How Does a Soccer Fan Cope With the End of the World Cup?
As quickly as the world’s greatest soccer tournament arrived, it has now deserted us. The world resumes back to its usual drudgery of summer time blues, work, and endless club soccer games that fail to ignite the same passion as the World Cup. It seems that times are quite bleak with Russia 2018 a full 4 years away. What is a soccer fan to do?
Well, first of all we should sit back and celebrate what a great month of soccer it has been. The 2014 World Cup was certainly the best such tournament I’ve ever witnessed in my 25 years and certainly was full of delightful matches, goals, controversies, and just about everything else a fan could ask for. If this tournament didn’t win over your heart to the game, chances are nothing else will…
But looking ahead in the sport of soccer there certainly is a lot to be excited about. Sure you may not get the same thrill from a club level game, but if you begin to follow such a team you will begin to find that such matches are extremely exciting, often times even more fun than the international kind.
There are several reasons for this. First of all, many club games feature the very same players that took part in the recent World Cup. They all play professionally, and for American fans, the MLS is full of your favorite heroes. Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin both feature for Seattle Sounders while Michael Bradley currently plays for Toronto FC. Take a look at the rosters and you’ll see plenty of familiar names.
But if you want to see the masters of the world play week in and week out, such as the Germans or Argentina’s Lionel Messi, you should check into the major European leagues like the English Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, or Spain’s La Liga. Many of these games are shown on American television each week, and quite often they are even more exciting that World Cup games.
Sure, the weight and pressure of a nation isn’t as strong, but this enables the players to throw caution to the wind and play with more flair and exuberance. While many major international games become tense and nervous while fear of mistakes holds them back, the club games are high-paced and exciting, often producing more goals and thrilling matches.
Additionally, club teams aren’t restricted to a certain pool of players based on nationality. Situations like Belgium and Germany using a back line of 4 center backs is rare at the club level because teams and managers can pick and choose players just as they so please. If your team needs another full back, you go out in the transfer market and buy one! This allows club soccer teams to play with the style and tactics that their manager wants, often producing higher quality play. The MLS season is already in full tilt and most European club leagues get underway in roughly one month!
And another thing to peak the interest of solely international soccer fans is that major international tournaments come around quite frequently. Next summer, America will feature in the 2015 Gold Cup (with North American teams), and the following summer they will host the 2016 Copa America (featuring both North and South American nations). 2016 will also be a year with a EURO tournament between all the top European nations.
So while we must bid adieu to our wonderful World Cup for now, you can rest easy knowing that the sport of soccer never really goes away for long, and there’ll be big matches coming up time and time again in the future!