Do you remember the days when soccer was pretty much a matter of scornful discussion right here in the US? On US ground, we have our football, and we call the sport loved by the entire globe soccer, although its rightful name is football, to begin with. It is clear for everyone that soccer is not the number one sport in the US, since we have football, baseball and basketball to take the cake. However, I think that things are about to change and that we will find that soccer has the potential to become one of the most popular sports in the US.
It may have all started with the first FIFA World Cup held on US soil, back in 1994. Suddenly, there was an energy growing everywhere across the US, with us finally rooting for our soccer team, although there were so many countries with plenty of accolades under their names. It was clearly then that soccer gained traction in the States for the first time in history. For the first time, we saw why so many people across the globe were so madly in love with this sport. And we brought our contribution, too. 3.6 million fans attended the matches, and there were 11 million viewers glued to the screen in order to watch the outcome not only for our national team, but for the others, as well.
Now, after more than 20 years since those glorious times, things are undergoing a pretty important revolution. What I noticed from my activity as a soccer couch is that more and more young people are taking up soccer, which is a great thing. These young kids are all fans of the sport, and, when they are flipping through the channels, they are skipping even the most important events from other sports, just to watch soccer. They will grow and they will compete in important tournaments organized for soccer and they will bring the popularity of this sport even further.
After the MLS (Major League Soccer) was born and we had the famous David Beckham play for an US based team, we can safely say that we are on the right path to fame. People who are buying tickets and are attending MLS events are on the rise. Just in 2015, there were 12.7% more attendees to MLS matches than the year before. And the trend does not seem to show any signs of slowing down.
I see the potential is there and that we can play beautiful soccer. Now, every 4 years, when the World Cup is on, we are becoming crazier and crazier about our national team. Maybe, one day, US soccer players will even raise the cup above their heads, making us all proud.