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Is Soccer Set to Become the Most Popular Sport in the U.S?

Football is the most played and popular sport worldwide; however, in the U.S, soccer only ranks 5th, trailing behind American football (ranked no.1), baseball, basketball, and ice hockey.

There are several reasons why Americans do not favor this sport, including the lack of goals and too much flopping, but this has started to change in recent years.

Soccer is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S, with more clubs emerging and a definite surge in attendance at games; could it be that within the next decade, soccer will take over as the no.1 sport in the U.S?

It may seem unlikely now, but keep reading to find out how this could become a reality - a lot sooner than you think!

Traditionally, why was soccer not popular in the U.S?

There are many reasons why soccer is not as popular in the U.S as it is across the rest of the world; many being due to the fact that this sport simply does not fit in with the American culture and way of life.


Americans love to be no.1

Take American football, baseball, and basketball, the three most popular sports in the U.S; in each one, America is ranked no.1. However, competition worldwide in football is fierce, and America has yet to thrive in this global sport, meaning that interest has been limited.

Where are all the goals?

As a general rule, Americans love a game that involves a lot of points or goals being scored. It's more exciting and thrilling to watch. However, in soccer, there are often few goals or none at all.

However, this does not seem to bother the Brits who have no problem betting on a nil-nil draw on popular football tipping site

Soccer players are small

Compared to basketball and American football stars, soccer players are pretty tiny. You certainly don't need to be well over 6ft tall and weight over 200 pounds to compete. American athletes simply don't fit the typical soccer build.

Soccer is not advert friendly

Americans love a chance to play as many adverts as possible during a sporting event; take the Super Bowl, for example. Soccer only has one half-term break during the whole match meaning it is a marketer's nightmare.

Americans do not like their sportsmen faking injuries

American sports stars are strong and invincible; they do not need to fake injuries to score more points. However, diving is common in soccer, as is exaggerating your injuries, and Americans are not used to this, nor do they like it.

However, it looks like the tide is turning.

Over the past five years, soccer has gradually started to gain momentum in the U.S with the MLS (Major League Soccer) experiencing a 27% rise in interest, and this has led the MLS to commit to expanding the current 24 teams by a further 5 in the next 3 years.

Furthermore, cable viewership has increased in each of the last six soccer seasons, and even more significantly, ad inventory has sold out in the previous three.

It has also helped that several foreign clubs are showing their presence in the U.S. The world-class FC Barcelona, for instance, now has an office in New York, as does Bayern Munich and English Premier League Champions, Manchester City.

What needs to happen next?

As well as gaining popularity with sports fans in the U.S, if Americans want to be taken seriously in the world of football, they need to secure a strong national team that can lead them into the next World Cup.

Of course, no-one expects the U.S to win anytime soon, but simply getting into the World Cup and showing other countries that they are a force to be reckoned with within the footballing community will be a huge step in the right direction.

With exciting players such as Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, who knows what the future holds for soccer in the U.S?

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