Soccer, or as the Europeans call it, football, has been played in the USA since the late 1800s. However, it wasn’t until recently that the sport gained popularity and respect in the country. In 2023, soccer is the fastest-growing sport in the country, no doubt aided somewhat by the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted stateside, as well as in Mexico and Canada.
The Three Best Supported European Soccer Clubs in the USA
But while soccer in America is on the rise, the popularity of Major League Soccer remains relatively low. This season, Los Angeles FC have been made +450 favorites by online sportsbook Bovada to retain the MLS trophy which they won in dramatic circumstances last season. However, many soccer fanatics in the US still prefer to support teams from Europe, rather than those closer to home.
And there is an obvious reason as to why this is. First and foremost, the world’s biggest and best teams strut their stuff on the other side of the pond. As you will see in this article, rather than supporting the likes of the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy, some prefer to wear the colors of those household names that have become synonymous with the beautiful game. So, without further ado, and in no order, here are the most popular European soccer teams with Americans.
If we’d had written this article two-and-a-half years ago, there’s no chance that a tiny club from North Wales playing in English football’s fifth tier would have featured. However, ever since Wrexham AFC were taken over by Hollywood megastars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, their popularity has skyrocketed, both in the US and globally. And if any of you have seen the incredible Disney Plus docuseries ‘Welcome To Wrexham’ you would understand why.
The Red Dragons have toiled in the National League for 15 years. The club has gone to the point of extinction numerous times, however, their loyal fanbase has always stuck with them. That was the key reason Reynolds and McElhenney chose the club as the one they wanted to purchase.
Since then, Wrexham has embarked on a Hollywood-fairytale-esque story. Last season, they lost the FA Trophy at Wembley in front of their Hollywood owners, as well as their spouses and their VIP guests David Beckham, Will Ferrell, and Kit Harrington. The following week, they lost in the playoffs which consigned them to another season in the fifth tier.
This term, however, things have started to come good. After edging out rivals Notts County in a season-long battle, the club finally secured promotion back to the English League. They also managed to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup, an incredible achievement for a club of their standing. Season two of Welcome to Wrexham will be premiering shortly, and it is sure to garner even more fans for the fledgling Welsh side.
Manchester United has a massive following in the United States. The primary reason for the club’s bucket load of supporters is the countless trophies won over the years. The Red Devils are the second most successful club in English football and have won the Premier League a record 20 times, as well as the Champions League on three occasions.
Another reason for their massive support base in the US is the fact that the club regularly tours the United States in the preseason. In fact, they will be facing off against the Wrexham at the end of July in San Diego. Additionally, several prominent American players have played for the club, including Tim Howard and Jovan Kirovski, and that has no doubt endeared the club further to its fans stateside.
We didn’t realize just how many supporters Napoli had in the United States. That was until the current campaign, which has seen the Azzurri come to the brink of their first Italian Championship since the days of Diego Maradona over three decades ago. But if you are living in New York, you will notice that when the current Serie A league leaders are in action, the city is awash with blue.
The sheer number of people in the Big Apple of Italian descent is well documented, and that is where the bulk of Napoli’s American fans are located. They recently blew a one-goal lead at home to Salernitana which would have secured a first Serie A crown since 1990. But as the club is 18 points clear of second place Lazio with just six games remaining, the title will be wrapped up shortly, and then the NYC street parties will truly get underway.
While the 2022/23 season has been better than any Napolista could have ever imagined, there is still an element of ‘What If’ attached to the campaign. That’s because the club crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the quarterfinals to fellow Italian outfit AC Milan. The Azzurri were heavily favored to progress to the semifinals of the competition, and who knows where beyond there, however instead, it will be the Rossoneri who faces off with their city rivals Inter for a place in the Istanbul showpiece in the coming weeks.