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New York Red Bulls on Tour: England's Premier League

Last stop will be the best league in the world


In our final Bulls on Tour stop, we visit Big Ben, the London Eye and Stonehenge: England.

It's called the Premier League for a reason.  Originally founded as the Football League First Division in 1888, the EPL was established in 1992 and has included 20 teams since the 1995-96 edition.  And it has some of the best and historic teams in the world.  Even though EPL is 23 years old, it doesn't have the parity of winners that MLS experiences.  Only five teams have ever won the title (Manchester United: 13, Chelsea: 4, Arsenal: 3, Manchester City: 2 and Blackburn Rovers: 1).

It's also the most widely watched league in the world.  According to a 2013 article, the EPL sold viewing rights to 212 countries.  4.7 billion people watch it regularly.  Impressive.

If one REALLY would compare how the New York Red Bulls would compete in England, it's probably better to compare them to the Championship (English second-tier).  But for shiggles, let's drop them right in the mix of this prominent league.

The Premier League has a 38-game schedule like three of the four previous leagues discussed.  Using the 1.76 ppg benchmark and rightsizing MLS' 34-game schedule, the Red Bulls would once again hold 67 points.  Comparing last season's result with the average of the last five completed English Premier League seasons (2010-11 through 2014-15), 67 points would have put the Red Bulls in:

Season Red Bulls Finish Team 1 Spot Above Team 1 Spot Below
2010-2011 5th Place Arsenal (68 pts) Tottenham (62 pts)
2011-2012 5th Place Tottenham (69 pts) Newcastle (65 pts)
2012-2013 6th Place Tottenham (72 pts) Everton (63 pts)
2013-2014 7th Place Tottenham (69 pts) Manchester United (64 pts)
2014-2015 5th Place Manchester United (70 pts) Tottenham (64 pts)

They don't call it the best league in the world for no reason...  compared to the other top four European leagues, this is the worst of the batch.  A seventh place finish?  That barely makes Europa League.  RBNY couldn't compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal over the course of a full season (even though they beat the Arsenal 1-0 and Chelsea 4-2 in the last 18 months), but they would have been moderately successful if they finished with 67 points.

Drum roll, please...

In the Premier League, the Red Bulls are equivalent to Tottenham Hotspur!

Tottenham have averaged 67.2 points during the last five EPL seasons, putting them pretty much even for where RBNY would finish if they were in EPL.  They have reached Europa League each of those years.

This concludes the Bulls on Tour series.  Let's see if the boys can outperform themselves next season.