You should be watching Manchester City: A team on the rise

            Soccer—the beautiful game. The sport is undoubtedly the most popular in the world, and its acclaim in the United States grows year by year. Though mainstays like the NFL and NBA continue to dominate American sports coverage, providers have signed deals to broadcast Premier League and Champions League games onto streaming services like Hulu and Peacock. As a result, world-class soccer is more available than ever before. One question remains, though: who should you watch? 

             A wonderful team to consider watching is an English cornerstone: Manchester City. Why Manchester City? For both new and experienced viewers, the team offers a fun and compelling 90 minutes for each game that they play. 

            The first reason to watch Manchester City is their system. Unlike many of the other teams in the Premier League, all the players can keep calm and efficiently pass to their teammates when pressured. The team’s formations—how they space out on the field depending on the situation—are some of the best in the league because the players can fill a lot of distinct roles on the field. New striker Erling Haaland said in an interview that “It’s… a really complicated system, but it’s really nice.”  

            For experienced viewers, seeing the intricate passing and movement of the players on the pitch is impressive. For a new viewer, watching passing play may not be too exciting. However, it is what the passes build up to those matters: goals. Last season, Manchester City averaged 2.61 goals per game. This season’s final tally will likely be even higher because of several key players listed below. 

            A second reason to watch Manchester City is the individual ability of all the players. From star striker Haaland to talented midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to no-nonsense defender Ruben Dias, City boasts one of the most skilled squads in the world. Just when a game gets boring, any one of the players can turn it around with a moment of brilliance. ESPN ranked Manchester City 14th of all world teams and third in the Premier League in their Watchability rankings this year, likely due to the talent of the players. 

            Take the opening game of the season, for instance. In Haaland’s debut with the team, he scored two goals. The second goal he put into the bottom left of the goal off an assist from a long “through ball” (pass that split a gap between the defenders) from De Bruyne. Few Premier League teams, much less teams around the world, can turn games around as quickly as Manchester City. 

            The third reason to watch the 2021-22 Premier League champions is the league rivalries. The biggest rivalry takes place within city lines: Red v. Blue, Manchester United v. Manchester City. This back-and-forth battle has seen a wide variety of results and superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Agüero over the years. Even in recent times, the result is still a toss-up. Regardless of the result, expect a high-intensity match with plenty of goals and memorable moments. 

            Another rivalry is one that emerged more recently: City v. Liverpool. Since the beginning of the 2010s, the two teams have been engaged in a fierce rivalry, largely because they are remarkably similar. Both teams have talented squads, intelligent managers, and large fan bases. Whenever a City v. Liverpool game is on, you can be assured that it will be a thriller. 

            Though European soccer is not very celebrated in the United States, Manchester City makes a good case for the sport. At the very least, the team offers an incredibly entertaining experience every time that they play. Will you tune in to their next match?