The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

July 16, 2014

The World Cup is over, now what?

BECKLEY — It all ended Sunday. There’s no more World Cup. Well, at least on the men’s side, for four more years.

That means no more overanalyzing Luis Suarez’ bite marks. No more “Messi dependence.” No more red suede shoes from ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas.

But just because the World Cup has ended — with the tournament’s best team winning no less — that doesn’t mean that soccer is over.

As the World Cup came to an end, fans of the English Premier League were busy ordering new Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool kits, while fans of Major League Soccer were tuning in to watch the Cascadia Cup battle between Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. No, soccer hasn’t ended. In fact, that’s part of what makes the beautiful game the world’s game. It never does.

Every four years it seems soccer hooks another group of Americans — a group of sports fans who may have looked around the pub when Mario Goetze scored the game winner in extra time against Argentina on Sunday — and thought “man, we should do this more often!”

Rest assured, my new brethren, you can — and should — do this as often as you can.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll help you figure out just what it means to become a lover of the beautiful game, by looking at what leagues are out there, how to pick a team to follow and answering some of the most asked questions about soccer.

Pour yourself another pint, order a scarf and prepare for your new life as a soccer fan.

Get to know the leagues

Being a soccer fan is unlike being a basketball, baseball or football fan. Whereas with basketball, you’re mostly limited to NBA and college hoops to get you through, with soccer there are many leagues to choose from all over the globe.

Major League Soccer

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