Crossing the Pond: The Guide to Affordably Visiting Anfield for Americans

By Casey Tuttle

So you want to go see these magnificent Reds, eh? You want to make the pilgrimage to Anfield and join in the singing, the goals, and the celebrations. Your day-dreams are filled with having a pint at The Twelfth Man, mixing it up with the Scousers, walking into the shadow of the new massive Main Stand, holding your scarf above your head, and belting out You’ll Never Walk Alone from the bottom of your lungs. Don’t we all?


Only problem is…. you can’t take out a second mortgage, you can't pull your child out of that fancy preschool, and you are not a high school chemistry teacher who can turn to a life of making blue meth. The greatest news is, you can go, and do so while not breaking bad. 

It still shocks me the number of people I meet who have never traveled abroad whether by their choice or financial situation. I meet people nearly every day, who have never been east or west of the Mississippi, even those who have never left their state. The thought of packing up your bags, booking a ticket to fly across the second largest ocean on the planet, land on another continent, then find your way to Anfield can be a bit daunting. I assure you, its worth it all, but where to even begin? 


First off, unless you got loads of money which if that is the case, then book us both a first class ticket to Liverpool and end your reading here. If you are part of the middle class world that has to make sacrifices to make a trip like this, then we can help. The key is simple. DON’T BE PICKY. 

You can't be picky on dates, flight times, or truthfully where you are flying out of or ultimately flying into. Believe me, I have booked $700 dollar tickets to fly 3 states away from my preferred departure airport into my preferred arrival airport,  but I have also paid $180 for a direct flight from Las Vegas to Copenhagen. Yes you read that right….and you can too. 

My biggest piece of advice is fly into any part of Europe that is the cheapest to do so. The single most expensive part of traveling across the pond is just that…. The flight across. Once you arrive in Europe, travel is dead cheap and quite frankly very efficient and easy to get about. We Americans could really learn a few things in this department. I have now been to Europe three separate times, and as most of you know, Corey and I are heading back in March for my 4th trip and Corey’s third. These trips included visits to England, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland. I have taken trains from London to Paris in the famous Chunnel, I have flown for $18 from Dublin to Barcelona, and again I have flown from Stockholm to Denver for $195 direct. 

The greatest tool in all of this is I can not underestimate that this is the single greatest flight searching website on the internet. This is not an advertisement, as I assure you that I am not being paid for this plug. It is simply my honest opinion as a avid traveler and someone who wants to help any Red world wide make it to Anfield. My favorite aspect of using is that you can plug in your home airport or any other and search “Everywhere” and for “Anytime.”

If you are like myself, and have the desire to literally travel everywhere, then this is a godsend. Having the ability to search world wide for anytime, gives you so many options to navigate cheap flights to great destinations. So back to my point, in trying to get to Anfield on the cheap, you need to be very flexible. You may be able to fly out of your home airport for what you feel is decent price, but you also may be able to fly out of an airport 2 hours away and save $300 dollars!

Beyond that, remember, Liverpool is your final destination, it does not need to be your first arrival. If you can fly into Copenhagen for $400 dollars less then do it, because I guarantee you that you can get from Copenhagen to London for less than $40, then get a $15 dollar train up to Liverpool. Plains, Trains, and automobiles. Exhaust all your options in getting around. Are you starting to see where I am going? 


Next, do not keep it in your head that you have to book a round trip flight. I have not booked a round trip ticket to Europe ever in my life. My last trip abroad I began at my previous home in Salt Lake City, I booked a $50 dollar one-way to Las Vegas, spent the night, and had a 72 oz. alcoholic slushee as any red blooded American should do. Next morning, I flew from Las Vegas to Copenhagen on the amazing Norwegian Airlines. After 10 days of backpacking with my brothers across Europe, I flew home from Stockholm to Denver, then again a $50 dollar flight home from Denver to Salt Lake.

In all, flying from Salt Lake City to Europe and back cost me less than $500. You have to be creative, because flying from Salt Lake City round trip would literally have cost me another $500 dollars. Is this the cheapest you can get back and forth from Europe? No, not necessarily, If you live in Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, or some of these key European hubs then you can beat that price….at certain times. My intention is to change the way you think when you travel no matter where you are! 

As mentioned above, Norwegian Airlines is my preferred airline is flying to Europe. Not only do they offer the best deals, but truly my last flight across was a 10 hour excursion, but it was the nicest plane and accommodations I have ever flown, bar the exceptional German Airliner Lufthansa. The trouble with Norwegian Airlines is that they only fly to certain cities, and those cities have limited days they fly. So for example, when I flew from Las Vegas to Copenhagen, Norwegian only make that flight twice per week. So again, be flexible, be creative, and be adventurous. Traveling abroad changed my life, and I am sure it will change you as well. 

