The Growth Of Soccer In The US

Football which is better known as soccer in the United States has not been as popular in the areas of United States as it has been in other parts of the world. There are several other sports that have over shadowed the sport and it is no surprise that it is still undergoing development. However, lately, there has been an increase in the interest that the sport has generated. There are now more people involved in soccer and through Major League Soccer (MLS), there is more interest begin generated across the country. As a matter of fact, recent statistics reveal that after American Football, Basketball and Baseball, soccer is enjoying some considerable crowd attendances, more than basketball and ice hockey.

 

The growth of soccer in the United States can be seen from the fact that the MLS is one of the youngest leagues in the world but is currently rated as the 12th most attended premier division in the whole world. In 2011, the MLS broke its all time record for regular season attendance when 92,650 spectators filled the Los Angeles Coliseum for a game of soccer. On August 1 2009 a game between the LA Galaxy and Barcelona attracted a record crowd of 93,137 fans.

 

With several international stars like David Beckham, Thierry Henry and the Mexican Cuauhtémoc Blanco making their way to ply their trade in the US, more people have been attracted to the sport. In addition, television viewer ship has been steadily increasing and several major sports networks are covering several live soccer games across the US. There are now several networks that are dedicated to the game for instance Fox Soccer Channel.

 

Generally, ever since the 1990s, US has seen an increase in soccer interest and this is partly because of the 1994 FIFA World Cup which was held in USA. One of the prerequisites to the US hosting the tournament was ensuring that an outdoor league would be created for the first time since the NASL collapsed about a decade before. As a result, in 1996, the MLS was formed and this quickly became an avenue for football lovers to channel their passion for the game.

 

In the past, soccer was more popular in places like Saint Louis, New Jersey, Southern California as well a areas of the Pacific West and in places where there were more immigrant populations that had people who came from places where the game was played more. It is however now becoming more of a national sport and it is starting to grow roots in several other places. This is partly because of the various Youth programs and the success of both the men's and women's soccer teams on International levels.

 

Unlike in other countries, the concept of Women soccer is partly the reason why US began to garner more interest in the game of soccer as a whole. This was due to the fact that both the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups were held in the US and the women’s team has been one of the best performers in the tournament over the years.

 

Written by Jason King

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