Sports Column: A beginner’s guide to English Premier League soccer - The Post: Sports

Sports Column: A beginner’s guide to English Premier League soccer

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Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:00 pm

From across the Atlantic, a classic sport is beginning to have a marginal impact on the American sports culture.

The sport of soccer, or fútbol as some may call it, is starting to gain tremendous popularity in the United States.

More specifically, the English Premier League, or the Barclays Premier League, is gaining attention amongst American sports fans.

For starters, the English Premier League ranks its clubs based upon the concept of the table.

The English Premier League table is composed of twenty clubs within the league, and clubs are ranked by the number of points they have.

Clubs earn three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. The EPL has its share of powerhouse clubs, but underdog clubs are prevalent as well.

Chelsea is known as the perennial powerhouse, because it normally finishes in the top four in the English Premier League table. Chelsea won the league for the 2014-15 season -- placing first in the EPL Table. Chelsea was able to do so because of Belgian star Eden Hazard and striker Diego de Silva Costa.

Manchester City sits atop the table in first place which is also not unusual for the club.

Manchester City finished second last season, and first in the 2013-2014 season. Manchester City is led by striker Sergio Agüero and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was recently acquired from the German club VFL Wolfsburg.

In American sports, teams acquire other players for their team through the process of free agency. In soccer, however, clubs acquire players through transfers.

Clubs can only acquire players during the “transfer window”. In England, the transfer window occurs from July 1 to Sept. 1, and then again from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31.

During this period, English clubs can acquire a player from any other club in the world, if the two clubs can agree on a transfer fee for the player. Essentially, a transfer fee is basically how much a team is willing to pay for a specific player.

While clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City may continually be atop the table, several smaller clubs can make their way to the top. Leicester City and Crystal Palace are in the top five of the EPL table which is unusual because of its recent promotions into the English Premier League.

Each year the English Premier League goes through its process of promotion and relegation. If a club places in one of the last three spots in the English Premier League table then they are relegated to the league below, which is called the Football League Championship.

Conversely, if a club finishes in one of the top three spots in the Football League Championship then they are promoted to the English Premier League.

The world of soccer is constantly growing and carrying over into the American sports culture as well. With the English Premier League only five games in, the season has just begun and the league will likely continue to provide the drama that sports fans so desperately crave.


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