Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I had been toying with following European soccer for a couple of years. I loved soccer when I was younger, played when I was a kid and played indoor in college and a few years after. I used to follow the American team when it was filled with St. Louisans. I've always enjoyed the World Cup, especially in '86 when Maradona ruled the soccer world. But I didn't keep up, never followed European soccer, never really got into MLS.
Within the last, I caught the European Champions League and watched Liverpool's amazing come from behind victory over AC Milan. Sort of kept an ear on it, but not really. Had some younger friends that followed ManU and Arsenal. One of my favorite radio hosts follows Liverpool. Always intrigued by them because they had great jerseys and were the hometown of the Beatles. But never took that step.
This summer I had a chance to go to the UK and saw English Premier League jerseys everywhere. While we were there, the ManU kits came out and featured prominently in sporting goods stores. For some reason, a royal blue jersey caught my eye. I really liked the jersey for Chelsea. I had kind of heard of them, but did not know anybody in the states who followed them. Started looking into it, had heard of a couple of players (Terry, Lampard and Ballack) and saw them in the tournament in the states this summer as they beat Milan and Club America. I decided that I would pick Chelsea to follow and early on it seems like a good pick. The HD on espn 2 has really helped as Chelsea has been on twice. So, I've started to follow Chelsea. I've really enjoyed watching the EPL and getting to know more about it.
Since I visited Cardiff in Wales, I kind of keep an eye on them as well, hoping they will get promoted to the EPL.
One thing that I think hurts Euro football over here is the diving. And it seems like it is becoming a concern over there as well. It is a physical game, but when these guys go down with little or no contact, really damages the credibility in the states. But it has been fun to watch so far.