Picking a match is a major component of keeping the cost of the trip to Liverpool down. Get this straight, unless you have friends who are members, who live in Liverpool and have season ticket access, or you are in a position that no price is too much, then stay away from looking for a match against any of the other top 5 big boys, and the Merseyside Derby.


These tickets go fast to members, and season ticket holders through the treacherous ticket grab that happens twice a year through Liverpool FC. Also keep this is mind, if you are traveling this far, for your first trip, and spending a chunk of money, don't you want somewhat of a dominant performance and a high probability of a win. Regardless of your positivity, the truth is, any result is within reason with these big clubs bar Arsenal. Cheeky eh? Up the Reds! Not only does availability of tickets increase for lesser matches, but also you aren't going to get taken for a ride on the ticket pricing.


My first trip across I paid $325 to watch us destroy Aston Villa. The face value of my ticket then was $40. Now maybe, just maybe if I had someone writing an article like this back then, I wouldn't have paid so much, but I was hellbent on getting a ticket, and price was least of my concern. Now I am older and wiser, married with a mortgage and a child, prices matter, and prices continue to rise year after year.

So now I would not take this loose of an approach. I bought my ticket off a verified online resale website because I was petrified of buying a bogus ticket online and being locked out of Anfield after traveling across the world. The best way for you to get a ticket you can trust and not get done on the price is to go through an Official Liverpool Supporters Club. Nearly every major city in the States has one now and they are dead easy to join.

If you do not live in a large city and do not have an OLSC close then you are able to join the one closest to your area. This way you can buy a ticket through a branch of the club, for a price typically less that $100 that is a legit ticket and with no worries.

On top of that, now with social media being so prevalent I would recommend leveraging this to your advantage. There are trusted supporters groups that are closed and relatively trustworthy. I would recommend subscribing to The Anfield Wrap for $6.50 per month, which is worth every penny, and joining their Facebook subscribers group. I regularly see real local supporters helping out travelers with tickets and not taking the piss out of them on prices. 

Where to stay? This I think is the easiest way to save money depending on your personal needs. If you are like me and could sleep on a park bench just to save some money then you are in luck. My last visit to Liverpool I stayed in a hostel down on the Albert dock for less than $15 dollars a night. It was brilliant! Got to meet other traveling Reds! Save money! And be right in the city.


I know most Americans are a little skeptical of Hostels after the famous horror flicks, but unless you take some questionable narcotics off a random chick you just met then you’ll be fine. If that is your kind of good time, then all the best. Outside of that then is a great shout, especially if you are traveling with a group and can cut down the cost. My brothers and I travelled throughout Europe in excellent accommodations on the cheap, nearly all on AirBnb. If you are a real free spirit then check out A great social experiment of travelers opening their homes and literally their couch for free! That's right, there are over 400,000 host worldwide currently willing to let you crash at their homes for free! Just don't over stay your welcome and make sure you have a shower!

There is literally endless possibilities in traveling abroad to visit Anfield. This is simply a small sliver of my best experiences and knowledge as a traveler and die hard Red. Every journey is your own, and I sincerely hope you you make it personal. Enjoy every minute of the process and journey, even sleeping on an airport floor in a sketchy airport with your brothers like I did. Feel free to reach out to us on social media if you need any help or advice with planning a trip! I hope this helps, and you save some extra dollars that you can put towards the pints prematch! Give them hell! Up the traveling Reds!

Even Without a CB, Liverpool's Summer was a Success

By Heath Harshman

The summer 2017 transfer window is closed, and Liverpool Football Club are in better shape than they were when it opened. Adding high quality depth in attack, and fending off a certain spanish club, makes up for the lack of a new top-tier central defender being brought to Anfield. Whether the moves are enough for Liverpool to capture the Premier League, or Champions League, title is yet to be determined. But damn, this squad is good.

To quickly summarize the club’s transfer dealings this summer, here’s a small breakdown. The numbers included are estimates in British Pounds via Sky Sports.

Players in: Dom Solanke (free), Mohamed Salah (34m), Andy Robertson (10m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (40m), Naby Keita (2018, 48m)

Players out: Andre Wisdom, Kevin Stewart, Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho (26m), Divock Origi (Loan/6m)

By several measures: amount spent, overall talent, name recognition, and more, the dealings by the club improved the squad in a few areas. But, one notable name did not become a Liverpool player at the end of the window: Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch central defender did his best to force a move from Southampton to LFC, a road well-trodden path in recent years. Despite the mutual interest, and Liverpool’s willingness to spend on van Dijk, Southampton held on to their defensive talisman. For now.


The top-target for many LFC supporters, this writer included, VVD would’ve shored up what is easily the biggest concern for the squad as we head into the season. The options in center of defense currently include Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, and Ragnar Klavan. A talented trio, to be sure. But they lack another reliable, proven, consistent performer that’s needed for the grind of multiple matches each week in a couple of challenging competitions.

