The United States Men’s National Soccer Team (#USMNT) was knocked out of the World Cup by Belgium in the Round of 16, but you already know this. You watched it. More people streamed the U.S.’s third World Cup match versus Germany — which kicked off on a Wednesday afternoon — than this year’s Super Bowl. Their previous game versus Portugal was the most watched U.S. soccer game ever. Basically, if your television wasn’t showing footy, you were either kidnapped or not a sports fan.
But here’s the deal: the World Cup is an aberration. Soccer fans aren’t privileged to such an event every other month. It’s every fours years. After the final on July 13, players will travel back to their respective clubs (a “club” refers to a team and its organization), but what’ll we — the masses of newly converted football fans, spoiled by perpetual matches — do? Do we fall back under the veil of American ignorance, pretending it’s a second-tier sport? No. Watch the MLS? Not just yet. Instead, we’ll follow the world’s best players back to Europe. Here are the basics, and how to watch.