12 Reasons Why Soccer Is Not Popular In The United States

There are many reasons why soccer is not popular in the United States but one of the main reasons is it is that not part of the culture of the Americans. They are more into American football, basketball, and baseball.

Off course, there are many other reasons as well that contribute to the lack of popularity of soccer in the US, and all of them are discussed in detail below so you can get a better understanding.

Reasons why soccer is not popular in the US

Soccer is not in US culture

One of the main reasons why soccer isn’t popular in the United States is because of the culture. Culturally speaking, many American kids grow up playing baseball, basketball, or American football. This is why it’s much harder for soccer to become a popular sport in the US as people are already used to watching and playing other sports.

Looking back on history, sports like baseball, basketball, or American football have a huge history in the US, making it very difficult for soccer to gain any traction. For example, baseball is considered to be “America’s game” and has been around since the mid-18th century. The same is the case with American football, which has been around for over 150 years in the US.

12 Reasons Why Soccer Is Not Popular In The United States

On the other hand, by the early 1900s soccer became a little popular in the urban areas of the US, but due to a lack of proper infrastructure and resources it didn’t manage to gain much traction.

So by the time soccer arrived in the US, people already had their favorite sports and weren’t as inclined to switch over to soccer.

Soccer is not a competitive sport in the United States

The competition in a game is a major factor in why people get interested in watching or playing it. In the US, soccer is not as competitive and fast-paced compared to other sports like football, basketball, and baseball.

This lack of competition and excitement makes it hard for soccer to gain a loyal audience in the US. Let’s take European soccer for example. With teams fighting for titles in various leagues like UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, and Laliga, etc in these leagues, the competition is incredibly intense and makes it much more interesting for people to watch.

On the other hand, in the United States, there are only a few teams and leagues, so there isn’t much competition and excitement. This makes it hard for people to get interested in the sport.

Lack of media attention

Media also play an important role in why people get interested in a sport. In the US, soccer does not get much media attention compared to baseball, basketball, and American football. This makes it difficult for soccer to gain more popularity in the United States as people are unaware of what’s happening in the sport or why they should watch it.

The book Tom Brown at Rugby

In the year 1863, rules of association soccer were written in England. After these rules were written, people started to spread these rules in other European, South American, African, and Asian countries. In Europe, soccer was becoming popular those days. 

While this was going on in Europe, Rugby was becoming popular in the United States and this was seen in Thomas Hughes’s book Tom Brown at Rugby. This book became quite famous among Americans and it encouraged them to play rugby or American football instead of focusing on soccer. 

It was a novel written by Thomas Hughes in the 1860s that tells the story of Tom Brown’s time at rugby school. Due to this, the lack of interest in soccer was further increased and Americans shifted their focus to rugby and American football. 

Attracting big players

Big players attract and encourage the audience to take an interest in a sport this is why American sports like basketball, baseball, and American football have gained popularity in the US. But unfortunately, the United States has badly failed to attract soccer any big players to play.

Let me explain with an example how big players can make a sport popular. Cristiano Ronaldo signed a deal with the Saudi soccer club Al-Nassr in December 2022. After Ronaldo’s signing, the club saw a massive surge in its fan base, as more people wanted to watch him play with one of the biggest soccer stars in the world.

It’s reported that Ronaldo’s arrival at the club increased the league viewership by seven percent which is huge. This big signing, will not only help the club to become more popular but also soccer in Saudi as more people will start taking an interest in the sport.

It’s also reported that Saudi is getting ready to make a bid to host the soccer World Cup 2030 and Saudi will use these big soccer stars as ambassadors for their country. So you can see why big players are important for the growth of a sport and why soccer hasn’t been able to gain much traction in the United States.

Lack of big league 

The United States is good at organizing leagues and tournaments for other popular sports, such as the NBA and NFL. But unfortunately, they have failed to do so in soccer. The lack of big leagues and tournaments in the US makes soccer less attractive to people in the US. This is why soccer has been unable to gain much popularity in the US.

Let’s have a look at Europe. Europe has some of the biggest soccer leagues and tournaments, such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, and UEFA Champions League.

