They say that the World Cup wakes up the national spirit. For Americans, this has been the case despite the country performing dismally in soccer. When Europe and South American teams roar, Americans have watched on the terraces.
However, that seems to be changing thanks to exciting footballing prospects. Notable footballing names such as Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Tim Howard played abroad. Christian Pulisic is a promising talent ready to explode into the national scene after starring for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
The fortunes of soccer no longer depend on the World Cup frenzy. Soccer aficionados in America realize that the World Cup is an opportunity. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans watched football at the highest level every day. International Champions Cup organizers slotted the event four days after the final whistle of the World Cup.
They brought in Europe’s finest teams to the event. UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid and runners up Liverpool graced the occasion. Other global soccer brands such as Manchester United, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester city lined up for the event, too.
The good news is that Americans consume global and local football. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is home to Atlanta United, averages over 50, 000 fans every week. The MLS side started just four years ago. When the English Premier League giants renewed their grand rivalry at the Michigan Big House, over 100,000 fans turned up.
Major League Soccer is not comparable to Europe’s leading leagues. The ICC is also not the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, but there are significant strides to show that soccer in America has a bright future.
Big teams no longer come to hunt for fan base; they also come to prepare for the regular season. Big stars come to train and compete against the best. The pre-season friendlies are played at the highest level. When a team slacks, it gets a hammering. Elite coaches such as Jose Mourinho are taking pre-season seriously. In return, they are giving fans a reason to turn up in large numbers.
Whether America qualifies for the World Cup or not, soccer is standing on firm ground. The league is attracting the best talents globally, not just the former stars in their twilight years.