The biggest question is, after the van Dijk debacle, why didn’t the club/Klopp target another central defender? Being willing to spend 70m on a defender we all really like is one thing. But there wasn’t another, semi-suitable option for something like 40m? How about 30m?

Whatever the answer to that question is, Klopp will have to deal with the results of the lack of a central defender being brought in this summer. Whether it’s with different formations, plans for purchasing players in January, or hoping we score a few goals each game, Liverpool’s lack of a new central defender will be scrutinized with each allowed goal this season.

Despite that seemingly glaring hole in the summer’s transfer business, the most recent window was one of the best for Liverpool in recent memory. Maybe it’s the afterglow from the club’s fantastic start to the season, or that relatively friendly Champions League draw, but the summer’s dealings are already looking like solid purchases. In a short period of time, Solanke, Robertson, and Salah have all impressed in high-profile moments early in the season.


While we celebrate those quality starts to Liverpool careers, we still have more to look forward to. The Premier League proven Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provides a versatility and depth in midfield and attack that the club needs, especially with Adam Lallana on the shelf for a few months. It’ll be a little longer until we get to enjoy Naby Keita in a red kit, but bringing in a talent like him, even if we have to wait, can’t be understated.

Neither can keeping Philippe Coutinho. However the situation with Coutinho shakes out, the ability to hold on to top players at times like this is something the club needs to do on a regular basis. Losing the likes of Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, and more in the past have proven to be tough to rebound from.

While this club is in better shape than most in Liverpool’s recent past, losing Coutinho now would’ve been absolutely devastating. Maybe not on the pitch, where LFC showed they can survive without their midfield magician the last couple of weeks. But in mentality, losing the club’s best player right before what could be the season, would’ve been a kick to the gut that we may not have recovered from.

We’re back in the Champions League, and we need to stay there. The signings brought in by Klopp make the club more suited to do just that, and keeping Coutinho should be included in the reasons why. We may not have brought in the defender we wanted, or any central defender at all. But, we managed to improve and become a better squad, and holding on to key players is an important aspect of that growth.

Last year, it was problems with depth in attack that eventually slowed Liverpool’s progress toward the Premier League title. Missing Coutinho, Mane, Sturridge, and more for lengthy periods of time all derailed a high-flying first half of the campaign.  Should those troubles arise this year, Klopp and Co. are more than prepared for the gauntlet of matches headed the club’s way each month.

This year, injuries and issues in midfield have already tested the squad, and they’ve responded well. The triumvirate of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Emre Can did their part, and reinforcements are on the way. For the first time in years, Liverpool have Premier League quality depth in attack and midfield, and are prepared for the battles each club faces when it comes to squad depth each season.

All that said, it’s okay to be disappointed, or even confused, by the lack of a central defender being brought in. We’d all have been over the moon with VVD wearing red on transfer deadline day, or anyone helping to cure our worries over Lovren and Klavan’s ability to consistently perform alongside Matip this year. Even with those legitimate concerns, it’s impossible to ignore just how much the club improved this summer.

We have big dreams for Liverpool this season, and the summer’s dealings have put us in a better position to make those dreams become reality. Could it have been better? Of course. But this summer was a damn good one for LFC, and the moves made could very well be the reason this season is a success, rather than a disappointment.

Liverpool are Back in the Champions League, Now What?

By Heath Harshman

It was a long-ish road, but we’re back. European football, Champions League football, is back at Anfield. Liverpool belongs in Europe’s premier footballing competition, and we can’t wait for the fun we’re going to have at home, and abroad, with Klopp and Co. this season.

But, we have to earn our keep. Not just anyone is allowed in the Champions League, a fact we’re well aware of by now. Balancing the responsibilities of the European football and domestic competition is one of the biggest challenges in major club football today. Teams unable to find a way to successfully manage their squad amongst a flurry of fixtures will quickly find themselves either in the Europa League, mid-table in their domestic league, or *gulp* both.

After successfully, and finally, qualifying for the Champions League last week, Liverpool know the path it’ll take to continue their campaign into 2018. The draw was as friendly as the club could hope for, facing a bevy of potentially tough matchups coming out of ‘pot three’. When it came time for Liverpool’s name to be called, the available options were Group E and Group H. Avoiding the likes of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund (for now), the Reds will instead face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, and Maribor home and away throughout the final months of the year.

We now know the dates of these important matches, and decided to breakdown the impact the domestic responsibilities of the club will have on their qualification for the Champions League knockout stages. From interesting matchups and lengthy travel, to our expectations and hopes for the stage, here’s how Liverpool’s Champions League group stage schedule shakes out on their European journey.

Istanbul trophy raise.jpg

Match #1 - Sevilla (H) - Wednesday, September 13th

Playing at Anfield is the perfect way for Liverpool to kick-off the group stages. They’ll be coming off of a road match against Manchester City, but as the second match after the international break, the squad should be relatively rested. Liverpool welcome Burnley to Anfield at the weekend following their Champions League debut.

Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga last season, qualifying for the Champions League in a somewhat new way. They qualified by winning the Europa League three consecutive times from 2013-14 to 2015-16, while finishing outside of domestic league qualification.

A good start in the group stages is what every team will hope for, and playing at Anfield in the club’s return to Champions League football should sway things in the Reds’ favor. What options are available for Klopp following the end of the transfer window will certainly play a role *cough* Coutinho/van Dijk/anyone at all *cough*, but the team should expect to start well in the campaign if they intend on sticking around. Three points at home should be expected, and dropping anything else to a team like Sevilla is asking for trouble down the road.

Match #2 - Spartak Moscow (A) - Tuesday, September 26th

This one is going to be tough. Maybe the toughest of the entire group stage for Liverpool. The trip to Moscow to face the defending Russian Premier League champions comes sandwiched between away matches against Leicester City and Newcastle as we go from September to October. It will end a stretch of six games in 19 days for the Reds’, likely testing the club’s depth, as competing in two top-tier competitions for several months will do. A point away, depending on how things domestically are going, wouldn’t be the worst prize to come back from Moscow with. Considering their stadium holds more than 45,000, the atmosphere should be electric. Four points from the first two matches, with a couple of favorable matchups ahead, would be welcomed with open arms.

Match #3 - Maribor (A) - Tuesday, October 17th

Traveling to Slovenia between Premier League clashes with Manchester United (home) and Tottenham (away), isn’t ideal. But where the match comes in relation to the group stages couldn’t be more perfect for the Reds.

It is the third time Maribor has qualified for the Champions League group stages, and the first since 2014. Every away game in European competition is tough, especially with important domestic matches taking precedent at home. Regardless of those responsibilities, taking three points from the Reds’ match with Maribor is a must. When looking at qualification for the knockout stages, these are matches Liverpool should win, and should expect to win.

Match #4 - Maribor (H) - Wednesday, November 1st

The return match with Maribor comes at a much friendlier time, and location, than the first. Getting the Slovenian champions back-to-back should help Liverpool’s position in the standings, should the first two matches go awry.

In the league, the Reds will have a home match with Huddersfield Town the weekend before the match with Maribor, and will travel to London to face West Ham the weekend after. A friendly domestic slate, along with a European Anfield night should mean another three points, and a path toward knockout stage qualification.

Match #5 - Sevilla (A) - Tuesday, November 21st

By now, the Reds should be in a quality position in the group stages, regardless of other results. Even with some points dropped in Moscow, or at home to Sevilla, Liverpool should be traveling to Spain with qualification in their sights. Luckily, the trip is between a couple of home matches. They’re against Southampton and Chelsea respectively, but we’ll always like our chances at home, even with a tough midweek road match. Giving the club a nice week at home to prepare for what is likely the most difficult matchup, talent-wise, of the group stages is a bonus.

Sevilla will likewise be hoping to capitalize on their Champions League schedule, with a trip to Slovenia to face Maribor rounding-out their group stage commitments. Should Liverpool drop points in this match and the first one at Anfield, things might get nervy. But even a draw in Spain at this stage should, at the very least, keep the Reds in good shape heading into the final game of the group.

Match #6 - Spartak Moscow (H) - Wednesday, December 6th

Having the final match of the group stages at home is comforting. Hopefully things will be wrapped up and we can be looking forward to the knockout stages by December. Unfortunately, the football gods are more cruel than that, and often like to drag things out. Getting the team from ‘pot one’ of the Champions League draw isn’t optimal, but as mentioned several times in this piece, we like our chances at Anfield.

The match with Spartak Moscow follows the Reds’ away trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, giving Klopp some flexibility going into the midweek game. They’ll be welcoming Everton to Anfield the following weekend. Being able to have things settled and already qualified for the knockout stages would add even more flexibility for the Gaffer, given the importance of both qualifying, and trouncing those blues in front of The Kop.

All in all, it looks like a doable job. The draw was friendly, and while some of the matches come at tough times domestically, that’s what the competition is really all about. The team will be tested, and while we can hope for more reinforcements, the matches will come regardless. So, we should be prepared for what’s ahead with the squad we currently have. If that ends up being the case after transfer deadline day, the team is still equipped to traverse the difficult landscape Group E of the 2017-18 Champions League group stages provides.

5 Times Simon Mignolet Saved Liverpool

By Heath Harshman

He may not be perfect, but Simon Mignolet is ours. And more often than not, he’s performed better than expected for the Reds. Liverpool’s Champions League qualifying match against Hoffenheim in Germany midweek was another example of just how much the squad leans on their goalkeeper. The Belgian international doesn’t often get the credit he deserves, while simultaneously receiving more than his fair-share of criticism when things don’t go right.

Since making the move from Sunderland to LFC in the summer of 2013, Mignolet has come up clutch in key moments dozens of times. Saving penalties, stopping stars, and securing important points have been common characteristics of some of his biggest moments as a Red.

