Mike Koeshartanto of Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing presented a survey of the most popular teams and leagues in the United States and there are quite a few surprises. There is no question that the United States is a soccer hotbed, as Major League Soccer has grown and the television audience for games is varied, in the United States virtually every top-flight European League, Mexican League, and top South American leagues are broadcasted in some sort of capacity.
The German Bundesliga for example, recently hosted a media event to present how they will broadcast games in the United States and how they will place focus on the storytelling aspect of players and games to be in line with American sports broadcasts.
In this new updated survey from one done in 2016, the most popular team is no surprise, the most popular league isn’t either, but you will be surprised by the number of teams represented in the top 50. Let’s take a look at the recent results.
United States most popular soccer teams
According to the survey, Barcelona is the most popular soccer team in the United States, followed by Real Madrid, no surprise there as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the world's most popular soccer players play or played in both clubs as recently as two years ago. Manchester United comes in third, with Liverpool and Chelsea rounding out the top 5.
Club America of Mexico is ranked number 9, while the Los Angeles Galaxy, the biggest team in MLS, is at number 12. The Galaxy has been around for 25 years and have had many of MLS’s biggest signings from Jorge Campos to Landon Donovan all the way to David Beckham and now Chicharito Hernandez. Chivas of Mexico rank 13th while Atlanta United, a team that has only been around for four years has more popularity than Inter Milan and Cruz Azul.
Most popular soccer leagues in the United States
Once again, the list is pretty much what we’d expect, The English Premier League ranks number 1, while La Liga of Spain sits at number 2. Liga MX sits a strong number 3, while Major League Soccer is 4th above Serie A and the Bundesliga.
Major League Soccer has worked intensively to have a good social media presence and has upgraded it’s broadcasting portfolio with streaming games in local markets and exposure on ESPN, Fox, and Univision. It will be interesting to see where the Bundesliga ranks when this study is updated after the US audience has been exposed to its television product after this season.
Most Popular Teams in the United States by league
Here is where MLS can rest easy, of the 50 most popular teams in the United States, 14 of them are MLS teams, 12 come from the EPL, and 10 are from Liga MX. La Liga of Spain has 6 popular teams and Serie A has 5.
It is important to note that the teams were ranked based on a combination of the new survey data, Google Trends results, and Facebook advertising reach.