As you know, the football season is just around the corner with high school and college regular season games beginning next week. However, for one final time this summer, I’m here to talk about what to pay attention to across the pond with the football season underway.
OK, I promise I’ll stop referring to it as football now but we can still talk some soccer.
Several top European leagues got their seasons underway last weekend including the English Premier League which is the most easily accessible league for Americans to watch on a regular basis.
There may not be much excitement in the standings this early in the year but there is still some world-class soccer to watch.
Manchester City seems primed to run away with the Premier League title for the third consecutive year with Liverpool coming in second again this season. Both of those clubs are must-watch teams whenever they are on television and it’s always worth waking up early on a Saturday or Sunday or even taking a couple of hours off in the afternoon of a weekday to take in a soccer match.
Of course, one of the biggest reasons to watch the Premier League this season is to see how Christian Pulisic, the (young) face of American soccer, fares after his expensive move to Chelsea. The Blues did not get off to such a hot start after a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in the opener but Pulisic is playing with a lot of other talented young players and they will become only more fun to watch as the season progresses.
Pulisic is not the only American star playing in England with several athletes taking part across the top two divisions. Right back DeAndre Yedlin has returned from a groin injury and we all hope to see his ridiculous pace return in full when he takes the field for Newcastle this season.
Duane Holmes nearly helped Derby County earn promotion from the second division last season and will likely play a vital role again this season. There is a slew of American defenders joining Holmes in the lower division including Fulham’s Tim Ream, Reading’s Matt Miazga and Wigan’s Antonee Robinson.
Outside of England, there are even more stars who may not have the name recognition of Pulisic but deserve just as much attention while playing in Europe’s top leagues. If English soccer does not peak your interest, the game in Germany is a whole different style.
Midfielder Tyler Adams struggled with some injury woes during his first year at RB Leipzig but once he gets back to full fitness, Adams is expected to make some noise in Germany this season. Weston McKennie, another teenager, will likely join Adams as the future midfield for the U.S. men’s national team but during the club season, he will be in a starting role FC Shalke for the second consecutive season.
Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent is also ready to make his mark on Germany’s Bundesliga and the 19-year-old has already found himself in the starting lineup this season. American soccer hero John Brooks hopes to shake off the injury bug this season to play his first full year in Germany for Wolfsburg.
Lille’s Tim Weah is ready to make some noise in France after being sold by Paris Saint-Germain because of a lack of playing time but he has already cracked into the first 11 at his new club. After being capped by the U.S. over the summer, Tyler Boyd appears to be a part of the national team’s long term plans but first he reports to Turkey to play for Besiktas this season.
There are many more on this list but if that is not enough names to get you excited about Americans playing overseas, then you probably are not a soccer fan. If you are waiting for the 2022 World Cup to roll around, get to know these guys because a lot of them will be the ones you are yelling at from the couch. You might as well get a head start on it.
Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for The Herald.