debatable anyway), throw-ins, free kicks, time keeping, player positions, styles, etc.
Thanks, i know enough wrt rules...i really want to know what the big euro leagues are and the leagues where different league's team play each other
Top Euro leagues: Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), Bundesliga (Germany.) In that order? Kinda.
France, the Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, not really in that order, would be some of the national club leagues in the next tier.
There is only one official "league" where clubs from the various leagues play each other and that is the Champions' League. Each league gets a certain number of clubs that participate based on their "coefficient" which is UEFA's power ranking, essentially. Some countries send only their champion, some send as many as their top four, or numbers in between. The Champions' League basically crowns the champion of champions.
The game you'll see at Michigan Stadium is just an exhibition, however.
Right now, I'd rank them:
Bundesliga could jump on top this year, depending on the outcome of the Champions League if Munich defeats Real Madrid and then Atletico Madrid.
"Champions League" is really a year-long tournament in which the top clubs in the top leagues in each country of Europe play off with a combination of home and away knock out matches and groups of four in which the top two qualify for the next round.
I agree with Bundesliga being second behind La Liga. IMO, the EPL is pretty boring and only a few teams really play the style of soccer I like to watch.
EPL is way deeper than Bundesliga. Schalke and Dortmund have taken a step back this year. I'll agree that Bayern is better than anyone in the EPL and last year Dortmund was fantastic, but this year, I wouldn't put the top 7 in the Bundesliga over the top 7 in the EPL
Hmm hard to judge since usually only the top teams play but I generally think EPL is the best from 1-8 in any year. They have the most international players on club #7, #8, #9. You tend to get more home grown talent in the other leagues once you get past team #5 or so.
Any of the 4 could be the best in 1-2 in any year but generally La Liga is a 2 team league (this year with a 3rd busting through the door). I don't think the top 5 in Bundesliga is better than EPL though. But I am sure there are bars full of this argument every night across Europe.
Maybe there's more home-grown talent in those other leagues because those countries have more talent?
England's been badly underachieving for many decades, for a country that size. They've never won the Euro, they've never even made the final. They've never won a WC on foreign soil, something Italy's done three times and Germany twice. They've never been to a WC final on foreign soil (Germany 6, Italy 5, Netherlands 3, Czechoslovakia 2, Hungary 2, France, Spain).
At some point this stops being creditable to bad luck. Player development in English youth programs is abysmal.
We should note that none of these leagues have salary caps or anything along those lines, so there isn't really anything preventing a club from becoming a powerhouse if it just gets ownership willing to spend. PSG for instance plays in Ligue 1 (France), which isn't supposed to be all that strong, but they're a power club now because of their super-rich ownership.
Generally speaking, a typical European league will be very stratified, with only a handful of clubs in realistic contention. In Germany and France, it was a one-team race all season.
We should also probably add that the way players move is much different than in American sports. Under contract players are bought and sold. You don't have to arrange a swap of players or match up salaries. One club offers a pile of cash and if the other accepts they get a chance to sign the player.
Players often also push to be sold to bigger clubs if they are having success, in part because the bigger club can/will pay more usually and also to gain access to competitions like the Champions League.
Something for a new fan to get used to. If you're following a smaller club expect your guys to regularly be poached rather than to see things build toward a title run. If you follow a big club, expect new faces every year and for roughly half of them to be ruled as busts and sold within a year or two.
Manager turnover can also make your head spin if you are used to a more rational evaluation period.
Chelsea was the king of manager turnover starting from Scolari to the present. I think Ancelloti(sp?) was the one guy in that span to keep his job the longest.
"If you're following a smaller club expect your guys to regularly be poached rather than to see things build toward a title run."
That's true in the sense that you can't build toward a run with the same set of players, but if management knows what they're doing they can convert the cash they get from the poachers and put it towards developing a stronger team. Scout, sign, sell for profit. Rinse and repeat. I follow a small Swiss club that did this successfully, moving from semi-pro part-time players to the Champions League in a decade despite not having wealthy ownership.
In some ways the ability to make cash transactions instead of swaps makes this easier. Bowie Kuhn had that wrong.
Get an old copy of FIFA for your game console and play a couple seasons in manager mode. You learn pretty quickly about formations and strategies and how to put your players in positions so their strengths can shine. I played as Crystal Palace for a few years and Nathaniel Clyne was my best ball handler/passer so even though he is listed as a RB (right back) I played him as a CAM (center Attacking Mid) so I could utilize his skills.
FIFA to this day is still probably the best sports video game out there.
Also for people doing the run downs of the EPL, or Barclays Premier League right?, isn't Man City starting to beat Man U consistently?
I would say about 90% of my soccer knowledge comes from playing every iteration of FIFA from 2006-2012. The other 10% is probably a mix of Wikipedia, youth league, and espn soccer.
but last year ManU won the league, so it's not really a consistent thing yet. Man City definitely spends more money than any other team in the league though, so they've got that going for them. Disclaimer: I hate Man City and ManU equally.
FIFA gives you the fuller video-game experience, but if "manager mode" is the real interest--as it probably should be if the point is to learn how the leagues work--Football Manager is the game you want. There's no comparison.
If you come across any of those games on TV you could follow my simple one step process:
Step 1: Turn off TV.
You are the best. How did you get to be so cool?
If you come across one of those assholes who likes to post in threads just to say how much he hates the subject matter and maybe as a bonus troll the people who do like it, you could follow my simple one step process:
Step 1: Downvote.
- The end, unfortunately, because you only get one downvote per post.
amazes me how people continuously feel the need to deliberately enter a topic of which they have no interest in and mock the people who do enjoy it when it is easier for them to just not enter the topic at all.
