Have you found yourself watching soccer but you don’t know who’s playing or who to cheer for? Or have you wanted to get into soccer but you never knew how? Yeah? Great! Well I can give you some help to get you on the way.
First off, I would recommend watching the Premier League. Officially it’s known as The Barclay’s Premier League, because of its sponsor. But it also goes by British Premier League (BPL) or English Premier League (EPL). All are interchangeable.
Why the Premier League you ask? Well, they play some of the best soccer, or football, in the world. The teams, also known as clubs, have storied histories and traditions. Every club in the BPL is well over a hundred years old. There are only a few teams in the NFL who are even close to pushing 100! Also, the matches are readily and easily available to watch on TV!
The first thing to know about the Premier League is that it consists of 20 clubs. At the end of each season the clubs that finish in the lowest three places are relegated, or moved to a lower level league, and three teams from a lower league are promoted up to the Premier League. This is meant to keep teams on their toes and wanting them to win. It also changes the landscape every season because there will always be new teams to face.
Every single match of the BPL is broadcasted on TV. Believe me, this helps you stay informed of how your club is doing even though they’re located in another continent. The games are broadcasted on NBCSN, which is mumbo jumbo for NBC’s sports channel. If there are multiple matches on at the same then NBCSN places it on one of their overflow channels for free. Check with your provider for channel numbers. If you live in South Florida NBCSN is included with your subscription to DirecTV, AT&T, Comcast, Dish, Atlantic and many more.
Now that you know how and where to watch soccer you need to decide which club you want to support. This can be a tricky mess unless you already have a connection to a club. If not, there can be several reasons why you would like a club.
Maybe you like a certain player. How many people like the Bulls because of Jordan? Or maybe you like a club because of the uniforms. How many people like the San Diego Chargers because of those cool baby blue jerseys? The reasons are numerous!
As I said earlier, some fans like clubs because of the color of the kits (uniforms). Every club has a home and an away kit, while some also have a third one used for special occasions. Most of the clubs use the same colors, red, blue, yellow, black and white.
Teams that have primarily red kits for the 2014-2015 season include Arsenal (home), Cardiff City (home), Fulham (third), Liverpool (home), Manchester United (home), Queens Park Rangers (away), Southampton (home), Stoke City (home), Sunderland (home), Swansea City (away) and West Bromwich Albion (away).
Teams with primarily blue kits for the 2014-2015 season include Arsenal (third), Chelsea (home), Everton (home), Leicester City (home), Manchester City (home), Manchester United (third), Queens Park Rangers (home), Southampton (away), Stoke City (away), Sunderland (away) and West Ham (away).
Teams with primarily yellow kit for the 2014-2015 season include Arsenal (away), Chelsea (away), Crystal Palace (away) and Liverpool (away).
Teams with primarily black kit for the 2014-2015 season include Burnley (away), Chelsea (third), Everton (away), Hull City (away), Liverpool (third), Manchester City (away), Newcastle (home) and Tottenham Hotspur (away).
If you’ve ever seen a soccer jersey you’ve undoubtedly seen the kit’s sponsor across the front of the shirt. Many sponsors become synonymous with the clubs they sponsor. I’ve even heard of a few people supporting a club because they like a specific sponsor.
If that’s your Modus Operandi then these are all of the clubs and their kit sponsor for this upcoming season: Arsenal (Emirates), Aston Villa (dafabet), Burnley (fun88), Chelsea (Samsung), Crystal Palace (Neteller), Everton (Chang), Hull City (12BET), Leicester City (King Power), Liverpool (Standard Chartered), Manchester City (Etihad Airways), Manchester United (Chevrolet), Newcastle United (Wonga), Queens Park Rangers (AirAsia), Southampton (Veho), Stoke City (Bet365), Sunderland (BFS Group), Swansea City (GWFX), Tottenham Hotspur (AIA), West Bromwich Albion (Intuit QuickBooks) and West Ham United (Alpari).
Maybe there is a celebrity that you like and you would like to support the same club as them. Clubs with the biggest celebrity supporters include; Arsenal (Idris Alba, Rosario Dawson, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner, Keanu Reeves, Diddy, Jay-Z, Spike Lee, Fidel Castro), Aston Villa (Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro & Ozzy Osborne), Chelsea (Will Ferrell, Bill Clinton & Kevin Garnett), Crystal Palace (Bill Nighy), Everton (Sylvester Stallone), Liverpool (Daniel Craig, Samuel L Jackson & LeBron James), Manchester United (Usain Bolt, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Eccleston, Pharrell Williams & Sean Connery), Newcastle (Sting), Stoke City (Busta Rhymes & Sugar Ray Leonard), Swansea City (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Tottenham Hotspurs (Jude Law, Steve Nash & Adele), West Bromwich (Eric Clapton), West Ham (Dave Grohl, Keira Knightley, Lennox Lewis & Barack Obama).
Well maybe you want to support a club that has some ties to the good ‘ol USA. If you do, then you need to automatically count out Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Leicester, Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR, Swansea City, West Brom and West Ham. These teams have no American players and are not owned by an American or American company.
Arsenal’s largest shareholder is Stan Kroenke, an American. He also owns the Rams if that makes a difference to you. Aston Villa has one American player a GK, Brad Guzan. Aston Villa’s owner is American but he is looking to sell the club. Everton is home to Team USA’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard, and former home to USA’s all time international scorer Landon Donovan. Everton is currently owned by Fenway Sports Group, an American company who also owns the Boston Red Sox. Manchester United is owned by the Glazer Family who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also, Manchester United is traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange, meaning that you yourself can own part of the team! Southampton has one American player in their club, a GK, Cody Cropper. While many clubs have none or one player from America, Stoke City has two! Sunderland has Team USA’s forward, Jozy Altidore. Also an American, Ellis Short, owns the club. And finally the Spurs have one American player, Brad Friedel, a GK.
With all that being said maybe you want to support a club that has never been relegated. Hey, it’s not always easy to support a team when they are constantly losing. Doing so does not make you a bandwagon fan in my opinion. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have never been relegated to a lower level league.
Hopefully by now you have an idea of who to cheer for. If you’re wondering whom I support I proudly support the Red Devils of Old Trafford, Manchester United! I like their former players. Did you know that Sean Connery was once offered a contract but he turned that down to pursue acting? I also believe their current players are some of the best in the world! Definitely love their kit, specially their third. Also, I’ve bought a share of the club so technically I’m a minority owner…
If you think you have found your club let me know whom you picked. If you’re still on the fence watch a match or two do a little more research! But hurry up and pick soon, the season kicks off on Saturday August 16th. Cheers!
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