Soccer is in that weird area of sports for a lot of Americans.
While obviously, it is a massively popular sport across the rest of the world (perhaps even THE most popular), and the port has been gaining traction at home in the past few decades, it can still be a tricky sport to get into, especially when we’re talking about the sheer number of other sports that we love, from Baseball to Football.
Still, once you’ve seen a high-level game play out in front of your eyes, not only will the pieces click together, and you’ll find a new appreciation for the sport, but you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to watch more, and get invested and interested in the sport.
A feat that, while perhaps incredibly simple and easy in many other parts of the world, might feel a little trickier here in the US.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. It just requires knowing the right place to start looking!
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to do just that, from the best places to watch and find soccer matches, to finding local teams near and around you.
Watching National Premier Soccer Leagues
Starting with an answer that can feel like the obvious one, but still needs saying, finding your national premier soccer team is probably still the best way to get into soccer. It’s how most people get into the sport, after all!
Virtually every country where soccer has a serious presence has a national Premier League, where the best teams compete against one another. From the UK to Italy, to Spain and Germany, Brazil, and so many more, there are countless countries.
The US is no different, with the American Premier League (or APL for short), which recently started its inaugural season just a few years ago in 2021.
If you’re looking for a channel or place to watch the APL matches, NBC Sports Group owns the exclusive rights to air and stream the matches currently. Check out Peacock Premium’s Sports category if you want to try and watch the latest matches for yourself!
Again, it can’t be overstated just how many people get into soccer by simply watching a game on TV, and finding something to get invested in, whether it is the story of a single soccer player and their career, to the trajectory of a team in the major leagues (see also ‘How Many Games In A Soccer Season?‘).
There’s a reason it is one of the most played sports in the world, after all!
Watching European Leagues
While sports that involve kicking balls have been around forever, Europe is arguably the home of modern soccer, and is often a great place to look if you like what you’ve found in your national Premier League, and want to see more!
The top European Premier Leagues are almost international institutions in themselves and are worth a checkout for yourself.
Currently Speaking, the top premier leagues are the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga series, the Italian Serie A, The French Ligue 1, and the German.
Many of these are spread across different platforms, channels, and streaming services, but the English Premier League can also be found on Peacock Premium along with its American counterpart.
It is often through these premier leagues that you’ll not just be watching more soccer, but you’ll also be finding out more about the very best players in the world, who are often signed up to play in these teams.
Finding Your Local Soccer Teams
Of course, at the heart of soccer isn’t just watching the games play out on a screen, but also being able to watch and witness them for yourself, as well as the community that builds around it.
So, if you want to get into soccer, there’s arguably no better place to start getting involved than by watching local teams play in matches.
Of course, you’ll get to watch these players performing right in front of your eyes, but there’s also an element of just experiencing every about a game of soccer that surrounds the match.
The mad dash to a food truck before the match and during the mid-game break, the chants that seem to come from nowhere, but get the crowd pumped. The half-time entertainment that you’ll see.
There’s a lot that happens in and around a soccer match that needs to be experienced more than simply told.
Of course, this factor can also be a tricky one to account for, as this is pretty much dependent on where you live and whether or not any soccer teams are based within a reasonable distance of you.
You may only have a 2nd or 3rd tier team in your town, city, or county, for example, rather than any of the major recognizable names.
These games can still be enjoyable and are often also cheaper to buy tickets for, but the standard of play is usually lower.
Of course, who doesn’t love a major world tournament to get hyped for? Considering that the Qatar World Soccer Cup just wrapped up, and many countries are still in full soccer fever, there’s a lot to get excited about.
All eyes are on the Soccer World Cup when that tournament rolls around, but there are plenty of other opportunities to watch international soccer tournaments play out.
The Summer Olympic Games usually have soccer games, as well as continental tournaments, such as the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Gold Cup (abbreviated to CONCACAF Gold Cup) amongst others.
History Of Soccer
One of the interesting things about Soccer as a sport and cultural touchstone is that, because it has only existed in its modern form since the mid-19th century, it has a lot of documentation on how and where it got started.
Learning about the history will not just show you where some o the most popular teams came from, but will also give you a better appreciation for the influence of this sport, as well as a better understanding of the rules.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get stuck into this brand-new hobby!