When you walk in a local park in the United States, you're probably not going to find kids of all ages knocking about a soccer ball, instead, it is more likely to see kids shooting basketballs, walking their dogs, or chasing members of the opposite gender. However, after watching thousands of American fans celebrate on the beaches of Brazil it is clear that something major is about to rock the USA.
It turns out that the fans who traveled to Brazil weren't the only one's celebrating the win against Ghana. Indeed, soccer in the United States took a massive leap forward this week as 11,093,000 fans of soccer, baseball, and star wars tuned in across the country to watch the United States National team battle their way to a 2-1 victory in the World Cup over Ghana. ESPN reported that this has been the highest rating ever for a men's World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2.
This was also the first game the United States played, so expect these numbers to grow as they progress further into the tournament. Also, the United States will take on Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and that should draw even more numbers from the large Portugese population in the area tomorrow (and from girls across the country wanting to catch of glimspe of Ronaldo himself). Only Washington D.C. (11.8 rating) and New York (10.2) had more viewers than Hartford-New Haven (10.1) and Boston (10.0). Providence (8.4) also ranked in the top 10 for viewers, ranking higher than Orlando and San Francisco. This means that the New England/Northeast region was in the top 5 metered markets across the country, which suggests that this region has a clear passion for soccer.
Even if half of the viewers were people who were just looking for an excuse to get a couple of drinks into their day, and most of the watch parties don't count towards the ratings anyway, it makes no difference. The New England market is receptive to quality soccer, which means that the New England Revolution has much room to grow. All the positive signs are there, however, as MLS is becoming more and more televised, talks of a new stadium are circulating, the level of play is better, and not to mention the fact that the Revolution are finally winning and could make a run at an MLS Cup.
As evidenced by the numbers the sky is the limit, but the New England Revolution needs to make the most of their marketing if they want to tap into this massive market.