Although he may not have always been in the Gaffer, or the fan’s, best graces, Mignolet is certainly worthy of his current standing as Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper. He’s recorded 43 clean sheets in 137 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, while not always having the most defensive-minded teams on the field in front of him.

Celebrating his impressive performance on Tuesday against Hoffenheim, here are a few of our favorite Mignolet moments over the years.

Mignolet Makes the most of his LFC Debut

No no, Wayne

Stopping Costa from the spot at Stamford Bridge

Mignolet comes into his own, at Stoke's expense yet again

Clutch in the Champions League

No matter your opinion on Simon Mignolet’s time as Liverpool’s number one option at goalkeeper, he’s had plenty of praise-worthy moments. From his club debut, to last Tuesday in Germany, Mignolet has shown again and again that he’s capable of producing top-tier performances. Consistency is the key, and some help at the back wouldn’t hurt. But Mignolet has the talent to help guide Liverpool to the Premier League title as the team’s top keeper.

With or Without Coutinho, Liverpool Needs Help

By Heath Harshman

The defensive and midfield depth currently available to Jurgen Klopp is not enough for the team to achieve the what we, or the club, ultimately hope to achieve this season. Already faced with the issues that come with packed calendars featuring midweek matches from domestic and European cups, the current stable of options doesn’t look like a group capable of sustained success in multiple campaigns.

That’s not to say the current squad isn’t good; they’re great. Arguably one of the best in Europe. The difference in the top-tier of European football, and Liverpool FC, is depth. Not just having it in places or at times, but having it everywhere, all of the time.

An untimely injury, an unexpected transfer request, and trouble bringing in preferred players has put the club in a tough spot with a couple of weeks remaining in the summer transfer window. The squad’s depth at the back, and now in midfield, are going to be tested as the club begins their Premier League and Champions League campaigns.

Last year, it was up-front where the lack of options became problematic. With extended absences from the likes of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, and Danny Ings, Klopp and Co. were able to nimbly navigate the final months of the season, and tallied 78 Premier League goals after all was said and done. They’ve since strengthened the attacking options available, bringing in Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah, while holding on to Ings, Sturridge, and the rest of the forwards from last year’s squad. Early results have shown the signings to be good ones, and goal scoring is the least of the club’s issues.

Now, the issues at the back, which aren’t exactly new, have returned. Despite ending last season with four consecutive clean sheets, obvious holes at left-back and center-back remained heading into the offseason. Allowing three goals, two of which from set-pieces, to Watford in the Premier League opener highlighted issues the club, and fans, are well aware of. Having a midweek road-match in the Champions League isn’t the most welcome sight after such a performance, but it should be one the team gets used to (hopefully).

Of course, we’d all feel a lot better about the situation if Virgil van Dijk were wearing Red, and there’s still time for that to happen. It remains to be seen what kind of impact Andy Bob will make at full-back, but getting a left-back in at all is a step in the right direction. As is Alberto Moreno’s sudden improvement.

But, without another center-back, the team has the potential to drop points like they did against Watford last weekend, each and every week. Even if the van Dijk situation doesn’t work in Liverpool’s favor, there’s surely someone available for cheaper, that can complement the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, and Joe Gomez. Playing two matches each week, and wanting to succeed in multiple cups, requires a high quantity and quality of depth in every phase of the game. At the moment, that’s a box that Liverpool’s defense doesn’t check.

Without Adam Lallana and Coutinho in midfield, that may leave two “open boxes” for the squad. Injuries are to be expected, but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. Especially when the club’s best player submits a transfer request shortly thereafter. With those two, Liverpool’s midfield looked just fine heading into a packed fixture list to close-out 2017. Naby Keita would’ve be a fine addition, but ultimately the group looked prime for another great season.

Now, we need help. Whether Coutinho heads to Spain or not, Lallana’s extended absence, and a less-than-focused Brazilian, means more is needed in the center of the park. It was evident in the team’s Premier League opener, where the midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Emre Can often struggled to link-up with their pacey attackers while dealing with pressure from Watford. That could change, especially with the potential return of Coutinho, but leaning on James Milner, Marko Grujic and Ben Woodburn for midfield depth isn’t the way Liverpool should be heading into their first Champions League run since 2014-15.

So, what should they do about it? Not panic and purchase players for the sake of it, which no supporter should be worried about. That’s not Klopp’s style, even if it seems like it’s been the club’s in years past. But we have the cash, and there hasn’t been much splash this transfer window. Up until a couple of weeks ago, that was fine. With a couple of weeks left for the club to bring players in, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the front office feels confident in the current squad depth at the back and in midfield.

Qualifying for the Champions League was supposed to ease these kinds of issues. We’ve got the manager, the budget, and the squad; all prime for a historic run of highly entertaining football. All we needed was a couple of top-tier talents to shore-up some holes, and we were on our way to another title-challenging season. Instead, we head into this season with obvious holes, uncertain about our best player, and questioning our initial expectations for the club.

