With these two events approaching, the popularity of soccer is destined to increase in America, even more with these new opportunities provided.
Soccer/Football is one of the most popular sports in the world in terms of viewership and participation. Even though this sport is played and is popular in almost every nation in the world, the situation in America is quite different.
In other countries (i.e Brazil, Italy, Germany), soccer/football is the primary sport and it has been that way for years. America has other prominent sports like Basketball, American Football, and Baseball which are the most popular in the country.
As a result, soccer sort of took a backseat to the more dominant sports for a long time. Despite these factors, the U.S. still competed well with some of the world's most talented teams.
Since the disappointment of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, United States soccer has grown in popularity, as well as its talent level.
Major League Soccer is doing as well as it ever has. Every year, new expansion teams like Charlotte FC are added to the league, which is a sign that its popularity will continue to grow.
To all of the readers who are from Northern Virginia, we even also have a professional team right here in our backyard, Loudoun United FC
Investments and expansions like these were created with the ambition to increase the popularity of soccer locally in the United States.
In the coming months, the soccer world will turn its attention to November’s Qatar World Cup, a multibillion-dollar spectacle poised to be unlike any World Cup before it.
As I previously mentioned, the talent in the national team is arguably the best it's probably ever been. If the U.S can do well, which would be to make the Quarter-finals (which hasn't been done since 2002) the buzz around the sport in the nation would increase massively.
Recently, it has been announced that the 2026 World Cup will be hosted in North America. There is nothing like hosting a World Cup. This is probably the biggest sporting event worldwide and the energy in the country will be amazing to see.
"It's a historic day for U.S. Soccer and the entire American soccer community,we couldn't be more excited to work with FIFA to host what we think will be the greatest World Cup in history."
The last time the World Cup was held in the United States was in 1994. During the years prior the U.S Soccer federation was near bankruptcy, and there was no league. After the World Cup drew 3.6 million spectators the interest in soccer in the U.S was at an all-time high.
This led to the MLS being created in 1996, and more than 20 years later the potential for further growth is still there.
As a parent, imagine taking your child to one of these cities to go watch their favorite player. When I was younger and I went to a friendly match, I saw Landon Donovan and was just amazed.
That was only a friendly match, I couldn't imagine going to a high-stakes World Cup match, and seeing world-class players like Mbappe, Vinicius Jr, and Pedri. A moment like this alone can flip a switch for any young soccer player and can help create new ambitions.
There is an undeniable potential for the growth of the soccer culture in the U.S. Here's the thing: this potential is not only for professional teams. It extends down to the youth level as well.
More interest leads to more opportunities.
More players focused to improve, more camps, more club teams, and more academy opportunities.
Anyone who is involved in soccer, whether it be parents, players, coaches, or fans, should be excited to see where the popularity of the game will go in the next 5 years.