What now that the Premier League season has finished?
As the Premier League drew to a conclusion this Sunday, Stamford Bridge erupted in celebration, respectful applause could be heard across The Etihad and the Britannia for two English midfield legends, and sorrow descended on the city of Hull. However, … Continue reading
As the Premier League drew to a conclusion this Sunday, Stamford Bridge erupted in celebration, respectful applause could be heard across The Etihad and the Britannia for two English midfield legends, and sorrow descended on the city of Hull. However, as the dust settled on the final day of the season, many a fan were left with a certain emptiness. Without the Premier League to occupy the weekends, many soccer followers are left somewhat beleaguered and alone. No relaxing sink into the couch with a beverage and snack, no office debates up on Monday mornings, no cross country train journeys or trips to the local bar. However, with the close of the English season comes an opportunity to discover more of global soccer, and this summer definitely doesn’t disappoint. The off season months are jam packed with action from across the globe, and we at World Soccer Talk have broken down the dates and details of some of the finest action.
The 44th edition of the Copa America is set to grace our screens very soon, with some of the finest talents in world football taking centre stage in Chile. At -3 UTC, the games will be at a more appropriate time for US viewers, but will make great evening viewing for those in Europe. The tournament kicks off on June 11th and the final shall take place on July 4th. Each of Barcelona’s front three will compete against each other, as Luis Suarez’s Uruguay will defend their title against the host nation, as well as Neymar’s Brazil and Lionel Messi’s Argentina. The World Cup semi-finalists and finalists will have something to prove after last year, with the former nation particularly wishing to put their World Cup misery behind them. Combined with appearances from some of the Premier League’s finest, visiting CONCACAF nations Mexico and Jamaica, as well as a sneak peak of the best talents from the South American leagues, the tournament is a must see for any fan wanting to get their fix this summer.
The MLS season is already in full flow, but the approach of the second half of the season before the playoffs is an ample opportunity to tune and enjoy the action. Whether its following the fate of your favorite ex-Premier League stars like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as they join David Villa, Kaka, Giovinco and many more in the United States, or getting completely invested in a physical, dynamic and ever improving league, the MLS regular season runs right up to the end of July. Following a new league can almost feel like rediscovering the sport, and the Premier League off season presents the perfect occasion to pick up on the all MLS action.
One of the best things about the build up to the winter based season is the sheer amount of top class sides battling it out across the globe in efforts to regain fitness before the regular league season. Who didn’t love seeing Yaya Sanogo score four goals past Benfica, or Balotelli and Mancini’s pitch side bust up in Los Angeles? Pre-season tournaments showcase established stars alongside youth prospects in the world’s best sides, and with an ever increasing number of tournaments, the action almost never stops for the giant European clubs. Arsenal’s Emirates Cup host Villarreal, Wolfsburg and Lyon on July 25th and 26th this year. The latter two clubs have both re-entered the Champions League after brief omissions and have been playing some of the most exciting football in their respective countries, so the tournament promises to be an exciting spectacle. Elsewhere, the International Champions Cup, played across three continents, see the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain go toe to toe with each other against some of North America’s finest clubs in the US between July 11th and August 5th. Always full of upsets, the tournament allows for some of the best clubs in world soccer to play in front of adoring fans from across the globe.
European competition and international qualifiers
Even with all this in store, there are still the final offerings of European football to sink our teeth into. The Europa League and Champions League will come to their conclusions over the next two weeks, as well as The FA Cup final between Arsenal and Aston Villa, as well as the Copa Del Rey final featuring Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona are still on course for an historic treble victory this season, so the conclusion of the European club season still has plenty to offer in its final days.
Beyond this, there are several international friendlies and European Championship Qualifiers in the pipeline, as the USA head to tough fixtures against the Netherlands and Germany in June, as well as an enticing derby between England and the Republic of Ireland. These are just some of the highlights of International football in early June, which sees two extended match days follow up the closure of the European season.
All in all, you’ll be hard pressed to ignore all the soccer going on across the globe. Whatever your time zone, whomever you support, there will be some soccer across the summer months that should ease your cravings for the beautiful game.