There is no doubt that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It’s not even close. Recent studies show that over half of the world considers themselves soccer fans.
That being said, soccer has always taken a back seat in the United States. Sports like football, baseball, basketball, and even NASCAR racing are more prominent in the minds and hearts of American sports fans. There is evidence that is changing. Soccer is fast becoming a much more popular sport in this country, and there are several reasons why this is the case.
The Success of the US Women’s Soccer Team
Unlike their male counterparts, the US Women’s Soccer team has dominated international competition. The United States Women’s Soccer Team has won four World Cups. This is the most of any country. It’s probably no secret that Americans like to watch a winner. The television ratings back that up. Nearly 20 million people watched the 2019 World Cup Final between the United States and the Netherlands. In a country where soccer isn’t thought of as one of the top sports, that is a lot of people.
The Evolution of Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer (MLS) has been in existence since 1996. Since that time, it has grown from 10 teams to 27 for this current season. The expansion of this league has led to many more people all over the country becoming exposed to the game. Average attendance at an MLS game ranks in the top ten of all leagues around the world.
A huge part of the increased popularity of soccer in the United States is the visibility of the game offered by television. Now, MLS soccer games are broadcasted by both national and regional networks. It is easy for viewers to find their favorite teams on television.
Another reason soccer is getting more fame in the United States is that famous players from all over the world are coming to this country to play the game. The MLS can draw icons like David Beckham to this country with the salaries they can offer. On the flip side, talented US players, like Christian Pulisic, have become prominent players in elite clubs in Europe.
The Rise Continues
With all of these factors continuing to grow, there is no telling how popular soccer could become in this country. The only sure thing is that the game of soccer is becoming a more intriguing sport for many fans.