Christian Pulisic made headlines with his $73.1 million transfer to Premier League giants Chelsea. Normally, I’d be ecstatic about a young American player making a high-dollar move to one of the world’s biggest clubs!
I felt a little sick; what soccer team should I support? Pulisic’s transfer has made me reconsider the teams I support; after all, it’d be pretty difficult to support him but root against his club each week.
Because of this dilemma, I’ve put a lot of thought into this subject and have created a few criteria for your reference when selecting.
What soccer team should I support?
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a team to support and even more teams to choose from! Something as simple as proximity to a club or family tradition may dictate your choice. Beyond that, you can consider the team’s history, style of play, your favorite players, or coaches.
Whatever choice you make, you should have access to their content. Social Media, news, and online content are all important, but ensuring you can watch their games is crucial.
I’ve tried supporting teams via news and online content, but without the ability to watch full games or even clips, the interest is lost pretty quickly.
Luckily, streaming platforms such as EPSN+, FoxSports, NBCSports, and even Hulu provide extensive coverage of leagues in Europe and South America and domestic leagues and national tournaments.
Which Soccer Team Should I Support?
With the deciding factors laid out, we can go into further detail to find the answer to our question. Soccer is always changing, which means that your tastes can change too.
The advice in this article can be for those who already have a few clubs they support but are looking for more outlets for their soccer needs and those seeking their first club.
Don’t be afraid to support more than one team.
Should I support a team near me?
I remember going to my first professional soccer game with my dad. A new club had been founded in our state that season, and it was the inaugural home game.
We woke up early and drove four hours to the stadium for the 11 am kickoff. I was amazed by everything; the sights, the sounds, and the energy in the crisp Spring air were vibrant.
How for should I travel to support my team?
I can vividly remember the winning goal from that game. A thunderous header off a corner kick late in the second half secured victory for our new club, and the crowd went nuts!
My passion for this infant club was sealed forever from that experience. I’ve been a fan, through thick and thin, through fortune and failure.
Being a fan can be heartbreaking. It’s not always easy, but the losses and failures make the moments of glory much sweeter. Who knew that a club founded in my area as a boy would change my life in such a way?
Attending that game ignited my passion for the sport and has given me many fond memories I’ll cherish forever. Clubs geographically closest to you’re a great place to start when selecting your team.
Should I support a team with great tradition?
Soccer clubs are like heirloom furniture or inheritances; they’re passed down from generation to generation. Some families even buy stock in the team they support.
Supporting the family’s club can add to the passion and pride you feel as you represent the colors, knowing that your grandparents and those before them have worn the same colors and felt the same pride for the crest.
Sharing a love for a soccer team can help connect the generations. If your family hasn’t supported a club, this is your time to start a tradition!
Use the other items in this list to choose which team your posterity will be supporting decades from now.
Support a team with history
Each club has a unique history that’s shaped it into its current organization. Whether a club has been around for hundreds of years, it’s just a few.
There are great stories to acquaint yourself with that bring the club, not just the team you watch each week, to life.
Some clubs have endured serious adversity, both financial and otherwise. In a few instances, the supporters from the club own the organization.
Support a team on values
In the lower leagues of England, some supporters volunteer their Saturdays or Sundays to clean the stadium and provide all the maintenance. Other groups have come together to save the club from relocating.
So many great stories in Soccer have to do with things other than the games played, and trophies won.
Take some time to uncover the stories associated with a team and support those that speak to your beliefs and values.
Support a team on style of play
What type of soccer do you like to watch? Are you a fan of possession-heavy tactics and free-flowing attacking movements, or do you prefer disciplined defending and counter-attacking teams?
The style of play that a club lends itself to can be a determining factor.
These styles can change when a new manager comes to a club like we’re seeing in the Premier League with Newcastle United, limiting Miguel Almiron’s effectiveness due to changes in tactics implemented under new boss Steve Bruce.
However, throughout time the style of a club will not deviate far from one style. For example, Atletico Madrid from Spain tends to have a very counter-attacking style of play.
They are very disciplined defensively, shift well as a unit, and have speedy players up top to relieve the pressure and break on an overexposed defense.
Liverpool uses gegenpressing to create a very organized press high up the field to force mistakes in the opponent’s defensive third and capitalize on the errors by swarming with numbers and runs through midfield to create scoring chances by committee.
These are just a few examples of the different tactics to watch for. I enjoy watching free-flowing attacks with multiple options and creative runs to find space.
I’m not a fan of either of these teams, but Atlanta United and LAFC both have the type of attack I wish my MLS club had.
I recommend choosing a team or two in a few leagues to understand better each implements the different tactics.
This will expand your knowledge of the game, formations, tactics, and subplots that make the game even more fun to watch.
