I'm not sure if Soccer, or perhaps more accurately, Football, is the world's most popular sport, but if it isn't, it certainly comes close. Naturally, there have been vast numbers of soccer simulations and fantasy soccer games released over the years. Free online soccer games have also been growing in number, and they've come to offer a mixture of team management and action on the field. These are some of the better free online soccer games currently available.
If you like managing a soccer team, but you crave a graphical rendition of matches, Sokker Manager may be a good fit. This game has all of the depth you would expect from a soccer management simulation, with very sophisticated tactical options and a great training system. It also features a 2D Flash match engine that lets you see a nicely animated version of each match. There's nothing like watching your carefully nurtured top player score a long-shot game-winning goal.
Hattrick is a soccer management game with a long history that goes all the way back to 1997. It offers a remarkable amount of detail, giving you control over everything from assigning positions on the team to looking after the finances. One of the most impressive things about Hattrick is the enormous community of passionate soccer fans that has grown around the game over the years. It requires no download and is played right in your Web browser.
For less serious soccer fans, Goal or No Goal, or GONG for short, is an unusual combination of real-time sports action, team management, and roleplaying, wrapped in what appear to be DragonBall Z-inspired graphics. It's a comical take on soccer with all sorts of outrageous special moves like stuns, banana peels, and tornado kicks. Although GONG is a long way from a realistic soccer management game, training and tweaking your team is a big part of it, and there are plenty of ways to customize your look with crazy clothes. Head-to-head matches using straightforward mouse and keyboard controls are the main attraction, but it has a number of nice features that keep people coming back for more.
If you want a highly-detailed, text-based soccer management game, FreeKick strives to be among the most authentic management simulations you can play. You will need to make lineups for youth and senior matches, watch over training, and invest in junior leagues to realize your team's full potential. The match engine gives you a play-by-play of games in progress, and if you follow them you can adjust your tactics accordingly. Although you can play FreeKick for free, they sell "VIP Manager" accounts that give you some extra features for convenience and fun. The VIP Manager is free for first 2 months.
Sunday League is a light-hearted soccer management game where you start with a team of 20 and try to take them to the top in competitions with other manager's teams. It takes a humorous approach that strikes a chord with the football-loving community, and it includes a lot of details that are overlooked by many games of this kind, such as the weather on game day and who the referee will be. There is no animated representation of the matches, so you can't actually see your team play, but you can give them fairly explicit instructions on what to do in certain game situations.