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The Growth of Soccer in the United States, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 572

Research Paper

Bone crunching tackles, mesmerizing plays and pomp are what characterize one of America’s most followed game, American football. However, lately there has been an upwelling in the number of soccer fans throughout the United States. While the sports is not native to the United States, it has slowly been gaining popularity amongst US resident, mainly buoyed by the positive performances by the US male and female soccer teams.

The Men’s National Team

The US Soccer men’s team has had a mixture of results in their history, never having won the FIFA World Cup. However, the level of the men’s game has a long way to go, considering the development of football in the European and South American leagues. However, this has not deterred the viewing of soccer matches by Americans. The table below depicts the highest rated matched of the world cup that involved the US in order of the number of viewer.

Interestingly, as depicted in the table, a number of the highest rated matches in World cup history have involved the United States. This is testament to the growth of the style of football within the nation, adopting a rather direct and tactical approach to their gameplay, as opposed to the flair synonymous with their South American counterparts.

The Women’s National Team

The women’s national team is largely regarded as the crown jewel of soccer in the United States. The women’s soccer team has recently, on July 5, 2015 secured their third world cup title after running down Japan 5-2 in a thrilling match. This success is the epitome of the growth and development of soccer within the United States.

The 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup is renowned as the real ignition of the revolution of soccer in the United States. Jeré Longman states that “That tournament (the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup) was as much a movement as a sporting event as women’s soccer came into the mainstream” (Longman). This brought to light the potential that the US had with soccer. The rapid growth in women’s soccer in the United States is largely attributed to the growing interest in female fans as depicted in the number of female fans attending MLS games. This is depicted in the table below, with the graph highlighting the inherent trend in MLS game attendance.

The growing prominence of soccer in the United States currently threatens the very existence of some of the oldest sports known to the American Culture. Soccer has considerable gained ground against baseball, the game that is associated with the American culture. According to Kyle Chayka “Soccer (in the form of U.S. Major League Soccer) has caught up to Major League Baseball among young sports aficionados” (Chayka).

Soccer in undeniably a growing sport that is being embraced by the American culture. It has realized considerable growth within the past decade with the latest results from the national teams depicting a positive future for the sport within the country. However, will the sport’s growth threaten the very existence of some of America’s oldest sports? Will the likes of Baseball and American football slowly get shelved by the growing popularity and media coverage of soccer? This is a matter of culture, trends and the impact of globalization.

Works Cited

Chayka, Kyle. “Will Soccer Ever Be as Big as Football in the United States?” 11 June 2014. PSMAG.com. Internet Source. 17 July 2015. <http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/world-cup-sports-will-soccer-ever-be-as-big-as-football-in-the-united-states-83122>.

Longman, Jeré. “In a Rout and a Romp, U.S. Takes World Cup.” 5 July 2015. NYTime.com. Internet Source. 17 July 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/sports/soccer/womens-world-cup-usa-defeats-japan-to-win-title.html>.

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