World Games

How Far We Haven’t Come


Nope, sorry, even if the United States had upset Argentina on its own turf, soccer in the United States still has a long way to go.

After a 4-0 beat down by the best player on the planet and his national team on Tuesday night, it became even more apparent that the United States needs a lot more work.

Yes, Major League Soccer, America’s domestic soccer league, has been on a gradual rise. A new, shiny broadcast deal with ESPN and Fox Sports before the 2015 season has helped the league get more coverage and attention, while putting more money into their pockets.

The eight-year deal between ESPN, Fox Sports, and Spanish broadcast network Univision, have an average estimated value of $90 million per season. 125 games will be shown annually across the three networks. This is almost five times larger than the previous broadcast deal between the MLS and ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision, that was only averaging an $18 million value.

MLS franchises have become more valuable, with the average team worth $157 million, according to a 2015 report by Forbes.

While these upward trends are nice for the MLS, the league and the American cultural perception towards the sport still remain well in the back seat.

The United States’ professional leagues for football (NFL), basketball (NBA), hockey (NHL), and baseball (MLB) still trump the MLS.  (more…)