The United States has been participating in soccer from the 'sidelines' while the rest of the world regards it as the most popular sporting activity. Instead, American Football (NFL) is the country's most prestigious sport.
However, soccer is gaining popularity in the nation following initiatives involving the most prominent names and providers in soccer. Others are indirect factors like the influence of social media bringing soccer closer to Americans.
What is Making Soccer More Popular than Football in the U.S?
There is no denying that NFL is still the most popular sport in the U.S. It is majorly played in the states and partially in countries where the country has endorsed the sport.
The integration of soccer into the domestic league, Major League Soccer (MLS), is the start of popularizing the sport in the country. You can try soccer bet online to wager on MLS games and have your chance to win big cash.
So, what else is making soccer more popular than the NFL?
Soccer Legends Playing in the MLS
The MLS has graced some of the biggest names in the league. The current famous mention is Gareth Bale (Los Angeles FC), a multiple European and Club World Cup champion with Real Madrid.
Also, the league is utilized by most European stars to elongate their careers after signing off from the top clubs in Europe. Apart from Bale, here are other current players attracting traction to the league:
● Xherdan Shaqiri – Chicago Fire
● Giorgio Chiellini – Los Angeles FC
● Douglas Costa – L.A. Galaxy
Other notable players to have played in the MLS and attracted a significant following include Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney (D.C. United) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L.A. Galaxy).
Involvement of Key Players in European Leagues
You've probably heard people refer to Christian Pulisic (Chelsea Winger) as 'Captain America'. He is a young American who has made many Americans turn their heads toward the English Premier League (EPL).
Together with Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ Ac Millan) and Weston McKennie(Juventus), they are helping popularize the sport all around America in their respective leagues.
The players mentioned above are now getting compared to NFL players regarding their influence in U.S. sports. For instance, Pulisic has been referred to as Brady or Lebron James of Soccer.
Media Coverage and Support in the Qatar World Cup
The 2022 world cup has been hyped widely in the U.S., and the media have urged citizens to back the USMNT throughout the competition. You'll be interested to know that this is the most hyped team by the media, not necessarily due to their talent, but rather to show interest in soccer at large.
The extended media coverage exposes U.S. citizens to the soccer universe through their team. Recently, NBC started broadcasting EPL matches and, in the process, acquired Peter Dury, a legendary commentator.
In the wake of 30th Nov, after the USMNT qualified for the round of 16, you can bet that the team will receive similar coverage as the NFL matches after every Sunday night.
Social Media Influence
When using the gutter press media as U.S. residents, you are easily exposed to European soccer and other leagues like South American versions. People are now getting up close with the game's big names like Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo.
A good example is a social media influencer, IshowSpeed, who has single-handedly created soccer awareness for most through his social media escapades relating to soccer, especially concerning Portuguese star Christiano Ronaldo.
It will take some time before soccer surpasses the NFL as the most beloved sport in the U.S. However, soccer is slowly gaining traction in the country, and sooner, there might be a balance between the two. As we await to see how things unfold, we wish the USMNT a successful outing in the Qatar World Cup.