How FSG, Klopp, and the current squad react to these issues remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the squad needs added depth before the window is shut.

A Beginner's Guide to European Tournaments

A Beginner's Guide to European Tournaments

Along with the English cups going on during the Premier League season, there are two European tournaments occurring as well: The Champions League and the Europa League.

1. The Champions League

Simply put, on average, this tournament showcases the best football in the world. Here is how it works, at the end of the Premier League season the top 4 of the table are entered into the Champions League for the following season. So, if you make it into the Champions League, you will have 4 trophies to compete for: the Premier League Title, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup, and The Champions League trophy. 

The Champions League is the most prestigious of all of the club trophies. The top 4 of the Premier League join all of the best clubs in Europe from other leagues (Spain, Italy, Germany, etc.) The tournament begins in a round robin format. 32 teams, sorted randomly into 8 groups of 4. Each team plays the rest of the teams in their group, home and away. 3 points for a win, 1 point for draw. The top 2 teams in each group moves forward to the knockout stages.

16 teams make it to the knockout bracket stage. Teams will play home and away each round, with the team scoring the most aggregate goals advancing on. In the case of an equal amount of aggregate goals, the tie breaker rest with the side who most scored away goals (goals scored at the other teams ground).The Champions League final is played in a typically neutral location at one of the larger stadiums across Europe and is only one match, extra time and penalty kicks if need be. The 2018 Final will be held at National Sports Complex Olimpiyskiy, home to FC Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

Every team in Europe wants to be in this competition because of the prestige and the opportunities that open for the club. Clubs in the Champions League get paid large amounts of money per match, which the clubs can use to buy players, hire coaches, etc. Also, players are aware of the prestige. It is easier to draw world class players to teams that are in the Champions League because it is the biggest stage for a football club.

2. The Europa League

The Europa League is the same format as the Champions League. If you're familiar with the NCAA tournament, the Europa League is the NIT tournament. The clubs that finish 5-6 in the Premier League qualify for the Europa League for the following season. Europa League clubs still get money but not as much as clubs in the Champions League. The winner of the Europa League final automatically qualifies for the Champions League the following season as well.

In 2005 Liverpool won their 5th Champions League trophy after one of the greatest comebacks in the history of football. The match is known as the Miracle of Istanbul. AC Milan were ahead 3-0 at halftime. Liverpool score 3 goal in a six minute period in the second half. Liverpool went on to win the Champions League after defeating AC Milan in penalties. Please look it up.

In the rare occasion that a club wins the Champions League 5 times, they get to bring home the Champions League trophy permanently. 

Here's Casey with Ol' Big Ears!

A Beginner's Guide to English Tournaments

A Beginner's Guide to English Tournaments

As previously explained, the most important cup for teams in England to win is the Premier League title (most points). However, it is still important to see your club raise a trophy nonetheless. It gets put in the trophy case, on the manager's CV, your club gets prize money, and written in the history books forever.

There are two English teams tournaments during every season: the FA cup and the EFL cup.

1. The FA Cup 

Short for the Football Association Cup, this competition includes ALL 10 leagues in England. It is the oldest football competition in the world (1871). There are 12 randomly drawn rounds, a semifinal, and a final. The teams in the top 4 leagues get byes in the first half of the rounds based on their status in England. The tournament begins at the beginning of the season and the final is traditionally the last match of the English season (near the end of May). Funny story: On Casey's first trip to England, he played in a FA Cup match under an English alias for Brookmans Park FC out of a dumb stroke of luck... or as he likes to say, Destiny. No Joke.

2. The EFL Cup

Short for the English Football League Cup, is a tournament played with the top 4 leagues of English football. For the record, the names of the leagues are:

The Premier League

The Championship 

(English) League One

(English) League Two

The EFL cup is matched up according to seeds with top teams getting byes in the early rounds. The matches are played in "ties" which means each round the teams play one home and one away match. The team with the most goals between the two games wins. If there is a tie, tie goes to team with most away goals. If there is still a tie, it goes to extra time.

The final is played in February at Wembley Stadium in London. The final of every tournament is only one match, with extra time and penalty kicks if the occasion calls for it.

Liverpool have won the EFL Cup 8 times, more than any other team.

Boss tha.

A Beginner's Guide to the Transfer Window

A Beginner’s Guide to the Transfer Window

In world football there are two periods of time called transfer windows every year where a player can transfer to a different club. There are two transfer windows during the year: January 1 through January 31st and July 1 through August 31. Here’s how transfers work: during the transfer window, teams will offer a transfer fee to a club JUST to be able to sign and have rights to their player. If the team accepts then the purchasing team will negotiate a contract with the player directly. So agreed transfer fee with club + agreed contract with the player = transfer complete. 

