It is no secret that soccer is not as popular in the United States as it is in other countries. In this blog post, we will explore 5 reasons why soccer has not taken off in America. Keep in mind that these are just generalizations – there are plenty of Americans who love soccer! But overall, here are 5 reasons why soccer is not popular in the United States:
#1 Americans are not the best in soccer
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team has not had a ton of success in international tournaments. In fact, the USMNT did not even make it to the World Cup this year! This lack of success is one reason why soccer is not as popular in America as it could be.
Americans love to see their country succeed, and when the USMNT falls short, that hurts the popularity of soccer. Additionally, Americans like to support teams that have a chance of winning – and unfortunately, soccer is not always seen as being able to win against other sports.
#2 Soccer is not a good tool for marketing and business
In the United States, businesses strive to make as much money as possible. The main TV networks in the United States are no exception. Obviously, their primary source of income when airing sporting events is advertising.
In soccer, there are no commercials during the game. This means that networks cannot make as much money from advertising, which is one of the reasons why it is not very popular in America.
Additionally, since these networks do not air many games on TV or pay top dollar to broadcast them live – they do not want to dedicate their resources (time and money) towards promoting something that will only be watched by a small audience anyway!
This lack of viewing opportunities leads us to our next point: if people can’t watch soccer on television, then how are they going to develop an interest in it? Without exposure constantly being pushed upon you at every turn (through advertising), Americans simply don’t have any reason to get into soccer.
#3 Faking of injuries
When we compare the roughness of soccer to that of American football, they are polar opposites. Soccer is not a physical sport in the same way that football is. This lack of physicality may be one reason why Americans do not enjoy soccer as much as football; it simply does not have the same appeal to them.
Additionally, this lack of physicality can sometimes lead to players faking injuries in order to get an advantage on the field. American audiences are not used to this – and thus find it unappealing. Football players are known for being tough and playing through pain, which is something that Americans admire.
Soccer also has a fair amount of flopping (or diving). Players will exaggerate contact or falls to try and win a free-kick or penalty. Again, because this is foreign to most American sports fans, it does not appeal to them. Read more about why soccer players fake injuries.
American football and basketball have hard fouls that are not tolerated – in soccer though, players will often trip over themselves or fall down from the slightest touch! This lack of physicality may be one reason why Americans don’t enjoy soccer as much as other sports; it simply does not have the same appeal for them.
#4 The American culture clearly has a preference for excessively big things. Players’ height and weight
The US is a big country, and its citizens are used to things that are big and dramatic. This may be one reason why Americans have not taken to soccer as much as people in other countries have.
Players’ height and weight is important factor in all sports. In America, as opposed to Europe and other countries, height and weight matter more than speed or agility. In soccer, traditionally players are smaller – both in terms of height and weight – compared with those who play football or basketball. This preference for larger people may be one reason why soccer is not popular in the United States; it simply does not fit into the American sporting culture.
Other countries that love soccer tend to value different things from their athletes: Spain values technical ability above physicality (and this has worked out well for them), while Brazil loves flair-filled dribbling skills! The US does not have a particular focus on any of these attributes – instead preferring taller athletes at most positions.
Soccer does not always have those big, explosive moments that Americans love – it can be a more slow, strategic game. Additionally, because soccer is not as popular in America, there are not as many opportunities for people to watch it on TV or see it live. And finally, soccer games can last up to 90 minutes, which is a long time compared to other sports that Americans enjoy watching.
#5 Americans can’t stand a tie
One of the biggest problems with soccer is that it can end in a tie. Unlike football and basketball, there are no overtime periods in soccer – so if the score is tied at the end of regulation, then both teams get a point.
This lack of finality is something that frustrates Americans because they are not used to it. In America, almost every sport has a definitive winner and loser – but this is not always the case in soccer.
Ties also make for less exciting games to watch on TV or live; as viewers, we do not know who is going to win until the very end (or sometimes not at all). This uncertainty does not make for good television ratings or viewership numbers.
These are the five main reasons why soccer is not popular in the United States. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!
Everything is heading toward soccer becoming the #1 sport in the USA. Right now soccer is one of the fastest-growing markets in America. Not just in sports, but as an autonomous economic sphere in general.
Soccer is growing in popularity.
The problem that soccer has in America is largely perceptual, arising from the cultural baggage it carries as a ‘foreign’ sport. This image problem can be tackled and overcome with concerted marketing and educational effort over time. With continued growth, support will increase and surpass other sports. Soccer’s popularity in America will continue to grow!
This shift is inevitable, Americans have begun to see the benefits of playing soccer – both on an individual level (health, teamwork) and a community level (social cohesion). As more people come to experience these benefits first-hand, the popularity of soccer in America will only continue to rise. So don’t give up hope just yet – we may not love soccer now, but eventually we will.