The GIST: Three of the world’s top men’s soccer leagues kicked off over the weekend, and if you’re feeling like you need a quick refresher on the complexities of European football, then you’ve come to the right place. Just call us Coach Beard.
The leagues: England’s (EPL), Spain’s and Germany’s regular seasons began on Friday and will run until May (long, we know). Each league has a similar setup: 20 clubs (aka teams) compete in EPL and La Liga and 18 in Bundesliga, with each club playing every other club twice — once at home and once away.
- Without conferences or divisions, each league’s rankings are based on points (a win earns three points and a draw gets one), and the league’s champion is the club with the most points at the end of the season. Simple as that.
- But there’s more. At season's end, and bottom three teams in the others are “,” (i.e, sent down to the second-tier league), while ” are guaranteed promotion to the top tier. Fun.
- In the meantime, the semifinals are set for Wednesday. The Cup features the 2020 winners of the NWSL Fall Series, the NWSL Challenge Cup, the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the Primera División.
- The Portland Thorns will play the Houston Dash while the Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) and FC Barcelona face off, with the winners of each meeting on Saturday. Follow the action .