All these leagues are incredibly competitive and the teams that play in these leagues attract all the soccer big stars around the world. That’s what makes European soccer incredibly popular amongst soccer fans across the world.

Lack of talented players

Young players look up to their national stars as idols and want to follow in their footsteps. But unfortunately, the US does not have any high-profile players that young kids can look up to except a few like Chelsea star Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie.

Even these players prefer to play in Europe than the United States as it offers more competitive leagues, bigger opportunities, and better exposure. So this is one of the many factors why soccer has failed to gain any traction in the United States.

On the other hand, European countries Germany, France, and Croatia, etc have big stars like Thomas Muller, Antoine Griezmann, Luka Modric, and many other players which is why people in these countries love to play and watch soccer.

Lack of support from the government

You may not know that government can also play an important role in why a sport gets popular. Governments can provide financial support and other resources which can help the sport to grow.

Unfortunately, in the US soccer doesn’t get much support from the government. This lack of financial and other resources makes it hard for soccer to be popular in the US.

It’s not that the United States government doesn’t have the money or resources to support soccer, but everyone including the government supports other sports like basketball, baseball, and American football in terms of funds, resources, and media attention for their American sports.

Lack of investment from people

People also play an important role in why a sport becomes popular. People need to invest their time and money into the sport which will encourage the government and other sponsors to invest in the sport.

Unfortunately, this culture is missing in the US which is why people are not taking an interest in soccer. 

In Europe, people invest a lot of money in their local soccer teams. People invest money and come to the stadium to watch the games. This investment encourages people to take more interest in soccer and thus, making it more popular.

Europeans also invest money in their kids and encourage them to play soccer from a young age. This also helps in making soccer more popular amongst the younger generation. And that’s one of the reasons why Europe is able to produce some of the fine talented players in the world like Mbabpe and Halland.

Lack of sponsors

Sponsors play an important role to make a sport popular. Sponsors go where the people are. In other words, sponsors follow where they can get the maximum sales and other benefits out of it.

Because people don’t follow soccer, big companies are not willing to invest in it. This is why soccer is still underdeveloped in the US and why it hasn’t been able to become popular. If people start to show more interest in the sport, then sponsors will follow and it will help soccer to become more popular.

On the other hand, big companies have been investing a lot in other popular sports like basketball and baseball since United States citizens show more interest in these sports. In Europe, where soccer is popular, big companies invest a lot of money.

Lack of incentives for players

Another reason why soccer has failed to produce talented soccer players is the lack of incentives for players. Soccer is not as lucrative in the US compared to other sports like Basketball and American Football which makes it difficult for talented soccer players to choose soccer as a career or to stay in the United States and play there.

This eventually hurts the young upcoming players who could have the potential to become some of the best soccer players in the world.

On the other hand, in Europe, the incentives for Soccer players are much better and that’s why Europe produces some of the finest soccer players in the world. Even US soccer players want to go to Europe in order to get more incentives and better opportunities.

Why are American people not interested in soccer?

Americans hat a tie match

One strange reason why some Americans have a strong dislike for soccer is that they hate when a match ends in a tie. As Americans are used to seeing their favorite team win or lose at the end of the match, they find it hard to understand why a soccer match can end in a tie after playing for about one and a half hours.

One reason behind this could be that sports like Basketball, baseball, and American football games usually have a clear winner and loser, while soccer doesn’t have that kind of excitement because many soccer matches end with a tie.

Faking injuries in soccer

Another reason why some Americans hate soccer is because of the fake injuries that happen in soccer and there are many reasons why soccer players fake injuries. Soccer players often exaggerate their injuries and lie on the ground to waste time or get a player from the opposite team sent off.

This behavior frustrates Americans and makes them think why can’t players just play without faking injuries? This behavior is because Americans like tough sports without any drama and they are used to seeing sports like American football and basketball, where players don’t fake injuries.

Let me explain that with the help of an example, imagine a person who loves American football, which is a very physical game, as it heavily involves pushing each other. Now, when this person is watching a player in soccer faking an injury or wasting time by lying on the ground, it automatically makes him angry and frustrated.

Will soccer ever be popular in the United States?

