Premier League vs. MLS

Nelson Morales, Staff Writer

Brent Flanders: MLS All-Star Game 2013

Soccer is one of the most followed and watched sports in the world with different leagues spread out through countries in Europe, North America, South America, and more. Two of the most popular soccer leagues are the MLS which is located in the United States, and the Premier League which is located in England. Both of these leagues have around 20 teams each participating in over 25+ games to see who can get the most points.

To start off, the way soccer is set up is that in a league, the team that gets the most points out of all of their games wins the whole league. Usually in soccer, a win is 3 points, a draw is 1 point, and a loss is 0 points. Both the Premier League and the MLS have leagues that are set up in this format. Since there are so many teams participating in one league, each team has to play other teams twice in order to ensure everything is equal and the best team wins.

Let’s begin with the differences between both these leagues. Besides the fact that they are both located in different countries, the structure and history between these two leagues is severely unique. The MLS, or Major League Soccer, is based in the US, so they have two separate leagues within the MLS, the Eastern Conference and the Western conference. Each conference has 10 teams in their league and is organized by location of the team. Some of the teams in the Western Conference would include Los Angeles Football Club and the Seattle Sounders while some teams in the Eastern Conference include the New England Revolution and New York City FC. In the MLS, each team plays every team in their conference at least twice, one at home and one away, and then plays 10 other games against teams from the other conference. The team with the best record at the end of all these games wins the Supporter’s Shield, but the league is still not done. After the regular season games, the top seven teams from each Conference get joined into the MLS Audi Cup playoffs. The playoffs work like normal with the winner being whoever wins the whole tournament. This format is quite different from that of the Premier Leagues.

The format of the Premier League is similar to all of the other leagues in Europe. There are no playoffs after the regular season and there are no conferences separating the teams from one side of the country from the other. The only way for a team to win the Premier League is if they have the most points by the end of the season which basically means they had the best record. Normally the average amount of points a team needs to win the Premier League is around 87 points according to The Stats Zone, however in recent years the winners of the Premier League have had much more. The maximum amount of points a team can get is 114, but reaching this point total is highly unlikely. Since every team plays 19 other teams at least twice, each team has to play a total of 38 games spread out from August all the way to May. The Premier League is much more simpler than the MLS however each game played is crucial in determining who will lift the trophy at the end of the season.

One last comparison between these two fascinating leagues is the caliber of players that play in each league. If you were to ask anyone, the Premier League is much better than the MLS in terms of the quality of the players and the matches. The only reason for this difference is that soccer in England is much more popular than soccer in the United States and Canada. Since soccer in England is more prominent, many high-profile players want to play in the Premier League. Players from all around the world play in this league, especially from Europe, whereas the MLS usually contains players from the Americas and great players close to retirement. The teams from the Premier League are considered the best in the world, winning European tournaments against teams from other countries within Europe. 

Overall, both the MLS and the Premier League are captivating leagues that entertain millions of people every year. Besides small differences in how they are set up and how the league operates, one factor remains the same, soccer. At the end of the day, it is just soccer being played and it should be enjoyed by all soccer enthusiasts.