After a month of World Cup action, facing this week’s matchless void was like stumbling out of a bar and into the blinding sunlight. And if the USMNT’s addictive run was your first taste of the sport then you may be feeling like Lindsay Lohan sitting poolside at the Château Marmont right now – despondent and wondering “what now?”
Thankfully, there’s never been a better time to be a soccer fan. Here are six ways how you can keep that World Cup high going:
1. Watch Major League Soccer:
Is the quality of play anywhere near that of the top European leagues? Absolutely not. But that excuse doesn’t cut it. After all, college football is our second-most watched sport and March Madness is one of our biggest sporting events. Finding the next USMNT star is easy thanks to extensive coverage on ESPN, NBC, and MLS Live. With 19 teams mostly playing in beautifully intimate soccer specific stadiums, you’re probably not far from being able to experience soccer up close and in person. Like baseball, you’ll enjoy the sublime thrill of drinking beer and eating a hot dog outside on a sultry summer night, but unlike baseball you’ll be watching an exciting sport in a loud atmosphere that won’t take four hours to finish.
To learn more about MLS, check out World Soccer Talk’s primer.
2. Watch European Soccer:
England’s Premier League is the de facto choice for American fans if only because of our shared language. And compared to our cross-pond brethren, we’re spoiled as every single match is available through NBC’s Live Extra app. WatchEspn offers Holland’s Eredivisie, the incubator of near-world conquering Dutch talent and Portugal’s Primeira Liga, whose clubs consistently appear in the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League. beIn Sport offers a trifecta of top European leagues in Spain’s La Liga, home of the Latin world’s brightest stars, France’s Ligue 1, producer of some of the Premier League’s silkiest strikers in history from Eric Cantona to Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba, and Italy’s historically dominant Serie A. If you’d like to actually see actual Englishmen playing soccer, try beIN Sport’s Championship coverage. Germany’s Bundesliga offers the chance to see most of the world champions playing in fervent and festive fan atmospheres. But to catch the Teutonic tussles, you’ll need the increasingly hard-to-find Gol TV.
Many of Europe’s elite clubs will be playing all over America this summer, highlighted by Bayern Munich match against the MLS’ best in Portland on August 6.