Help me find a non English soccer/football club to follow

Hi everyone

For the last ten years or so I have been passionately following Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. That isn’t changing anytime soon, but right now, honestly… It’s really really hard to find being a fan of theirs enjoyable. I know, you take the ups with the downs as a fan, but… The fab culture is a little toxic at the moment and the games themselves are no fun.

So, I noticed between ESPN+ and Paramount + (both of which I already have for non football/soccer reasons) I can watch The Argentina League, the Brazil League, LA Liga, The Bundesliga, Serie A and probably a few other leagues. So, I have decided this is they year I’m going to expand my football knowledge to other leagues.

The question is… What should I watch?

I want to follow a leage/team that is going to play fun football but, more importantly, had a fun fan base that I can interact with. Podcasts, Facebook groups, American supporters clubs are all good.

Also, I do not care at all if I am seen as a bandwagon plastic fan. I want to watch a team that wins occasionally.

NOT Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich though. Those are too familiar.

What’s out there, who would be a fun team to cheer for while Spurs are in just a really horribly toxic place?

The fun of the whole league is at least as important as the fun of the team. I’m always hesitant about Serie A because they seem to play really static football when I watch. Atalanta seem fun, but I have to watch them play those other teams.

(I would be following my local MLS team The Philadelphia Union, but MLS doesn’t start until April which… What the heck MLS? That’s a terrible time to start. But maybe I’ll follow them over the summer).

Sorry to hijack on the first reply but what do you normally watch on ESPN+? I get it for free with my phone plan and I didn’t see anything interesting during my brief perusal.

I don’t. I, like you, just get it for free already. So, I figured maybe I’ll watch some Bundesliga? May as well get some use from it.

Under normal circumstances I would have encouraged you to follow BVB Dortmund, because Erling Haaland is terrifically fun to watch, but unfortunately he’s injured, out perhaps for the whole first half of the season.

Other than Dortmund, Leverkusen can be fun to watch…strong on offense and wretched on defense does lead to some excitement. They’re also currently 4th in the Bundesliga.

[if you hadn’t specified winning, I would have said take a look at one of the promoted teams like Bochum. ETA: actually, Bochum has won 3 out of 10 matches…maybe that’s enough to qualify for “occasionally”? Plus, it’s fun to root for a team that’s just come up]

Dortmund’s a good suggestion. They like to attack, give a lot of playing time to younger players so it’s a popular destination for up and comers. They’re good enough that they’ll make the CL and occasionally be in the running for trophies.

MLS is playing right now. They don’t play over the winter because Minnesota winters are a heck of a lot worse than London winters.

I was going to recommend Dortmund too, since they often have up and coming US players. Gio Reyna is on the team now, but may be injured. Pulisic used to be on the team, before transferring to Chelsea. I don’t have ESPN+ (that I’m aware of), so I haven’t been following the German or Italian leagues.

Uh… they are playing now… and not only that but are well positioned for the playoffs (currently #2 in the East with one more regular season game left). You can at least watch their playoff run (depending on how long it is).

Though yes, MLS comes back in the Spring, but it’s usually late Feb/early March. It was April this past year due to Covid.

Well then, I’ll give them a shot. Playoff soccer feels weird, but what do I know?

I’ll also watch some Dotmund. I watched them a bit when Klopp was running the team so it makes a bit of sense, but it was harder to follow the Bundesliga then than it seems to be now.

You mean like the World Cup or Champions League? :wink:

I know. And I’m an American so it should not feel strange to have the regular season really just be a run up to the playoffs. But, I’ll get used to it.

Heck, maybe this is the BEST time to start watching Philadelphia Union?

Well, if they lose in the first round it won’t be :wink: . Though really are an up and coming team. Won the Supporter’s Shield (most regular season points) last season. Known for developing good young players, like Brendan Aaronson who is playing for RB Salzburg and the USMNT. They currently have his younger brother, Paxten, who is probably better at 18 than Brendon was.

Anyway their last regular season game is away at NYCFC, a rival, who is also in playoff position (both teams are fighting for position to host playoff games). It’s Nov 7 at 3:30pm

Nice. And, the statium is actually close enough I could potentially go to games. I wonder how hard playoff tickets are to get. How popular is MLS these days?

Depends on the location. Philly shouldn’t be too too crazy. They aren’t Seattle or Portland or Atlanta or LAFC.

But it may not be super cheap either (Vivid Seats is currently showing $79 endline tickets, before fees, but that’s before the date and opponent has been announced).

The official onsale apparently happens in 15 mins as well :smiley:

Ajax (Amsterdam) is having a good season.

I’m wildly biased, I’m born in Amsterdam and when I was 12 Johan Cruyff was the coach and Marco van Basten was striker… who else should I support? :wink:

I love the fact that they are competitive with only a fraction of the petro dollar infused clubs in the premier league. The club is built on a rich history and a very good youth program. The boardroom is filled with footballers (van der Sar, Overmars).

Enough gushing:)

They are playing the return against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow. (2-11 21:00 CET-- you’ll have to figure that out for yourself:) )

I used to play the video game Football Manager several years ago and enjoyed playing as clubs outside the top leagues and working my way up from the bottom of the football ladder to the top. They called it the Journeyman challenge. Anyway because of that video game I remember checking out the results of clubs in real life who I was in charge in the game. I have fond memories of leading Dorchester Town who were in the English bottom league to winning the Champions League after 20 years and doing the same with a club named Pro Vercelli who at the start of the 20th century were the biggest club in Italy but have not played in the top division since 1934.

I would love to follow Ajax, but I have no clue how to watch Eredivisie games in the US. As a Tottenham fan I have a lot of love for some of their former players (Jan Vertonghen in particular).

Maybe the solution to my problem is just a lot of Champions league and MLS.

It’s looking like Spurs may sign Conte as a new manager by tomorrow also, so who knows. Things are changing quickly. My club is insane right now. It’s tough.

I don’t know if you’re still deciding, but it occurred to me, another advantage of following Dortmund is they’re publicly traded and the stock is cheap, so you can buy a share if you like them!

I’m sold on Dortmund as the team to casually follow for the year. They seem fun and I watched them a bit when Klopp was there so it feels right. I’m also keeping my eye on Philadelphia Union through this playoff situation.

I hope you get to watch some games with Haaland. He’s really incredible and Dortmund really miss him (and Sancho).

Any state lottery numbers you are keeping an eye on, NAF? Just curious, no reason…