It’s disheartening to observe the current state of soccer’s growth in the United States over the years. The stark numbers don’t lie: out of 122 home friendly matches played since 2002, a mere 12 managed to sell out. This dismal record paints a vivid picture of a significant lack of enthusiasm and support for the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT).
Even in competitive matches, where the stakes are higher, the USMNT has struggled to fill seats. With just 40 out of 128 home competitive matches selling out since 2002, it becomes abundantly clear that a substantial problem exists within the realm of American soccer.
The over-commercialization of soccer by U.S. Soccer has led to skyrocketing costs for both playing and watching the sport. This financial barrier makes it increasingly challenging for aspiring young talents from diverse backgrounds to access quality opportunities and fully engage with the sport they love. In essence, the sport’s accessibility is compromised.
What’s even more concerning is the admission by U.S. Soccer that they have intentionally overcharged fans to bolster their bottom-line profits. This brazen prioritization of revenue over the growth of the sport and the interests of the fans is nothing short of a betrayal to the soccer community. It serves as a glaring indicator that the governing bodies are out of touch with the core values of the sport and are failing to prioritize its long-term development.
The current state of US soccer demands a reevaluation of priorities, a commitment to inclusivity, and a renewed dedication to fostering a genuine passion for the sport. It’s time for a meaningful shift that puts the love of soccer and its fans back at the heart of the game.