Ted S. Warren, Associated Press
The United States’ run in the World Cup is over. The Internet’s new hero Tim Howard couldn’t save the U.S. in the tournament, and the team is now headed back stateside.
The World Cup will continue, though, leaving us with plenty more soccer to watch.
But, what happens when the world’s tournament is over? How can you and your family watch the beautiful game and keep up to date on American soccer?
Here’s a list of leagues to watch to help you stay in touch with soccer throughout the year:
Major League Soccer is the top domestic league in America. Packed with World Cup players — 31 of those competing in this summer’s tournament actively compete in MLS — it’s also home to some of the United States’ bigger names, like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman and DeAndre Yedlin.
The North American Soccer League is the second-best league in the United States, featuring teams from New York, Jacksonville, Atlanta and even some in Canada. Some NASL players tend to move up to MLS, and vice versa.
The United Soccer Leagues' PRO division is the third tier of American professional soccer and often features some of America’s best youngsters as they develop. Many young players are often sent on loan from MLS clubs down to the USL.
Though the USL's Premier Development League and the National Premier Soccer League don’t have the best domestic play or top players, there are plenty of clubs in these two divisions. So it’s an easy way to find a semi-professional soccer team in your area to check out.
Want to see DaMarcus Beasley, the USA’s left defender, compete on a weekly basis? Better check out Liga MX. In fact, Beasley is just one of a decent amount of Americans in the Mexican league, especially youngsters who are developing, according to Fox Soccer. And it’s a highly entertaining league with fast play and attacking soccer.
If there’s one thing that USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought to the USA roster, it’s German-Americans, like Jermaine Jones or John Brooks, who play in the Bundesliga, which is Germany’s main soccer league. US Soccer Players, a soccer news website, often writes about the large contingent of Americans playing in Germany.
Looking for an interesting soccer game outside of the states? La Liga in Spain is definitely the league for you. The Spanish league is full of the world’s best, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively. Some have even called La Liga the best league in the world, according to Bleacher Report.
English Premier League
Tim Howard saves everything, right? Well, he’s also been doing that for a while with Everton, an English Premier League club. Watch Howard keep his teams in games consistently throughout the EPL season, as Liverpool Echo notes. The EPL has always been one of the more popular leagues in the world, which led to its big deal with NBC Sports.
More USMNT games
Don’t worry, USA fans. The USMNT will be back. In September, the team is set to play the Czech Republic, Stars and Stripes FC reported. Most national teams do take a break after the World Cup, but you should expect to see the USA back up and playing in the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying very soon.
Speaking of the USA, the Copa America Centenario in June 2016 will be hosted in the United States, NBC Sports reported. Not sure what that is? Well, it’ll be a mix of South American teams — like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay — taking on the USA, Mexico and others.
Women’s World Cup
Get ready to support the United States again with the women’s national team, which is set to compete in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, slated to take place in Canada, according to The Star Tribune. Keep those flags out and get ready to cheer for the USA once more.
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