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As U.S. Gains Soccer Fans, Arizona Struggles

// July 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // MLSPR, Pro Soccer in Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ Soccer

The United States is slowly but surely becoming a soccer nation.

Football still is king in America, but futbol is continuing to make headway. The World Cup is setting record viewer ratings on American TV. More U.S. players are playing with the world’s top professional teams than ever before, even as North America’s own league, Major League Soccer, grows at a solid pace. And soccer trails only basketball and baseball as the most-participated youth sport in the country.

In Arizona, however, soccer continues to struggle to find its footing. There are no major-league or major-college men’s teams here. The state is home to excellent high-end youth clubs, but youth participation has not grown over the past quarter-century even as the population has soared, producing few stars. Phoenix native Robbie Findley, who has been playing for the U.S. at the World Cup in South Africa, is an exception.

Arizona stands in stark contrast to soccer hotbeds such as Seattle, where the MLS team has connected with a rabid fan base to form one of the most vibrant soccer regions in the nation.

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