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Understanding American Soccer vs European Soccer

soccer sports game during daytime

There is no denying the fact that soccer is a popular game around the world. However, different countries may have their own rules, philosophies, ideas, and styles of play. 

Here, we explore the differences between American and European soccer. Read on.


Essentially, European and American football is the same regarding the rules governing the games. However, you’ll find some significant differences in strategies and technicalities between these two. 

At the top level. significant differences exist in matters to do with the individual abilities of players and the quality of the games. 

There’s a feeling that European soccer is way ahead of the American game regarding standards. No wonder European clubs dominate the top leagues in the world.

Indeed, only a few non-European clubs make it to the top 100 concerning global ranking. 

On the other hand, the Major League Soccer (MSL) of the US ranks at position 20 of the best leagues in the world. In a way, it’s catching up with major leagues in Europe. 

In the American continent, the Brasileiro Serie, Mexican and Argentinian leagues also rank as some of the best leagues in the world, coming at positions 6,11, and 14, respectively. 

American Soccer Playing Style

Major League Soccer (MLS) has been around for more than two decades and has grown with its players playing in international matches. Additionally, it has attracted top players worldwide and has significant franchises in North America.

A notable aspect of the MLS is the playing style requiring players to be physically fit to take on the opponents. 

Typically, physical power coupled with speed can overpower the other team, especially in a race. The teams also undergo endurance training to handle battles on the pitch effectively. 

The players, too, have multiple skills such as passing the ball, turning it around or running. They also have excellent receiving tactics and can hold the ball under pressure. 

Only the best players can manage such high standards, which subsequently impacts the game’s overall performance. 

Because of adhering to basic rules, the game may not seem so exciting as the players try not to cause problems with their opponents.

The Level Of Experience

Some players in the European leagues are old, experienced, and possess excellent decision-making skills. 

On the other hand, the MLS players may be less experienced, which can lead to minor errors or mistakes on the pitch.

Another example is when they are playing with an experienced player who suddenly runs and fails to get the ball or even hold on to it for a long while they wait for the other player to make a run. 

These circumstances can confuse an MLS player who lacks technical skills or the ability to decide quickly.

European Soccer Playing Style

In terms of physical strength, the European players lack the stamina of their MLS counterparts. However, the ball handling skills of the European players are on another level. 

Besides, they are all-around players with different abilities such as strength, endurance, agility, and speed.

The players are trained in a particular way without emphasizing one particular skill. For example, instead of lifting weights to gain strength, they are taught how to shield, protect the ball, and perfect the skill. 

Football drills enhance their ability to outmaneuver the opponent rather than overpower them physically. 

Technically, European players have the upper hand in ball handling in different conditions over the years compared to MLS players. 

The skill level is more competitive in European soccer, and players are exposed to some of the world’s best players, unlike the MLS.

The European players possess super skills in passing, dribbling, turning, dominating 1 v 1 moment, and deciding quickly while under pressure. 

Further, they can make killer passes, bringing more excitement to the game than the MLS players.

They are also highly connected and team players, enabling them to master each person’s strengths or weaknesses. 

Their level of communication is on another level as they can pass on ideas and tactics through actions, eye movements, and contacts. 

They can interpret each person’s intention, ensuring a seamless soccer game flow. 


Even though American football continues to attract more attention, its popularity falls behind Baseball and basketball.

In Europe, it’s a different ball game. European soccer is the most popular sporting activity in Europe and the world. 

There is a lot of interest, with millions worldwide watching the game on television or online streaming. 

According to a study, football is the most popular game for wagers, with a total amount hitting nearly 1.5 trillion Euros. 

Because of the popularity, betting companies allow players to compare soccer odds on different games in European leagues and the MLS.


Both American soccer and European soccer are similar in many ways. However, there are some differences in style of play, popularity, and player experience. European soccer leads the pack in terms of standards and popularity. On the other hand, American soccer’s popularity has improved over the years since the launch of the MLS.

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