Soccer is a mainstream event in most parts of the world. It’s unarguably the world’s most popular sport. Although it’s less popular in the United States than in most parts of the world, it’s still faring well. In all honesty, its popularity growth rate is awe-inspiring because the sport experienced its first wave of popularity as far back as the 1920s. Since then, the popularity rate has been slow till recently, when it started growing steeply due to widespread acceptance and participation.
Although it’s unlikely that the sport will displace popular sports like baseball, American football, and basketball in the US, it’s becoming clear that the world’s most popular sport has finally found its feet in America. The country now has a growing domestic league, thriving domestic and international players, and a massive enthusiastic fanbase to thank for that. Incorporating games with soccer themes, such as slots in some mobile casinos, especially the ones reviewed at CasinoUSA.com, is another factor that played a considerable role in soccer’s newfound fame in the US. Since many people play slot-themed soccer games for real money at casinos, it has opened their eyes to the beauty of the sport.
The good news is that the sport’s current popularity in the US is expected to continue in the coming years. According to various projections, the sport’s growth rate will be on a steady increase. This article will highlight some reasons why soccer is expected to experience more popularity in the country in the foreseeable future.
Thriving and Competitive Domestic League
Every country with a strong soccer presence has a domestic league, including the USA. The Major League Soccer, the peak of men’s soccer competition in the country, is faring well. As a growing league, the MLS has improved in quality and expanded in teams over the years.
Similarly, the league has also been more competitive in recent years. Over the last ten years, nine different teams have won the MLS Cup. Many years ago, the cup only circulated amongst the same clubs. This increased competition can only draw more fans to the sport in the country.
Constant Influx of Quality International Soccer Stars to the MLS
The steady influx of foreign stars into the MLS is another reason soccer’s popularity in the US will continue to soar. Many famous foreign stars have played in the MLS in recent years. Big names like David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Andrea Pirlo, etc., have brought their talents to the league. Yet, efforts are still being made to bring more stars into the fold.
These famous international soccer stars would have already made a name for themselves in various parts of the world. When they are signed into the MLS, their fans across the globe, especially those within the US, typically turn up massively to matches featuring these players to watch them. The result is a steady increase in the sport’s popularity.
Increased Television Coverage of Soccer
In the early 2000s, watching soccer on television was a severe challenge in the US. Although ESPN had the rights to some matches, they rarely showed them because the sport then was less prevalent than it is now. Only cable channels showed soccer matches at those times. And for fans to watch these matches, they had to cough out more money to add to the already expensive cable packages.
As the popularity of soccer started gaining momentum in the US, ESPN and many other TV channels started showing soccer matches from all over the world. The advent of streaming was also a game-changer for the sport in the US. Now, you stream live games on your mobile device with a few dollars on various platforms like Peacock, regardless of location.
Cable subscription fees for packages that feature top-flight soccer matches like the EPL have also become relatively cheaper. As long as getting access to watch soccer contests continues to be this easy and affordable, the sport’s popularity will continue to increase.
Great Performances of American Players Overseas
Although the MLS is growing, it’s still a talent pool for big European leagues. Over the years, we’ve had the likes of Clint Dempsey, who played for Fulham and Tottenham at some point in his career, Carlos Bocanegra, and Maurice Edu, to mention a few, play in big European leagues.
With many American stars like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Matt Turner, and many others making their mark in Europe, it’s safe to say that the future is bright for American soccer stars. And, as long as various soccer stars continue to ply their trade in multiple countries worldwide, soccer in America will continue to attract more popularity.
Soccer is at its popularity peak in many counties in the world. However, it still needs some time before it can compete with the best sports in the USA, but right on track to get there. We’ve examined why the sport’s popularity will increase in the next few years, and as you can see, soccer in the US is here to stay.