The popularity of soccer in the United States has been growing slowly over the past few decades. The MLS struggled for a long time but has gained some relevance and American national teams are finally competitive at an international level, and thanks to some new TV deals the Barclays Premier League is finally widely viewable within the borders of the US. If you haven’t bought in to the sport yet, there’s no time like now. Whether you’re just getting into the game or you want to expand your fandom further, we’ve got a collection of apps that will turn you into a full blown football fanatic.
It might be a little brazen for an app to simply refer to itself as “The Football App. It’s even bolder to capitalize the “THE” to make it seem like this is the only football app anyone could need. Believe it or not, The Football App manages to live up to its name. It’s a comprehensive collection of all the scores, stats, and competitions that will keep fans of football anywhere in the world informed. Fixtures and live scores, video highlights, and minute-by-minute commentary on noteworthy games await users of this app. If someone so much as thinks about playing a game of football anywhere in the world, THE Football App will keep you updated on it.
Once you’ve finally adopted the sport of football as your own, you can pick a favorite squad and start the real fun: Getting emotionally involved in the successes and failures of a bunch of people that you have no real attachment to or control over. Just because you’re in the United States, you shouldn’t feel limited to only getting behind an MLS squad. Pick a team from overseas and keep track of their season on Fanatix. It’s personalization features make it easy for you to get information about the teams you care about from around the Web, including sources you might otherwise miss. Plus, you can check highlight videos from the top leagues around the world.
FourFourTwo Stats Zone (iOS)
Like most sports, football has a pretty simple premise: Score more goals than your opposition. But given the occasional nil-nil draw, it’s not always the easiest task. There’s a lot happening on the pitch that may escape the untrained eye. FourFourTwo Stats Zone brings all that information to light. It offers fans of football unmatched analysis of matches from every angle. Check out breakdowns of player match-ups, team stats, and tracking of every tackle, pass, foul, and shot on goal. The app even takes a look at how individual players influence an entire match and leads to key events. If you’re ready to make the transition from fan to fanatic, this is the app to get.
MLS MatchDay (iOS, Android, and Windows Phone)
Football in America still means the heavily padded, helmet-clad, gridiron clash style of football to most. But thanks to the MLS, the rest of the world’s version of football is catching on. If you’re willing to pay $40 for an in-app purchase, you can watch every one of the over 230 games that take place in an MLS season streamed live to your phone or tablet. You can also check out matches after they’ve ended or if you don’t have time for a full game, condensed versions of games are available shortly after the final whistle. It’s the perfect app for fans of football taking place inside the US.
Nothing goes better with a great football match than a great alcoholic beverage. Fans in the United Kingdom probably don’t have much trouble finding a good place to watch a game, but if you’re traveling or you’re just looking for a new place to grab a pint and take in some footy action, MatchPint will help direct you to the nearest pub. See what games are playing, what’s on tap, and who else from your Facebook friends list is going to be there before heading down to the tavern.
If you’re just picking up on football, there’s bound to be a bit of confusion. The sport has its own set of rules and regulations that teams and players play by and understanding those will go a long way toward understanding what is happening on the pitch at any given moment. Soccer/Football Rules for iOS and Simple Soccer Rules for Android will help lay out the basics for you so you won’t be totally confused as to why teams don’t just cherry pick by keeping one player down by the opposing team’s goal at all times or why the players tackle by sliding instead of throwing their bodies into one another. Stuff you’re really going to want to know before you embarrass yourself.
Score! World Goals (iOS)
Football is a sport with a lot of tradition and historical occasions that fans cherish. Score! World Goals puts you in the cleats of some of the greatest players in the history of the sport and you attempt to recreate moments that still have football fans talking. There are over 400 goals that were scored in leagues around the world in this app and it’s up to you to make them happen again.
Football Manager 2013 (iOS)
You’ve studied the rules, acquainted yourself with the sport, picked up on the formations, watched every fixture you possibly could, learned the subtle tactics and formations – you’ve got this sport down. In fact, you’re so sure you know the game of football that you’re ready to manage a squad yourself. You can prove you’re up to the task with Football Manager 2013. It puts you at the helm of a team and lets you manage everything from on-the-field strategy to personnel and transfers. For those just getting into football, this mobile game can teach you a thing or two about the inner workings of a football front office. For those engulfed in the world of football, it’s your chance to take a team to the ultimate glory.