1. Is there free agency?

In a sense, yes, but it is rare. If a club lets a player’s contract expire, the player is free to negotiate a new contract with a different club without a transfer fee first, you can thank Jean-Marc Bosman for that, (look it up). For example: Schalke let Joel Matip's contract expire, so Liverpool didn't have to pay Schalke any money to get Matip, we just called him for free, and negotiated his salary. (Klopp's a genius). The other scenario for free agency happens if a club tries to sell a player to a club that the player does not want to play for. The player can refuse the contract, let their contract expire, and sign with another team freely. Basically teams want to make money, so its rare for them to let a contract expire for any reason without selling a player first to make transfer fee money.

2. Are there trades?

There aren't really straight up trades, but sometimes club will offer a player + money to appease a clubs transfer fee.

3. What about loans?

Loans are a completely new concept if you are an American sports fan. They come in many shapes and sizes but here is the gist of it: A team can send a player to another team to develop. We have this with many American sports with baseball’s minor leagues and the NBA D-League but here is where it’s different: loans not only take place from upper leagues to lower leagues, but loans also take place within the same league. 

If there is a player that shows promise, but needs further development a club can send them to another team in the same league to get game time and experience. Loans are typically do not cost a transfer fee, only for the club receiving the loanee to pay their wages.  These can last numerous different lengths and since they are not permanent so both clubs benefit. After the loan period is up, the player comes back to the team. Clubs sometimes will offer teams a buyout clause in a loan that basically says “You can have player for x amount of time for $, if you are pleased with him and would like to keep him you can pay us $$$$$$ and he’s all yours.” A team can only have a single loaned player from another club. So Jurgen Klopp could not send out all his great youth talent to newly promoted Huddersfield Town Manager and best friend David Wagner. They can only have one loanee from a specific team.

Another loan situation is the current situation that Liverpool is in with Mamadou Sakho. Sakho has fallen out of favor with Klopp but is quite skilled. During the transfer window Klopp puts the word out that he wants to sell Sakho, no one bites. So Klopp sends Sakho to Crystal Palace (same league) on loan until the next transfer window. The idea is that Sakho will get minutes, hopefully perform well, and then clubs around the world will be more keen to buy him next transfer window (because his stock isn’t going up sitting on the bench.)

Up The Reds

A Beginner's Guide to Liverpool Football Club

A Beginner’s Guide to Liverpool Football Club

First, the obvious, Liverpool Football Club is based in Liverpool, England. The club was founded in 1892. Liverpool’s stadium is called Anfield, which is located on Anfield Road in Liverpool. 

Traditionally there are 6 clubs in the Premier League that are perennially dominate and almost always finish towards the top of the table. Three in the southern England: Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal and three in the north: Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City.

Here is an overview of Liverpool's dominance: 

There are two clubs in Liverpool, Liverpool and Everton. And, as you can see, they are quite close in proximity.


Bill Shankly is Liverpool's most successful manager and heralded as a god to Liverpool supporters. He was the manager from 1959-1974 and at Anfield the way into the stadium is through the "Shankly Gates" (pictured below)


The 96 and the Hillsborough Disaster

On April 15th, 1989 Liverpool were set to play Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup Semi- Final at Sheffield Wednesday's ground Hillsborough. Due to a calamity of errors in planning, preparations, and an ineptitude of decision making on the day, the decision was made by local law enforcement to open an exit gate to alleviate a bottle neck of fans trying to get into the stadium. This proved to be a devastating error in judgement and allowed nearly 3,000 Liverpool supporters to file into a standing room only section built to only hold a capacity of 1,600. The tragic decision resulted in 96 individuals to be crushed to death, or so badly injured that they died in the moments of waiting for medical services to arrive. Along with The 96, hundreds of others were severely injured. In the following days, as investigations took place, local authorities and media branded the cause of the disaster as a result of drunk and unruly Liverpool supporters, when in actuality, they were doing all they could just to try and stay alive, and save each other. After 27 years of fighting a smear campaign by government, law enforcement, and the media, the 96 lost lives were found to be unlawfully killed due to gross negligence of law enforcement. The 96 are remembered annually with services held at Anfield, along with the Hillsborough Memorial outside of stadium that can be visited daily. The memorial list all the 96 who sadly lost their lives and are joined by an eternal flame. The 96 are Liverpool, and Liverpool is the 96.

Liverpool's current manager Jürgen Klopp is quite the personality and generally loved by Liverpool supports, but we will get to the current team and manager later.

The Liverpool Reds have a slogan and song that defines the team, the supporters, and the culture around the club: You'll Never Walk Alone. At the beginning and end of match all Liverpool supporters sing this song. Know it, love it, sing it loud.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high

And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm, there's a golden sky

And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your hearts

And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your hearts

And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone


Walk on.

A Beginner's Guide to the Premier League Table

A Beginner's Guide to the Premier League Table

In the Premier League (and most other leagues in the world) the standings are referred to as the"table."