Support a team because of a favorite Player
I get a lot of flack for this, but I loved watching Arjen Robben play before he retired last year. He was a left-footed player deployed on the right side of the field as an inverted winger.
Every time he got the ball in the attacking third, everyone, including the defenders guarding him, knew what he would do with the ball, but hardly anyone could stop him.
He would dribble down the flank, cut inside onto his left foot, and bend his shot around the keeper to the far post. It was beautiful!
Whatever club he was transferred to, I would start following. I enjoyed this for two reasons:
- I was able to watch an explosive player work his trade in multiple leagues across Europe and
- Learning about the histories, traditions, and legacies of the different teams he’d play for was great fun.
I felt like I was becoming a small piece of these organizations. Following players throughout their careers is a fun way to learn more about different clubs and enjoy the ups and downs that the player is experiencing.
Support a team by picking a coach
Each coach has a style they like to imprint onto their team. It manifests in the players they look to buy, those they develop, and the formation they use.
Their style often evolves when they take on new challenges at new clubs. Such is the case with one of my favorite coaches,
Pep has managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and is currently the manager at Manchester City. Pep’s system has evolved over the years, but the basis of his style remains the same:
- Using possession out of the back to shift defenses
- Exploit space with highly technical players.
The formations have changed, and the players’ roles have varied greatly with one position, particularly the goalkeeper.
While in Germany with Bayern Munich, Pep used Manuel Neuer as a ‘sweeper-keeper’ to produce better distribution out of the back. Neuer was placed outside his 18-yard box in offense, allowing his defensive line to press higher up the field.
He was then engaged in the attack while his advanced position in the field frustrated the opposition’s counterattacking attempts of playing long balls over the top of the defense.
This has changed the face of the modern game, and you see goalkeepers worldwide beginning to play higher up and be a crucial part of their teams’ possession.
By following coaches that embody the style of play you’re interested in, you can learn a lot about the game.
Conversely, follow a coach or two that implement a style you don’t know much about so that you can become exposed to more ideologies and increase your soccer IQ.
Below, Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, has managed to challenge Pep’s rule, and he’s done it with half the money!
He’s been successful with the German club Borrusia Dortmund by winning the league and cups. He then took on the challenge of returning Liverpool to glory.
Liverpool had not won the EPL for 30 years until Klopp arrived. After four years, he won the ECL, and in the fifth year, he won the EPL.
Picking European Soccer Team to Support
Normally when picking your team, you’ll pick the most local or the same as your family supports. If you’re in the USA or elsewhere in the world and are looking for a European team,
Look at some of a team’s distinct characteristics in the table below. Watch them for a couple of games home and away, and see if they are the ones you’ll continue to support for the rest of your life!
Pick a Winning European Team
If you like European teams and the Champions League ECL – you’re better supporting a team with more chance of winning. Here are some of the best teams to support;
- Real Madrid (Biggest winners)
- Liverpool (Aggressive attacking soccer)
- Barcelona (Stylish soccer)
- Manchester City (Pass masters)
- Chelsea (American Owners)
These teams have recently won the ECL and will likely do so again. Real Madrid is the stand-out team on this list who has won the trophy more than any other.
European Soccer teams and style of play
|Manchester United||English Premier League||Tradition||Counter-attack|
|Manchester City||English Premier League||Risen to the top||Tiki-taka|
|Liverpool||English Premier League||Vocal fans||Pressure|
|Arsenal||English Premier League||London’s biggest||Pass and move|
|Barcelona||Spanish La Liga||‘Messi style’||Tiki-taka|
|Real Madrid||Spanish La Liga||Europe’s elite||Pass and move|
|Athletico Madrid||Spanish La Liga||Underdogs||Fighting spirit|
Picking a Team
Take time to learn about new teams and keep an open mind about which ones you’ll support. Remember that in the end, you’re ultimately a fan of soccer, not just one club; choose a few to follow.
Like I mentioned earlier, I never thought Chelsea would be my cup of tea, but I’m starting to enjoy watching them play.
This is a beautiful game; keep learning and love it. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.
What soccer team has won the Premier League the most?
The Premier League, made up of 20 clubs, was founded in 1992 and is won by the team with the most points at the end of the season. Only six teams have won the premier league since then: Manchester United (13), Chelsea (5), Manchester City (4), Arsenal (3), Blackburn Rovers (1), and Leicester City (1)
How many teams are in Major League Soccer?
As of the 2019 season, 24 teams competed in Major League Soccer. The league is currently slated to increase to 26 teams in 2020 (Inter Miami and Nashville), 27 in 2021 (Austin), and 29 teams in 2022 (Saint Louis and Sacramento). Major League Soccer has plans to increase its number of teams to 30 during this round of expansion.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.