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October 3, 2011 / benwolfson08

Soccer for Dummies

This post is designed to familiarize readers with football jargon and hopefully let them learn more about what is known as “the beautiful game”.

First things first, the league I primarily watch/blog/care about is the English Premier League.

The Premier League is one of the top if not the top league in the world for professional soccer.

It consists of 20 teams and relies on a system of promotion/relegation. For instance the bottom-three teams in the EPL will be relegated next season to The Football League, while the last three teams from the Football League are promoted into the Barclays Premier League.

This year Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City, and Swansea City gained promotion for the 2011-12 season.

The season in the Premier League runs from August to May and a total of 38 matches will be played.

Besides competition in the EPL, teams will also compete in The UEFA Champions League, considered the most prestigious competition in European football.

What is important to is that the top-four finishing teams in the EPL will compete in the Champions League the following season.

Barcelona are the reigning champions after beating Manchester United 3-1 in a dominating match-up in the 2011 Champions League final.

Barcelona players celebrate victory over Man U.

Lionel Messi and Barcelona were too much for Wayne Rooney and Manchester United to handle.

Transfer periods:  During the summer which is the off-season for football, is the designated transfer period. Each day the media will start new rumors of players headed to different teams. This is what is unique about European football and why I fell in love with it so much. There is so much money and no salary cap for teams, they buy whatever players they can afford, which equates to a ton of drama.

The mid-season transfer window opens up on January 1, for the EPL and goes until the end of the month, enabling teams to try and acquire players for a late season push.

Last season saw Chelsea spend £50 million pounds for Liverpool striker, Fernando Torres.

Torres has been a disappointment for Chelsea after being a prolific scorer for Liverpool

Liverpool countered and spent £35 million to acquire Newcastle striker, Andy Carroll, the highest transfer ever paid for an English player.

Carroll, has also been a disappointment for the Reds. Against Everton on Saturday, was when the burly Englishman scored his first goal of the season. His play for Liverpool has not justified his ridiculously high transfer price.

Carroll is the most expensive English player in the history of the Premier League

Larger teams who “rate” players meaning they believe they are good enough to play for them will try to barter to secure a transfer rate.

Barcelona was haggling with Arsenal during the summer transfer window for midfielder Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal valued Cesc at around £40 million perhaps more, but eventually settled for much less in order to let Fabregas go back to his home team.

Many people don’t like the transfer part of football because the big teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal will often throw large chunks of money at players even if their clubs are in debt.

Smaller teams like Aston Villa are almost seen as a finishing academy for the best players until they sell them to the highest bidder.

Former Villa winger Ashley Young was sold to Manchester United this summer for between £15-20 million and has excelled, making the Red Devils the favorites to repeat as league champions.

LINGO

FC: just means football club. AFC = Arsenal Football Club, while LFC is Liverpool Football Club and so on.

boots: players refer to their soccer shoes as boots.

kit: Kit refers to the jersey and shorts that footballers wear.

Wazza: Wayne Rooney’s nickname.

English Premier League: Also goes by EPL, Premier League or Prem.

the most simple one of all is that football = soccer. After being in Britain I understood the hate for the word ‘soccer’ and thought it was funny when I would talk about football to the Brits they still thought I was talking about the NFL instead of the EPL.

Manchester United: Man U, or the Red Devils

Manchester City: Man City, MCFC, Citeh

pitch: field they play on.

WAG: wife and girlfriend. WAG’s have taken on celebrity status in the media.

Cheryl Cole has become a celebrity for being the wife of Chelsea's Ashley Cole

Derby: game against cross-town rival

booked: being given a yellow card

clean sheet: when a keeper doesn’t let in a goal

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