Since its inception in 2005, World Soccer Talk has sought to create a site fit for all soccer fans—from the most casual observer to die-hard fanatics. Editor Christopher Harris’ vision has materialized over the course of the past eight years, as World Soccer Talk has risen among the world leaders in soccer blogging and now receives more than 750,000 unique visitors each month.
One of this site’s most unique features is its utilization of multimedia. As sports journalism continues to move deeper into the 21st century, World Soccer Talk has yet to miss a beat. One of the site’s primary features, the EPL Talk Podcast, has brought soccer fans the latest in news and analysis since 2006 and is the longest-running soccer online show in the United States. The show’s topics range from debates of soccer clubs and tactics to interviews with former players, managers and broadcasters and even a breakdown of the English Premier League’s television coverage on the NBC Sports Network. Whatever your fancy, World Soccer Talk has captivating hosts and visually stimulating podcast to draw readers in and satisfy their soccer craving.
With the advent of YouTube as a mainstay in sports media, World Soccer Talk has expanded into the realm of video as well, utilizing video to revolutionize the way it produces podcasts.
For newcomers to the sport, World Soccer Talk provides casual soccer fans with enough background knowledge to really sink their teeth into the sport. The blog’s focus is its coverage of the English Premier League—the world’s most popular football association—and the site contains profile pages for all 20 Premier League teams. By giving fans a requisite background knowledge on a team’s location, history and fan base, World Soccer Talk helps to promote soccer literacy across the globe.
The Premier League is far from the blog’s lone focus. It also contains pages stocked full of daily updates from the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and yes, even Major League Soccer in the United States.
The tone of most blog posts is light-hearted, but World Soccer Talk never fails to lose its credibility as a news source. Within recent days, post topics include uniforms the United States could wear at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, previews for the upcoming Europa League and as the two most popular soccer games near their release dates for the coming year, a raging debate about FIFA 14 and Pro Evolution Soccer.
Don’t think for a second that hardcore soccer fans don’t have a place on this site. This Week in Soccer, one of the many weekly segments that World Soccer Talk produces, delves into some of the deeper economic and political debates surrounding the sport. Among recently discussed topics are media rights in the United States and United Kingdom, the effects of homegrown players on a club, debates of Bundesliga vs. Premier League and this 52-minute conversation regarding the implications of the scheduled 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
World Soccer Talk uploads a host of soccer content around the clock each day (one of the benefits of having writers who live across the world—different time zones mean there will always be fresh news). Staffed by just three regular contributors and a number of guest writers, the amount of content that World Soccer Talk churns out on a daily basis is impressive in its own right. Each member of the team has a unique set of skills that lends itself well to the site’s blend—one is a trained journalist, one specializes in communications and the other is a self-proclaimed “football nerd” who loves to dig in to the tactical and statistical sectors of the game. These three backgrounds blend together to create the product you see on your screen, one that promotes a diverse array of content and provides a splash of opinion with thorough reporting and news packaging.
As far as soccer blogs go, World Soccer Talk has just about everything to offer. One of the site’s greatest assets is that its editors and writers very clearly understand the project’s mission—to properly utilize the internet medium in a way that is both accessible and entertaining to fans. You won’t see fleshed out, 1,000-word novels packed into the pages of World Soccer Talk, nor will you see any groundbreaking investigative reporting, but the way the site is formatted allows readers easy access to insightful soccer tidbits at first glance. For those who want more, the team guides and video analysis provides something deeper. World Soccer Talk allows viewers to get what they want out of their user experience without simply shoving it in their face. The site does not patronize its audience by explaining the basic X’s and O’s of soccer, but similarly provides more casual fans with valuable learning opportunities that could help to expand the reach of the world’s most popular sport.