On this planet, no other sport is as popular as soccer. In every continent and country worldwide, soccer is being played. Whenever I step into America, I always ask myself this question: why is soccer not so popular for Americans? One of the most notable facts, they call it soccer. But in most other countries, it is known as football. So I did my research on this and was able to get some of the reasons why Americans prefer other sports over this “amazing game”.
So, the main question of the topic is “why is it not popular in the United States?” The answer is simple, it is because of the American culture. There are a huge number of thoughts that simply do not go with the social beliefs of Americans. Some historical events made soccer an unattractive sport for them.
We all know that with time, our culture changes day by day. And through its changing of culture soccer is becoming more and more popular.
Now the second question will be in your mind that “is there any chance of soccer becoming more popular in America?” Well, I do not see that as any type of impossible thing. During the last years, I have personally seen the increases in fan participation and social acceptance of the sport, Soccer.
With little success, some of them tried a lot to bring the game over before. But there has always been a good number of challenges of moving parts needed to get it on track. Such as the MLS clubs and leagues, the US national team, the education system, the media, youth academies, and Tv channels. All of them have to work hard to promote these games.
The Reasons Behind Why Soccer Is Not Popular in America
I have found out these 6 reasons that will answer why soccer is not popular in America;
- The first reason for the following question is that Americans are not really on top in soccer.
- Secondly, they are not ideal for marketing and business in terms of this sport.
- The next reason will be that they have an obsession with excessively big things.
- One of the good reasons will be that American’s cannot stand with a tie.
- Also, they do much faking of injuries.
- And last but not the least, 1863 and England expansion.
Now, we will elaborate on every reason why soccer is not popular in the United States.
America is Not Really on Top in Soccer
There is an obsession among the American’s that they want to be the best at everything which is not bad at all. If we look in the pages of history books, they have always tried to win at every race. They have fought their lifetime just to be the number one powerful country in the world. And as a result, we can see that they are on the top right now.
Without a doubt, to gain complete dominance over the world they fought in WWI and WWII. Also, they constantly intervene in international events to make people feel their dominance. The main point is that the Americans do like to have everything under control and make sure that they are on top of the mountain.
In the case of sports, there are 3 most popular sports in the United States are Basketball, baseball, and American Football. These are the sports in which America is the best.
It is also funny when we hear the reporters saying “They are the new world champions” because the game is played in one country. Obviously, the United States has the best American Football, players. It is quite sure that they will be number 1 in football.
Now if we talk about basketball, the United States was in the 18 Olympic games. Out of the 18 games, they have 15 gold medals which are very commendable.
But what about soccer? Soccer is an international sport which indicates that there will be tough teams and leagues on every continent. It is kind of ridiculous to say that the team who wins the league is ‘the world champion’. Because there is only one league in a country.
Soccer is so popular in the world which makes it more and more competitive. The soccer team of America is not considered as one of the best teams to compete in the soccer world. If we talk about last year, they did not even qualify for the World Cup. And also their best World Cup participation was long back in 1930 where they obtained 3rd place. And that was the first world so you will be able to guess the competitiveness difference. Because they were invited and teams didn’t even need to qualify them.
You will also have to agree that in the CONCACAF confederation, there are some of the amazing teams like Mexico who used to beat every team easily back in the ’90s and early ’00s. Also, there are teams like Costa Rica, Panama, and Jamaica, etc. So we can clearly say that it is very hard for America to compete with the team they have.
As American Culture always wants to be the number 1 at everything but they are not the best at soccer this can be the reason behind disliking this sport. As humans, we don’t like to see ourselves losing.
For America Soccer is Not Ideal for Business and Marketing Purposes
The people of America have a materialistic behavior. Their corporation always wants to make as much money as possible. They mostly like to promote the most ad-friendly sports. And in this section, you will find sports like Baseball, Basketball, and American Football which are coincidental.
If you talk about American Football, you will get to see these breaks like timeouts, end of the 1st and 3rd quarter, injury timeouts, 2-minute warnings, halftime, and stoppage after score and turnover, stoppage after punt and kickoff returns, and coach challenges.
So if we talk about international soccer, you will only find halftime which makes it not suitable for advertisement and reason for not being famous in America.
Excessive Big Things are Their Obsession
It is another reason why soccer is not popular in America. They are most likely to prefer big things. From food to streets, you will find everything extra.
If you look into their preferred sports such as football, the average point of each team is 20-29 points in one game. Also in Baseball, you will see an average of 9 runs in each game. And in the NBA, you will get to see one team scoring 97 points at least in a game.
Now if we talk about soccer we don’t see this amount of scores. Not even close to them. Back in the old days of soccer, we used to see an average of 5 goals in each game. But now these are rarely seen. You will barely see an average of 2-2.6 goals per game. This is why soccer does not go with the culture of America.
Americans do not Support a Tie
This can be one of the most important reasons why soccer is not famous in America. Americans do not like to waste their time at all. They are most likely to figure out the best way to use it. If they watch a game, there has to be a winner. In Basketball, American Football, and Baseball usually you will get a winner for sure. They hate it if there is a draw or tie in the game.
In terms of soccer, you will have to face it very often. And I also agree with them. Because watching a game for 90 minutes and ending up with a draw or tie is very irritating.
Much Faking of Injuries
If we compare the roughness of American football and soccer, we will see a huge difference. In soccer, players are most likely to exaggerate and simulate fouls by rolling over the ground and shouting.
Now if we imagine a person who mostly watches American Football went to watch soccer, he will most likely feel it is very wrong. Because flopping is a very clever strategy for soccer. It is seen very often on the pitch which helps to get the referee’s decision to their side. Such as showing a red or yellow card or getting a penalty.
Soccer is a very raw game which is the beauty of the game. You will not get to see very much interference with technology. Here if the referee makes a mistake the whole game can be changed. Not always do players fake their injuries, wise players know how and when to use it.
We know that American sports are a bit physical and aggressive games. For Americans, it is a little bit hard to accept flopping. But they do not have an idea how much physical soccer can be.
1863 And The Expansion of England
We believe that England was the place where the rules of association football were written and the year was 1863. Surrounding countries like France and Netherland were able to know the rules and also European’s helped the game to grow its audience in various continents such as South America, Asia, and Africa.
But one place where soccer could not reach was in America. Games like Rugby were played in this country. A book called “Tom Brown at Rugby” introduced this game. So we can say that the historical events did not allow soccer to spread in America from the beginning.
Is There Any Chance of Soccer being Popular in America?
These are the reasons why soccer is not popular in America. Soccer is truly the most popular sport worldwide. More than 4 billion people watched the last world cup where the most-watched super bowl is only 114 million. So there is no doubt about it. But if you are an American you will not find out who is very much famous.
For women of America, their performance in soccer is very commendable. Because they have won the World Cup 3 times. Moreover, in 2026, the World Cup will be held in Mexico, America, and Canada which is a very good opportunity to spread this game.
Now is the time to take the necessary steps to spread this game all over America. For this, I think we need to get some good and quality workers to upgrade the situation of the sport. Because it is a very famous game and a very good place to represent the country. I hope you did get all the information on why soccer is not popular in America by reading this blog.
James Anderson loves sports and writes about them. He is a sports ethicist who has studied ethical issues in sport for over 20 years. James is also an avid runner, cyclist, and skier.
Words from the Author:
‘’I have been writing about sports for over 20 years, and I am a sports ethicist by trade. My work has always focused on the ethical dimensions of sport, and I have studied it in depth both academically and practically. In addition to being an avid runner, cyclist, and skier myself, I love all types of athletics from baseball to gymnastics.’’