More Sportssoccer1 on 112th man3-5-2 formation4-1-4-1 formation4-2-3-1 formation4-2-4 formation4-3-3 formation4-4-2 formation4-5-1 formationaggregate scorefifa world cupassociation footballatlanta united fcchicago firecolorado rapidscolumbus crew scdc unitedendlinefc cincinnatifc dallasfootball versus soccerfourth officialgdhistoryhouston dynamohow does scoring work in soccer?soccer or footballIs Soccer An Olympic Sport?la galaxylearnlos angeles fcminnesota united fcmls promotion and relegationmls soccer club processmontreal impactnew england revolutionnew york city fcnew york red bullsoffsidesorlando city scphiladelphia unionportland timbersreal salt lakesan jose earthquakesseattle sounders fcslide tackle1-2-7 formation1012 on 12-3-5 formation3 on 24-3-2-1 formation4-4-1-1 formation4-6-0 formation5-4-1 formationadded timeadvantage ruleafrica cup of nationsarticlesattacking halfattacking midfielderattacking thirdaway goals ruleback pass ruleback tacklebasicsboundary rulesbreakawaybundesligabylinecap tiedcaptaincdmcenter circlecenter forwardcenter spotcenterbackclean sheetclearclock rulescoin toss rulescomposurecornercorner flagcorner kickscrosscut the angledead ball rulesdefenderdefender typesdefensedefensemandefensive halfdefensive midfielderdefensive thirddefensive walldeflectiondesignated player ruledrawdribblerdribblingengland premier leagueenglish football associationequalizerequipment listextra timefcfield componentsfield dimensionsfield of playfifafinal whistleflopsfootworkformationsforwardfoulsfreekickfullbackgame clock rulesgame lengthgame typesgoal areagoal kickgoal linegoal line technologygoalkeepergolden goalhalftime ruleshat trickhead refereeholding midfielderinstep kick and passinterceptintermissionkickoffleagueslinesmanlingolinkmanman to manmiddle thirdmidfieldmidfield anchormidfield linemidfielderfranchise relocationmls teams listnear postneutral groundoffenseoffensive strategyoffensive halfofficials and refereesout of boundsoutside backpass typepassing rulespenatly arcpenalty areapenalty boxpenalty cardspenalty kickpenalty shootoutpenalty shotpenalty spotpenalty takerperiodpitchpitch invasionpitch linesplayer positionpoacherspossessionpostred cardrefereerelegationrulesscoring rulesset pieceshapeshootingshooting techniqueshootout rulesshort handedshot typessidelinesquad rotation systemstoppage timestopperstrikersubstitution rulessummarysweepertacklethe fieldthirds of the fieldthrow instimeoutstop cornertouchlinetournaments listtransfer windowturnovertwo legged tietwo way midfielderuefa champions leagueunited states national teamunsportsmanlike conductvar instant replaywingeryellow cardsporting kansas citystreet soccertop 10 rulesthree lions (football's coming home)top 10 brandstop 5 ranked mens players of all timetop womens playerstoronto fcvancouver whitecapsrules of soccerWhat Is Considered A Foul In Soccer?footballsoccer in america
  1. soccer
  2. soccer in america

Why Is Soccer Not Popular In America?

Table of Contents


A common misconception, soccer is actually incredibly popular in the US. The trick is that while traditionally, popularity is measured by television numbers, in a digital and far more diverse era, soccer has thrived in mediums not traditionally measured.

Television Popularity

But let's start with television anyways. This past summer, the FIFA World Cup Final drew over 5 million views on just the Spanish broadcast of the game in the United States. That's more than any game of the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals or World Series. And that's always been a huge part of inaccurately measuring soccer success; English television ratings, the traditional measure, don't measure all of the fandom. To truly gauge soccer's popularity, you have to combine multiple language broadcasts for the whole picture. Digital streaming is also not included in most traditional television numbers. This past FIFA World Cup saw US streaming numbers at an all-time high, including over 5 million for just Argentina's opening match. So people are watching soccer more than a lot of sports in the US, they're just watching in ways we're not used to measuring.

No One League to Watch

Another key in the misidentification in soccer fandom is the plethora of soccer content and how to accurately measure a fan who just watches one league or a fan who watches all leagues. In the US, every major television network has a TV and streaming deal with a different soccer league. If you aggregated all these viewers and streamers into one number, soccer immediately becomes the most watched sport each week. However, that feels disingenuine and we haven't seen a perfectly accurate number yet. What we're stuck with is each network and league proudly promoting their US viewership, but the numbers make soccer look smaller than it really is.

Video Games

Finally, the FIFA video games series made by Electronic Arts (EA) for gaming devices has drastically improved soccer's reach in the US. The FIFA 18 version of the game for the 2017-18 soccer season sold more than EA's National Football League game at over 2.1 million copies in the United States. Many believe that the prominence of this game in the under 25 crowd is redefining soccer fandom, as kids are able to play as teams all over the world and build custom teams, allowing them to follow players rather than teams.


Sports QuestionsSoccer Articles