World Cup 2014: England may be on their way home, but the party is just beginning for the USA as they embrace 'soccer'

The 2-2 draw with Portugal saw record figures for a football match in the US and the signs show it's only going to get better

England have now officially bowed out of the World Cup having failed to make it through Group D, but for our American cousins across the pond, the party has only just started.

With the US national team requiring only a draw against Germany to make it through to the last 16 of the competition, support in the US appears to be hitting levels that have never been seen before for football or ‘soccer’.

Viewing figures from the US show that a record 25 million people watched the USA draw 2-2 with Portugal. Sports network ESPN boasted over 18m people watched it on their channel, up from 11m people during the match against Ghana. To put this into context, the BBC reported that just over 15m individuals in the UK watched England’s first group game against Italy.

Soccer is rapidly starting to secure itself in and amongst Americas most watched sports as viewing figures surpassed those of basketball and American football. The NBA finals could only manage an average of 15.5m viewers and the NFL’s average weekly viewership last season was just over 17m people.

 

US success at the World Cup has encouraged enormous viewing parties across the country, spawning scenes of jubilation and euphoria that would match Spain’s World Cup winning celebrations.

One of the largest was in Chicago where an estimated 20,000 people gathered in Balbo Avenue Park to witness Portugal draw with the US. The crowd had become so large that half an hour before the game even started, fans were barred from entering amidst safety concerns.

With even more numbers expected for Thursday’s game against Germany and to help deal with the extra capacity, the event has been moved to Grant Park, a venue known for its hosting of Chicago Bulls championship parties.

More evidence that the US are going 'soccer' crazy

The US ‘soccer’ following is not just exclusive to the US itself. According to FIFA, figures have shown that outside of Brazil, US soccer fans are the highest ticket purchasers throughout the World Cup, claiming nearly 200,000 seats across the country.

‘The beautiful game’ in America is not just being watched, but also talked about. According to Twitter, there were 8m tweets about the Portugal game during the course of the match.

Despite the positive figures showing the increased interest, sustainability after the World Cup is key if ‘soccer’ is to keep its place as a keenly followed American sport as US sports fans in general are renowned for getting behind ‘big events’.

An example of this would be the previous record for the top viewed soccer match in the US where just under 18 million people watched the United States take on China in the 1999 Women's World Cup final.

These figures also appear low when they are compared to the potential viewership a US sporting event can draw in, with the NFL’s Super Bowl annually being watched by over 100 million people in the States alone.

With players such as midfielder Michael Bradley acknowledging that the support in Brazil and in the US is helping the team progress, this World Cup could prove to be the start of something good for ‘soccer’ in the America.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits