Soccer in American: Creating Soccertown, USA (Part 2)

Soccertown Poll

There was some great feedback on the Soccer in America: Creating Soccertown, USA via the comments section, the poll and a blog post over at Soccer Soap Box.

The short story is that the vast majority of fans agreed that games should not continue to move around as much, but most were not enamored with the four cities I proposed (or even a “one city solution”).

Surprisingly (to me), Chicago was the “winner.” And the remaining cities (including “Other”) shook out like this:

Seattle  (20 votes), Denver (14), Columbus (12), Houston (10), New York (8),  Los Angeles (7), St. Louis (6), and then 14 other cities with 4 votes or less.

I’d be great to get some insight on all the love for Chicago. (Is it that much of a soccer town?) It is the headquarters of the US Soccer organization, but I don’t know what impact that really has on players (given they don’t train there).

Seattle is a strong contender given its support of MLS, but I’d like to see if that level of support is sustained beyond the inaugural season.

Meanwhile, in Bob’s post at Soccer Soap Box he talks about the buzz created when a USMNT match is played in your city. Buzz is great, but building fan support that shows up and creates a home field advantage should take precedence.

It is clear that there are passionate fans around the country, so perhaps a “one city solution” is a bit too restrictive geographically. However, US Soccer is doing the players on the pitch a disservice with the current strategy and should proactively focus on a few desirable locations throughout the country.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Berg on 2009/08/09 at 11:24 AM

    First off, I love the blog here. You always have interesting takes on the team and don’t think that this is anything but very much appreciated in the under-reported realm of soccer in the States.

    The subject here is certainly one appropriate for discussion. I know that I have enjoyed going to National team games when they came in town. If a single city, such as Seattle, became the home base, I can say it would definitely cut down on my ability to attend. It doesn’t sit well to think that fans, new or old, may be denied the opportunity to cheer on our boys because of logistics.

    Maybe a compromise of having 3-4 cities spread across the US to serve as home cities might be appropriate. Seattle could function as a West Coast base, Chicago/Columbus as the Midwest base and perhaps a stadium like Foxborough for the East Coast.

    Reply

  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/09 at 8:17 PM

    Berg, my brother’s post here — thanks for the kind words on the blog.

    I think you’re right — it’s tough to have one city. 3 or 4 cities work as well, but you may have people up in arms there too.

    It’s an interesting conundrum and one that won’t be solved for awhile. My biggest criteria is making sure the crowd is pro-US. I can’t imagine how terrible it must have felt to be on the field and Giants Stadium in the Gold Cup with fans cheering loudly for the other team.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Matthew N on 2009/08/11 at 4:13 AM

    I think moving the cities around is much better… that is unless they decide to make the home city of US soccer Columbus, OH, and then I would be in full support. The thing that sucks about the US is how spread out we are. We have to move it around so that we don’t neglect fans because of the region they live in.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Andy on 2009/08/11 at 6:37 AM

    Hey guys, great blog. I check it every day.

    I think that eventually having one city or even just a few cities could be workable. However, I don’t think the state of US Soccer allows for it quite yet. I think that we should remember that (even though we’ve been saying this forever) US Soccer is still building. I think a wider base still needs to be built in this country before we start focusing on taking advantage of that base.

    I believe we’re on the brink of great new things for soccer in this country, and we might be able to do this within the next 10 years. But not yet.

    Reply

  5. [...] Posted by Mark T in Soccer in America, USMNT. Tagged: Soccertown USA. 12 Comments Follow-up Post: Creating Soccertown, USA Part 2 [...]

    Reply

  6. [...] Columbus are mentioned. (Readers may recall that TSG covered that a few months back in our two-part Soccertown, U.S.A. [...]

    Reply

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