Fire to United, MLS to EPL: English to English Translation

With team USA women's soccer captivating conversation in this country this past week, you may or may not have heard yet another argument for this being the springboard to Americans finally embracing soccer. You've heard of these activating events before, yes?

This is not a post to debate whether the extremely photogenic Hope Solo and Alex Morgan and company can make that giant leap or not. We're not discussing that topic; it's been done before. Instead we'll go over the visit of Manchester United to the second city, as the most popular F.C. in the world prepares to take on my hometown Chicago Fire in an international friendly.

If you didn't understand a couple of those words and phrases; don't worry, you've come to the right place. I'm here to translate English to English, British to American language for you.

Manchester United is reputed to be the most popular football club in the world, with the highest average home attendance in Europe. The club's worldwide fan base includes more than 200 officially recognised branches of the Manchester United Supporters Club (MUSC), in at least 24 countries.The club takes advantage of this support through its worldwide summer tours (like this year: Seattle, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C.). Accountancy firm and sports industry consultants Deloitte estimate that Manchester United has 75 million fans worldwide,while other estimates put this figure closer to 333 million.

Supporters are represented by two independent bodies; the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA), which maintains close links to the club through the MUFC Fans Forum, and the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST). After the Glazer family's takeover in 2005, a group of fans formed a splinter club, F.C. United of Manchester.

In other words, they're England's Dallas Cowboys or New York Yankees. Or if the NBA made more money domestically, the Los Angeles Lakers.

So starting off with the obvious, the rest of the world calls our soccer "football," and our football "american football." You've heard that before obviously. And some of the terms here below apply to American soccer and EPL as well. Like "friendly" which is a preseason game.

Let's begin.

American "fans"=British "supporters"


Players Signed=players bought (if you know much about American history, and how we fought a civil war over slavery, you understand why we shy away from ever referring to any individual as "bought.")

and player trades translate into British English as "transfers"

And be sure not to confuse Sir Alex Ferguson and Alex Morgan, two very different people.

Or as Jon Stewart said, when describing the British version of "The Daily Show," over there it's called "what's all this then?"

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

Leave a comment