Have you ever thought about the future of soccer in America? Despite the fact that soccer is not popular in the USA yet, it still has a lot of potential to become more popular. Soccer has gained some popularity in recent years, as more and more people are getting interested in the sport.

The US soccer team has been performing well recently and this has also helped to increase enthusiasm among Americans. Also, some talented players are showing up in the US which is a sign that people are taking an interest in the game.

Some matches of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in the US, can also be a major factor in making soccer popular amongst Americans. This world cup will increase the level of interest in soccer and can help to make the sport more popular.

One of the best Spanish leagues in the world is also planning to arrange some matches in the United States to promote the game in the country. Overall, there is still hope that soccer can become a major sport in the States and become as popular as other sports like basketball, football, and baseball.

How popular is soccer in the United States?

At the moment, soccer is not as popular in the US as it is in other parts of the world like Europe. According to a survey conducted in 2004, only 2% of Americans considered soccer as their favorite sport, while other sports such as basketball, baseball, and American football were preferred by a large number of people.

According to the same survey that was held in 2022, 18% of Americans considered soccer as their favorite sport which is a huge improvement and shows that the popularity of soccer is increasing in the US.

However, it still has a long way to go before it reaches the level of popularity that other sports have in the US. A lot of work needs to be done to make soccer popular amongst Americans, and with the help of upcoming events like the world cup and others, it seems like this dream is not too far away.

Why soccer is not an ideal sport for marketers and businesses in America?

Soccer is a 90 minutes game, only two 45 minutes halves, on the other hand, sports like American football have a lot of stoppage time. stoppage times like time out, half time, and many more. This stoppage time allows marketers to show their advertisements on television in between the game.

In soccer, there is no such thing as time out. This makes it difficult for marketers and businesses to advertise their products because there is a small break of 10-15-minute in between the two halves.

However, advertising in a soccer game is ideal for European marketers and businessmen because there are a lot of soccer fans in Europe. This means that if they advertise during a soccer game, they can get high viewership and get more sales.

Why is football more popular than soccer in America?

One of the main reasons why football is more popular than soccer in America is because Americans have grown up playing American football since childhood and that has become part of the culture. In other words, soccer is not traditionally played in the US and thus it is difficult for people to fully understand or appreciate the game.

Another reason why the popularity of football is higher than soccer is because of its TV exposure. Football games tend to be more exciting and entertaining than soccer games, which makes them more appealing to viewers. Additionally, football tends to receive much more media coverage than other sports such as soccer. This means that more people are exposed to it, and thus are more likely to enjoy watching it.

Finally, football’s popularity can be attributed to its appeal as an American pastime. Football is seen as part of the fabric of American culture, and many Americans consider it to be one of their favorite activities. This emotional connection to the sport helps to ensure its continued popularity in America.

How soccer can become popular in the United States?

In order for soccer to become more popular in the United States, it must first be made more accessible. One way to do this is by making sure that soccer games are broadcast on television so that more people can watch the sport. Additionally, youth programs need to be made available for those who wish to learn the sport. Soccer camps and leagues should also be made available for people of all ages, no matter their skill level.

Another strategy for making soccer more popular in the U.S. is to promote it across the country through marketing. America needs to provide incentive big incentives to the top players to play in America, this will make the sport more attractive to young people who want to pursue a professional career in soccer.

America has already started to take steps in the right direction, with the founding of Major League Soccer (MLS), and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). They were also successful in attracting big players like Davin Beckham, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, the league still has a lot of room to grow in popularity.

Saudi Arabia is also trying to make soccer popular in the country and they have been applying the same strategy by introducing incentives for professional players to play in the country. As of now, they are successfully attracted Cristiano Ronaldo and are after Lionel Messi. This strategy can be a game changer and is likely to bring more attention to the game in a country.


In conclusion, soccer is not popular in the United States for several reasons. Americans are used to seeing a clear winner and loser at the end of a match, and they don’t like players faking injuries or wasting time and they are more into aggressive sports. On the other hand, soccer is not that kind of sport which makes Americans less interested in the game.

However, soccer still has the potential to become popular in the US. In the US team’s recent performance, some talented players emerged from the country, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the US, can help to increase enthusiasm amongst Americans.

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