In the next two weeks, you should be able to see a couple of great matches in the Champions League, which is on Fox Sports: Bayern Munich v Real Madrid. Fox Sports 2:45 eastern Wednesday April 23--set your DVR if you have to work. Fox used to show constant replays of Champs League but doesn't anymore That one should be the final, but it's only the semifinal but there are two of them (the other will be April 29 same time). The other semifinal, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, (same channel, same time, April 22 and 30) doesn't promise as much but should be interesting.
April 27--Liverpool v Chelsea in the English Premier League. Liverpool currently lead Chelsea by two points so this is big. NBC is showing Premier League this year. This will be on NBC sports April 27 at 9:05 a.m. eastern.
I'm an AC Milan fan, and the Milano Derby between AC Milan and Internazionale is coming up soon. Problem with that is that there may not be US coverage at all and if there is, it is on a niche network and not in HD. It may be on Bein sport or Bein sport in Espanyol.
And of course World Cup is coming up this summer.
I would just watch for a while, then choose a club to follow. European soccer is quite a bit above the MLS, but unless you really like the English style (and I don't), it isn't easy to catch without a subscription to Spanish language TV (over thirty channels avaiable on Comcast for around $10 or so a month, about five of which show little but soccer, but others include hot women in telenovelas and videos as well as ridiculous humor if you speak a little Spanish). Champs League is the best introduction as the leveal of play is generally high.
There are a lot of websites. So once you pick your club, do a search. For example, for AC Milan, I follow rossoneri blog and Milan Obsession, and look at ESPN Socccernet every day to get a general sense of what's going on. Fox Soccer is also pretty good. Most soccer sites are taken up with rumors. wishful thinking, and full blown lies so you have to be careful.
The Simplest Game by John Gardner is the first soccer book I bought and probably the best. Read it before World Cup. It's generally interesting but the last part is taken up with what I found to be a boring recital of just about every World Cup match ever played. But it is good for a general history.
Go to FIFA.com and link to the "Laws of the Game" (which are the rules). There are not many and for the most part they're pretty simple. I found the best way to learn is to turn the sound off and watch the matches, turning the sound back on only when something happens that you don't understand. At this stage, don't worry about "offside"--it's complicated, few people understand it, they change it every few years, and it's like holding in American football--it's offside if it's called.
One other thing--tactics are very difficult to understand. Best explanation I've heard is "Get the ball into the other guy's goal and keep it out of your own." Despite decades of reading about and watching the game, that's about as far as I've gotten.
I think they care (being a World Cup champion is the surest ticket to legendary status), but the lack of time together on the national teams, compared to the time spent on club teams, is an issue - players aren't as familiar with their teammates. Also, the big international tournaments are in the summer, when players are normally recuperating from the long season.
I dont think it has to do with caring - look at how these people cry at the Olympics. When you play for your country you care. The problem with international matches is they throw the team together from various parts of the world with 40 days of training and maybe 3 exhibition matches with their final 23, and they play on different clubs with totally different systems, and then are asked to gell. Some countries like Spain have an advantage in this as most of their players already play for 2 clubs but most countries have to piece together talent from all sorts of styles and its just not easy to do even if the individual pieces are world class.
But yes if your greater point is what kind of soccer is higher quality - go club. But I'll be watching just about every WC game just because it comes around so rarely.
I like the idea of club play, but it has been hard for me to really find a team. I cheer for UM because I was brainwashed into it and went to school there and I cheer for the Detroit professional teams because they've been there my whole life and I feel a pride for my home town.
With no MLS team and no history in Europe, it's been hard for me to really get hard core into European soccer even though I've watched it regularly for 5+ years now. I picked Spurs because they were in London (so I felt like there was some prayer of me getting there someday), weren't one of the teams that always won (seemed to easy) and had a sweet logo. I still hope they win and follow them, but it's just not the same. Not sure if it ever will be.
The USMNT on the other hand is a lot more fun for me because I feel like I have a little more stake in it, which I recognize is kind of ridiculous.
If I were starting now, I'd probably pick Liverpool to follow. They're on top of the EPL so coming back to former glory, and they have tradition, especially in the Champions League. Google "ACMilan Liverpool 2005" and watch one of the YouTube vids that has a soundtrack of "You'll Never Walk Alone." They even choke me, a Milan follower, up.
Because my beloved AC Milan aren't on TV much anymore because of the fall of the the Club and of Serie A from dominance, I'll probably follow Liverpool for the remainder of the season.
- Victory (1981) - It has Sly and Michael Caine in it
- Ladybugs (1992) - Early portion of soccer growth in America, Rodney Dangerfield (!) is the coach of a youth girls team!
- The Big Green (1994) - stars the big red-head kid from The Sandlot; right as Soccer is heating new heights in the USA
- Air Bud: World Pup (2000) - A must watch for any sports and/or dog lover!
- Bend It Like Beckham (2202) - You may thing "It has Keira Knightley in it", but that's not why you should watch it, I don't think she was 18 yet.
- Green Street Hooligans (2005) - though not my favorite movie, has a bit of a cult following and tells the craziness of fandom overseas
- Kicking & Screaming (2005) - Will Ferrell coaches a youth team, and co-stars Bob Duvall and Mike Ditka!
- She's the Man (2006) - Amanda Bynes before she was crazy
- Kicking It (2008) - A pretty cool doc about the Homeless World Cup; narrated by Colin Farrell (not to be confused with Will Ferrell)
- Pelada (2010) - Doc about a guy who travels the world essentially playing pick up soccer, and how soccer brings all people together