American Soccer fans rejoice as the Major League Soccer heads back into action on Saturday. The league's 25th season officially kicks off when D.C. United hosts the Colorado Rapids in Washington D.C. at 1:00 PM ET. While it has been growing more popular, the MLS still plays a minor role in the U.S. professional sporting landscape. Despite efforts to make the league more attractive, it is still considered a second-tier league in the global sport of soccer, which is why many American soccer fans follow the English Premier League instead.
While Baseball is often referred to as “America’s favorite pastime”, the NFL has long surpassed the MLB as the nation’s favorite professional sports league. For several reasons, including first and foremost its better suitability for television, football flew by baseball as Americans’ favorite sport to watch in the 1960s and hasn’t looked back since. If anything, baseball is on the verge of being surpassed by basketball as well, as younger audiences prefer the action-packed, instagrammable NBA over what many young viewers consider the dragging affair of a three-hour baseball game.
According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult in July 2019, the NFL is the no. 1 league to follow for 33 percent of U.S. adults, followed by the MLB (16 percent) and the NBA (10 percent). The NFL shouldn’t be resting on its laurels, however, as its popularity fades with younger audiences. Among 18- to 22-year-olds, the youngest cohort in the survey, only 23 percent picked the NFL as their favorite league, with the NBA a not-too-distant second (19 percent).