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The Most Soccer-Enthused States In America

soccer-map

When it comes to soccer, America is a country divided. Some states are downright European in their embrace of the beautiful game, while others have shunned it like it was blood sausage in an English breakfast. In Washington State, it’s completely acceptable to leave work early to watch the World Cup at a nearby pub. In Alabama, that just might get you tossed off the side of the oil rig.

With this in mind, the real estate search site Estately set out to determine which states were home to a higher percentage of soccer enthusiasts, and which still believe it’s not a sport if you can’t use your hands. To decide on our rankings we used the following seven criteria:

  1. Average attendance for Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer League matches.
  2. The number of soccer-friendly pubs per capita, as determined by Live Soccer TV and Wrong Side of the Pond’s Soccer Pub Atlas.
  3. The number of Facebook users per capita in each state  expressing interest in FIFA World Cup, soccer, Major League Soccer, and any MLS team.
  4. The number of youth soccer clubs per capita.
  5. Facebook interest in the most popular foreign teams:  Manchester United FC, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF, Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, AC Milan, Liverpool FC, Inter Milan, Juventus FC, and FC Bayern Munich.
  6. Google searches for FIFA World Cup, U.S. soccer roster, World Cup schedule, adult soccer league, FIFA (video game series), and FIFA 14 (video game).
  7. The number of professional men’s and women’s soccer teams per capita from Major League Soccer, National Women’s Soccer League, North American Soccer League, and USL Pro.

 

soccer-rankings

In the end, Washington State came out on top for love of soccer, while Alabama was first for utter general disdain of the sport. Soccer enthusiasm tends to follow the typical blue state/red state divide, with the exception of Texas, which readily embraces the sport. Money may also be a factor, with wealthier states exhibiting more love for soccer than states with lower incomes. Or, it could be that states with higher numbers of foreign-born residents have more enthusiasm for soccer. America is a mysterious place.

Whether you’re the type to wake up early to watch every World Cup match live, or you think it’s a jailable offense to turn off a baseball game to show soccer, there’s a home for you somewhere in America. And if you can’t make up your mind, consider Vermont (24th), Delaware (25th), or Indiana (26th) because they can’t decide whether they like soccer or not either.

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, CNET, NPR, Houston Chronicle, NBC News, GeekWire, and more.

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OTHER ARTICLES BY ESTATELY

Will Your State Live or Die in a Zombie Apocalypse?

The Nerdiest States in America

Top U.S. Cities for D-Bags

 

  • Jordan G

    It’s not that I think that the list is absolute crap… I just think that the criteria for how they compiled the list is….. wait for it…… absolute crap. Soccer friendly bars, ok, maybe that is decent, but all the social media liking data is arbitrary in my opinion. I think that number of active participants (youth and adult) in a league, whether it be indoor, outdoor or whatever. TV ratings should definitely be included. For instance, On the opening day of EPL play, Tulsa, OK had the second highest Nielsen rating behind Washington DC. I am not saying that Soccer is king in Tulsa, OK but wouldn’t you say that there is at least more than a passing interest in the sport in that town. I am sure that in every state there is a large following of sorts. I’ll now hop off my soapbox and let you all get on with you day. Thanks, and keep on playing.

  • Art Mitchell

    Bogus criteria. Clearly looking to make Washington state number one. Northwest women’s soccer league. Wtf. How about a real national women’s soccer league like the pwsl or w league. May be the other men’s league like pdl etc.

  • vr2

    “Northwest Women’s Soccer League”? Perhaps you meant the NWSL, the National Women’s Soccer League.

  • Lorehead

    Just saw this now, three weeks later, and I have to say I agree. For example, Oregon is ranked behind California and Texas on “MLS/NWSL Attendance.” This is absolutely bizarre. The men’s team in Portland has better attendance than three teams in California or any team in Texas, all of which are in much larger markets. It’s sold out every single home game since it was promoted, so the limiting factor is not interest but the size of the stadium. The women’s team in Portland had better attendance than either the Quakes or Chivas USA, and three times the average attendance of any other women’s pro soccer team in the world. And why is this not per capita, or at least related to the size of the metropolitan area?

  • Raymond Heaney

    The Seattle Reign FC is in the “National Women’s Soccer” league, which is the top tier womens league in the US not the “Northwest women’s soccer league” which I don’t think is even a real thing, and trust me this state is Soccer crazy