Professional soccer started to become more competitive in the United States in the last few decades, and Major League Soccer was born.
Major League Soccer is the largest professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and its popularity drives online sportsbook MLS betting around the world.
The significant growth of the MLS has attracted many national and international players. Also, fans who don’t know how the MLS work has been attracted and fascinated by this growth.
This rise of American football began with the 1994 World Cup, after the tournament, the birth of Major League Soccer. Although, that didn’t make the sport popular among Americans until 10 years later when players like Kaká, Thierry Henry, Andrea Pirlo, Roberto Carlos, Rooney, Zlatan, and even Pelé chose to end their careers with teams in the United States.
Some active players that played in the league are Nani, Gonzalo Higuaín, Carlos Vela, etc.
History and Growth of Football in America
Except for Brazil, the country that bought the most tickets for the 2014 World Cup was the United States. According to FIFA’s estimate, less than two months before the start of the tournament, almost 170,000 tickets were purchased by Americans, indicating that the growth of soccer in the country is now a reality. Known for the organization and seriousness in sports, the United States of America embraced soccer.
On American television, advertisements about football and the World Cup are shown all the time. On the streets of big cities such as Washington DC, Miami, and Los Angeles, people wearing the US national team jersey have risen.
The high average attendance of MLS (Major League Soccer), the country’s main soccer league, draws the attention of local newspapers.
Interestingly, soccer was considered a sport aimed almost exclusively at women in the United States. Since the creation of the Women’s World Cup in 1991, the country has not been below third place: there have been two titles (1991 and 1999), in addition to one runner-up place (2011) and three third places (1995, 2003, and 2007).
The men’s team had the best performance in the first edition of the World Cup, in 1930, when they reached the third position. From 1990 onwards, the United States has featured in every edition after 1950.
The professionalization of soccer and the increasingly strong campaign around the sport’s image contributed to its evolution, attracting the attention of Americans and foreigners alike. The popular character of the sport for the rest of the planet also made the United States “grow its eyes” for football.
Football Growth Among Fans
News organizations have listened to the fans of basketball and baseball during their games, and they admit that soccer’s growth is impressive.
In 2010, a video became famous for “proving” the growth of football in the United States. The video shows reactions from fans in different parts of the country to Landon Donovan’s goal, scored in the match against Algeria.
The victory gave the Americans the qualification to the round of 16 and the first place in the group. The great celebration reinforced their interest in the sport and encouraged large companies to bet more and more on sponsorships.
The History of Major League Soccer
A professional soccer league in the USA and Canada emerged as an obligation for the country to host the World Cup in 1994. Two years later, the first MLS started, with 10 teams competing. That year’s champion was DC United.
In the following years, the league experienced a decline in popularity and had to revise some of the competition’s rules and formats to get the North American public interested again. However, the popularity of soccer in the USA only grew again when the country’s team performed well in the 2002 World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals.
In 2007, the first Canadian franchise began to play in Major League Soccer, and, also in the same year, David Beckham arrived in America to play in the league. With that and the rise of the American economy and the possibility of bringing football stars into the competition, the number of fans of the sport began to grow.
Undoubtedly, football in America has grown a lot and attracted more fans and renowned players interested in the salaries that the teams can offer. Now that you know a brief history of football in America, look up the dates of upcoming games and note football competitions in your calendar.