In Europe and South Africa they call it football, but in the US that mean’s something different, so it’s more commonly known as soccer. In the past soccer seemed more important to school-age children, or university students. But there has been a resurgence in its popularity in the USA.
In 1990, the USA made it to the World Cup finals. This was quite an achievement, and something that hadn’t happened for over forty years. The US didn’t win, but it certainly generated some interest in the event.
The USA still didn’t have a top-rated soccer team by 1994. But that didn’t stop FIFA from choosing the USA for the 15th FIFA World Cup finals. Suddenly, everyone was interested in soccer! This was the first year that attendance broke the records in all of the nine host cities across the states. Each game had over 69,000 spectators—that’s a lot of new soccer fans! The final tally for all games during the 1994 finals was over 3.6 million. No host city has since managed to break that record.
It doesn’t matter where the World Cup is being hosted nowadays. Soccer fans in Canada, USA, and Mexico all eagerly watched the World Cup finals when telecast from Brazil in 2014. Soccer has progressed from a school kid’s topic, to a subject that the entire family or work colleagues can eagerly chat on.
Scoring a ticket to a World Cup game is definitely a cause for celebration: Plenty of prestige and recognition garnered from coworkers and friends alike. Not only is a ticket extremely expensive, but they’re difficult to get.
Soccer has escalated in popularity in the US since 1994. Today it’s only behind football, baseball, and basketball in rankings, and ahead of hockey.
Another reason that soccer is popular is that it’s a sport that the entire family can enjoy together. Football can be a bit too slow paced for your youngster to enjoy, while hockey is violent. But soccer is fun to watch, and the rules are easy to grasp.
Unlike other sporting events that exclude women from the pro leagues, there is also the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 2015 WWC was the 7th ever, hosted in Canada. Much to the thrill of the Americans, the US team placed first over Japan! This may also have been the first year that everyone was watching the Women’s World Cup, after a few years of disbelief: “There’s a Women’s World Cup?!”
In fact, the Women’s World Cup final had over 26.7 million US viewers, and didn’t even include those in Canada, or in the rest of the world. It was the MOST WATCHED SOCCER GAME IN US HISTORY!
Whether soccer in the USA can continue to draw viewers during other soccer competitions in between the World Cup remains to be seen. The USA did place fourth in the 2015 Gold Cup, and perhaps the excitement will continue into the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and the next Men’s World Cup in 2018.