1. How the table works

20 teams in the Premier League. Each team plays home and away. 38 games. 3 points for a win. 1 point for a draw. Whoever has the most points at the end is the champion.

So....there aren't playoffs?

No. There are tournaments going on during the season for Premier League teams that have a playoff format, but the goal for every Premier League team is to win the League. (Most points). There are other tournaments throughout Europe that Premier League teams can qualify for depending on their place in the Premier League table as well, but we will get to that later.

What if teams are tied in points?

The team who has the highest goal differential (goals for minus goals against) is the winner.

2. Promotion/Relegation

There are 10 tiers of English football, the Premier League being the top. Every year the bottom 3 teams of each table get "relegated" to the league below. The top 3 teams of every league get "promoted" to the league above. Think if every years the worst 3 teams in the NFL like Cleveland, San Francisco, and San Diego dropped down into D1 College football, and the best three teams in college football like Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State moved up to the NFL. Same concept, just with monumental financial implications.

This is what makes the league so competitive. While in most sports the worst team in the league eventually phones it in to get the best draft pick next season, the threat of being relegated forces all clubs to give it their all. There is also no draft in the Premier League. If you're good, teams will just buy you. You will have 17 year olds that start in world football. Age doesn't matter much. Only skill and composure.

A simple Google search for "Premier League Table" will give you the most up to date table. Here is what it looked like on week 22:

A Beginner's Guide to USAnfield

A Beginner’s Guide to USAnfield:

Whether it's every fourth year and the World Cup is on and you paint your face red, white, and blue while asking where Landon Donovan is, or you’re talking to one of the three soccer mom’s you know who are part-time tour managers for their twelve year olds…there is likely a time where you will want to know more about soccer.

If not, that’s okay too, and you can move on with your life without the thrilling elation of watching your club win (or the never-ending depression of watching your club lose).  Sports aren’t for everyone, so that’s not why we are here.

Why are we here?

Articles: Many people look at soccer from the outside and think, this is the world’s game, it seems interesting, but I don’t know where to start. That’s why this blog will exist. To give you a beginner’s breakdown of all of the things that you’re too embarrassed to ask. The blog will have many articles over time that teach you the in’s and outs of the game and serve as a manual for people who are just getting into the sport and especially, just starting to support Liverpool. We plan on releasing articles on “A Beginner’s Guide to ______” regularly, so feel free to check back or subscribe to the blog feed. We would also love your suggestions... just hit us up on our contact page or via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Podcast: The podcast will always serve as the place where we break down the latest Liverpool match and preview the forthcoming match. We may grow it to something further at some point, but really, that is what we are most passionate about. 

If you haven’t already, we welcome you to check out the podcast. You can find the latest and all archived episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, etc.

If you have any questions for the podcast or a beginner’s article you would like to see, feel free to email us at USAnfield1892 at gmail dot com. Walk On!

A Beginner's Guide to the Premier League

A Beginner’s Guide to the Premier League

It is hard to compare how leagues work in world football to other sports but I’ll do my best. As always, with any sport, you will find different variations of league formats from one country to another. Mainly, we will deal with the English Premier League, but if you have questions about another league, we would be happy to answer them as well.

Why the Premier League?

1. Access

This is a huge bonus of watching the Premier League in the States. NBC Sports airs EVERY either on NBC or on their new paid subscription. Matches are primarily on Saturday and Sunday morning and rarely too early. If you live on the west coast, like me, you’ll have your occasional 4:30am match, but that’s like twice a year. More often matches are 7:00am PST or later. 

2. Quality

There are four leagues that most world football fans would consider to be the best. The Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), and Serie A (Italy).  These are the four leagues where the best players in the world play (apart from a few teams from France). The reason that most Premier League fans will give you for watching the Premier League is the level of competition throughout the league. In other leagues, it tends to be the best 2-4 teams and then 16 others. 

3. Competition

There are 20 teams in the Premier League every year. It is not hyperbole to say that any team can win on any day. Though, like any other sport in the world, there are teams that tend to win more often, have better players, and play more quality football. 

The Premier League is the only league in the world that gives you all three of these. As the sport is constantly growing in the States, it is likely that access will improve, which will drive revenue, and players transfers to other leagues may change this situation. But as for now, the Premier League is the highest combination of access, quality, and competition.

Traditionally there are 6 clubs in the Premier League that are perennially dominate and almost always finish towards the top of the table. Three in the southern England: Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal and three in the north: Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City.

Liverpool previously were the King's of England's top flight having won 18 league titles in the clubs history. Sadly, we have been on an unbelievable run on of 27 years without being crowned Champions. With Klopp at the helm, and the team and talent we have in place, many feel the glory days are within reach of returning to the Red half of Merseyside. As a club built on greatness and historic folklore, Liverpool and the Premier league trophy will be reunited. One day. Walk On!