Soccer in America vs Soccer in the United Kingdom
Soccer is the world's game and has been rumored to have been played as far back as Roman times. The British have been created with the creation of modern soccer. While the game has spread through the world it has been slow to be received in the USA. However recently as a new generation of children are growing up in the States soccer has become more common in the American household. Soccer fans in the USA can now watch the great European leagues on networks like BEIN, NBC and FOX. While British soccer culture is decades ahead of the American game, US fans are trying to get the "world's game" recognized in the America.
Soccer Fans in the United States
While the US has been a member of FIFA since 1913 and came in 3rd during the first World Cup, America has failed to embrace the “World’s Game” until recently. However, the states have recently adopted the beautiful game as their own. Americans, while not avid supporters of club teams, have become some of the most diehard and radical national team supports in the world. The American Outlaws, the most notorious American supporting organization is a collection of American Soccer fans who are dedicated to going to USA games and or gathering in bars to watch the American National Team Soccer Games. The AO helped the US have the largest amount of visiting fans in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.
This is a sign of growing support of the sport however many “soccer fans” only support their national team and neglect to watch their local clubs. Up until recently it was very difficult for American fans of the “universal game” to watch the European Leagues such as the BPL and La Liga which are home to the best players in the world. However soccer is becoming much more popular among the Americans the fight over the broadcasting rights to the BPL which are up for grabs in 2016 is expected to result in multi-billion dollar bids from NBC and FOX. Soccer is becoming a commonplace in American Culture and it is likely the game will continue to grow in the US in future years. The one issue holding professional soccer in the US back is the lack of star talent in the MLS. This causes most American soccer fans to watch oversees matches instead of attending their locals club’s games.
Soccer in the United Kingdom
Fans of the Scottish Club Celtic rush the pitch after their win over rival SPL club Brentford.
Soccer is rumored developed on the British Isle as early as 1000 A.D; however it was banned by King Edward III in 1365. In 1800 England once again was consumed by Football Fever and there was a rush set up community soccer clubs. By the late 1800’s the Football Association was created and the organization presided over British Football. English football fans are renowned for their loyalty to their team, even rioting over controversial calls and big losses. British Soccer fans are die hard club fans and many former British Professionals have been quoted saying that in Britain club comes before country. British calendars are centered on the club aspect of the sport. On Boxing Day the BPL plays, as well as on New Year’s Day. Soccer is so big in Britain that the television rights for the league were sold to British Broadcasting Giant SkySports for 7.8 billion dollars. British soccer fans enjoy some of the best quality club soccer in the world and the Premier League is one of the top leagues in Europe even rivaling the popular Spanish La Liga for the best league on the continent. British fans are diehard and committed to their local clubs. The main reason British fans are so supportive of their clubs is that they grow up in a soccer based culture. Unlike American society which focuses on sports like Football and Baseball, British culture focuses mainly on soccer this has caused soccer to be a multi-billion dollar industry. The UK has become world renowned for its amazing league and it no doubt is one of the best places in the world to be a soccer fan.
Landon Donovan's extratime goal to put the US into the round of 16 during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa
Future of Soccer
While the USA is clearly behind England in League quality and fan support the US national team has become a regular visitor in the round of 16. The USA recently exploded into soccer fever last June before the loss to Belgium in the round of 16 during the World Cup in Brazil. While it is clear that America will support its national team during its patriotic endeavor for the world cup, it will be interesting if most Americans ever become interested in the club side of the sport. If American fans never embrace the club aspect of the game, the USA's soccer culture and fan base will continue to lag behind the British and other European nations.