Since 1990, when the U.S. qualified for the World Cup final round for the first time in 40 years, and especially since 1994, when the U.S. hosted the world's most popular sporting event, soccer has taken off in America, settling behind only football, baseball and basketball in nearly all statistical measures of popularity — especially among Latinos and younger players.
Number of U.S. television viewers of the 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands — more than watched the Rose Bowl (24.04 million), the NCAA men's college basketball championship (23.99 million) or the Winter Olympics closing ceremony (21.4 million). (Source: Nielsen)
Rating of the 2014 U.S.-Portugal World Cup game among all televised sports events in the U.S. in 2014, behind the Super Bowl, the NFC and AFC championship games and the BCS college football championship. (Source: Nielsen)
U.S. worldwide rank in average attendance for first division-level professional soccer matches in 2014, just behind the Netherlands and ahead of Argentina and Brazil. (Sources: Barclay's Premier League, Deutscher Fussball-Bund, Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, Fédération Française de Football, Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, Major League Soccer, Royal Dutch Football Association, Royal Spanish Football Association)