A Beginner’s Guide to Watching Soccer


With the NFL being done next week after Super Bowl LVI, and the MLB likely not starting on time with the lockout, many American sports fans are going to want another sport to be able to watch. The NBA and NHL seasons will still be going on, but many sports fans, especially adults, like being able to watch games every weekend without having to stay up late during the week. That is the reason the NFL is the biggest American sport. 

Soccer is already growing quickly in popularity in the U.S. and with great reason. The games are easily accessible; many games, since they are in Europe, are in the morning and it is easy to fit them into your schedule for the day; and the game is also very understandable and easy to follow. Whether you get to watch the U.S. National Team, a league, or the Champions League, they are all great options. But why do so many people turn soccer away without giving it a chance?

Soccer is often thought of as a boring sport by most Americans. However, it is really action-packed. Most people use the lack of scoring as a way to turn the sport away but in reality, the lack of scoring adds even more suspense. The exciting part of soccer is leading up to the scoring because the suspense that leads up to a goal is what makes soccer such a great sport to watch. There are so many opportunities that it’s like being left on a cliffhanger six-times in-a-row before finally getting a great ending. Another really nice part about watching soccer is that there are no ads during the actual playing of the game, which for many, keeps them engaged. 

Games are also easily accessible with most games for the Premier League, which is the largest league, being broadcast on USA Network. However, with other subscription services like ESPN+ and Peacock, any tournaments or other league play outside of the Premier League and even most international games are broadcasted. For the most part, people like to watch the Premier League. Each country has its own league(s) for club play and their own international team. For example, the U.S. has the MLS ,which is the club league that any player is able to play in, and it also has the U.S. National Team which is made up of the best players from America. The National Team part of soccer is a great way to get people to come together and support one team which is rare to see in most other U.S. sports. Going back to the leagues, that is where many people get confused. 

Many people don’t know what team to support when they start to watch. This is usually because of all of the different teams and leagues and it gets confusing. For most new watchers, it would be recommended to watch the Premier League first since it is the biggest and best league in the world. It is also the most accessible. 

First step, watch the games! This is the easiest way to find a team by figuring out which playing styles and players you like to watch. Usually, great players are easily recognizable compared to others so it is easy to get attached to them and the team. The great players play for the biggest clubs so many new fans tend to get attracted to the larger clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United since they have players like Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Romelu Lukaku. The next big thing that goes along with becoming a fan would be learning about the history of the club and learning about club legends. This is an important step to becoming a fan because it will help new fans understand what is going on with events off the pitch, and also becoming a real fan. The last step to becoming a fan would be to learn about other players and teams in the league to understand the situation that would be going on in that league. For example, you could learn about rival teams and players and also their histories as well. These steps can take a new fan farther into the game as well and expand to watching new leagues and understanding some of the business portions of soccer like transfers and transfer news. 

So, for the people that are really interested in getting into soccer, the games usually happen from 7:30-2:30 on Saturdays and Sundays for the Premier League which airs on USA Network and Peacock. Also, the Champions League will be happening this month with the first games being played Tuesday, Feb. 15th at 3PM on CBS and Paramount+. The Champions League is a great way for many fans to watch the best version of soccer as it is a tournament combining all of Europe’s best clubs to play against each other until a winner is crowned. So, at the end of this if you are still interested in starting to watch soccer, take the initiative. Games happen every weekend so why not start as soon as you can? You will not regret getting to watch and learn about the sport that I ,and billions of others, fell in love with.