Soccer has always been a global favorite but not so much in the United States. But that has changed in recent years—it is finally gaining popularity. Back in 2004, only 2% of Americans chose soccer as their favorite sport, and 18 years later that figure grew to 8%.
Soccer will undoubtedly expand significantly more as a result of young people’s interest in the sport. Soccer is especially popular among people under 30. With the excitement of the past World Cup and the expansion of MLS to new areas, it’s no surprise that this sport is quickly becoming the fastest-growing one in the United States.
What is soccer?
In soccer, two teams of 11 players each go head-to-head on a field. One player is tasked with keeping the goal, while the other 10 are outfielders. Players on the field can choose to specialize in offense, defense, or both. There is no restriction on players switching positions, and teams often have designated defenders, midfielders, and strikers. In North America, it is known as soccer, whereas elsewhere it is called football.
Possible reasons soccer has grown in popularity in the US
The successes of the women’s team
The women’s team’s success on the world scene is a major factor in the sport’s rising popularity in the United States. The U.S. women’s national team has been dominant over the previous 15 years, winning a plethora of international championships. Women from the United States have won numerous major competitions, including the Olympic gold medal and the World Cup. Americans are more inclined to watch the team’s next game if it is successful because they enjoy watching a winning team.
European Leagues covered on television
It was quite difficult to watch soccer on American television in the early 2000s. ESPN did hold the rights to air certain games, but it rarely did so on its flagship channels. It used to be that if you wanted to watch a soccer game, a lot of extra money had to be spent on a cable plan that included the stations showing those games.
The rise of online streaming has had a profound effect on the sport of soccer. The English Premier League is now available to everybody in the United States with a basic cable subscription. You can also pay a small monthly fee to subscribe to Peacock and watch live games. Major networks like FOX and CBS also air matches, while ESPN has retained many soccer broadcasting rights.
Americans are more likely to develop a love for the sport if they can easily follow the best European clubs and leagues like Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. Watching major sporting events like the World Cup has never been simpler in the United States than today.
The massive influx of immigrants to the United States
The surge of immigrants throughout the United States, particularly in states located in the South and Midwest, has altered the way people in these regions think about the sport of soccer. Because so many individuals have immigrant friends who are into soccer and may convince them to follow the sport as well, it is now appreciated by the typical American to about the same amount as basketball.
This is because of the large number of people with friends who are immigrants and who are soccer fans. When a large number of immigrants live in a city, it increases the likelihood that professional soccer clubs will settle there permanently. Because of this, cities like Georgia, Nashville, Atlanta, and Tennessee are now thriving centers for successful Major League Soccer (MLS) teams, which was previously unimaginable in those regions.
There is no disputing that there has been a shift in culture regarding soccer in this country, and it seems as though it may be here to stay. This is something that cannot be denied.
The growth of Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer has extended to many new locations in the United States that previously did not have the opportunity to watch live soccer matches. You can select a Major League Soccer team that is within easy distance of your home, no matter where you live in the United States: California, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas. A marvelous atmosphere is created in their stadiums thanks to the accessibility of low-cost tickets and the encouragement of local fans to attend games. Even more people watch Major League Soccer events since they are broadcast widely on television.
Want to play soccer?
If you’re interested in learning to play soccer, you first need to understand each position and learn the proper techniques and basic rules of the game. Once you have that down, you can begin practicing. Ball control is a vital skill—without it, playing will be very difficult. You also need to keep yourself physically fit. The more fit you are, the better a player you become.
Consider doing sprints three to four times per week. You can improve your playing ability by joining a team. It allows you to improve during practices and play games against other competitive teams. You can also find yourself a training partner. Playing one-on-one can help you learn faster if you choose someone with your skill level or better.
Visit your local park. There are usually people there playing various sports. A useful rule of thumb is that you find information about those you meet. Run a Google search, use Nuwber, search their social media profiles—do whatever is necessary to prove that a person is who they claim to be.
Whether soccer’s popularity in the United States is here to stay or is just a passing trend, only time can tell. Soccer has no doubt turned things around over the last 30 years. It’s safe to say that interest in this sport in the United States is higher now than it was ten years ago.
It’s simpler to track down European soccer matches on television; professional teams are in most large cities, and anyone can see them for a reasonable price; European men’s and women’s teams are creating a significant impression on the global scene. Although soccer has reached its pinnacle of popularity around the world, it still has significant room for expansion in the United States.