If you didn't believe that soccer could ever break in to the public consciousness then get a spoon out because here comes some humble pie.
According to a poll conducted by ESPN, the beautiful game is just as popular as 'America's pastime' Baseball with the youth of the country.
As the reports shows, 18 percent of Americans aged 12-17 count themselves as “avid fans” of MLS. The same amount identified themselves as baseball being their favourite sport.
The news will come as a big boost to MLS commissioner Don Garber and everybody behind the scenes at the organization who has been doing their utmost to push soccer and make it break up the traditional top four of pro sports in America.
The finding is incredible according to Rich Luker, the social scientist and baseball advocate who created the study, on the eve of the start of MLS’s 19th season.
“MLS has been around since 1996,” Luker said. “It is phenomenal that in just one generation it has gone from zero adherents to tying MLB, especially when you recognize this is the first generation to only know the United States with a professional soccer league. MLS is in their generational DNA.”
Their was an interesting reason for the growth Luker gave as well. He cited the emergence of the FIFA Soccer video games in America as a big boost to the sports love.
"EA Sports’ FIFA [franchise] has also contributed to the liking and knowledge of the sport in a way other sports video games have not, because Americans really did not know much about soccer before they started to play, as opposed to Madden, where they already understood plenty about the NFL.”
This notation makes sense. After all, who more than most plays video games....teenagers.
Major League Soccer is on the rise in the U.S and it doesn't look like stopping anytime soon.
The league has gotten so far already without major television backing, so just imagine how much it can take off with a big TV deal.