Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US

Soccer has overtaken ice hockey to become the fourth most popular sport in the US - and the 2026 World Cup in America is going to give the beautiful game another huge boost as it chases down baseball in third place.

Football is climbing the league table of popular US sports and has now overtaken ice hockey in fourth place and is homing in on baseball in third.

The bumper £2billion deal the Premier League struck with NBC after a battle among American broadcasters this month reflects the growing popularity of the sport.

The English top-flight doubled its money when the channel renewed its contract and committed to showing 380 games for six seasons on its cable and digital channels.

The most-watched Premier League match stateside was Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City in March 2020, when 1.76million saw the game live on American television

The most-watched Premier League match stateside was Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City in March 2020, when 1.76million saw the game live on American television

And an analysis by Sportsmail shows that Association Football - known as soccer in the US - has now overhauled ice hockey and sits behind baseball, basketball, and American football in the top five US sports.

In surveys of US sports fans, soccer is now more popular than ice hockey in the US. A study conducted by the research firm, Ampere Analysis, last month, reveals 49% of US Sports fans claim to like watching soccer on TV, ahead of ice hockey on 37%.

In addition, the proportion of US fans who say they enjoy watching the English Premier League, in particular, has grown from 12% to 15% between 2019 and 2021. At the same time, the percentage of fans that say they would be willing to pay to watch the Premier League has grown from 6% to 9%.

And below, we list here the top 10 most popular soccer teams of the US right now!

List of the Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams of the US

#1. United States Women's National Soccer Team

#2. United States Men's National Soccer Team

#3. LA Galaxy

#4. DC United

#5. Atlanta United FC

#6. Seattle Sounders

#7. San Jose Earthquakes

#8. New York Cosmos

#9. Chicago Fire

#10. New York Red Bulls

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What Are the Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US right now?

#1. United States Women's National Soccer Team

Nickname: The Stars and Stripes

Founded: 1985

League: CONCACAF

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
United States Women's National Soccer Team. Photo: Sporting News

Founded after the passing of Title IX, the U.S. Women’s national team is by far the most successful soccer organization in American history. Participants in each of the eight official FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, the USWNT have claimed the trophy in four of them, and have reached the semifinals in all eight competitions. This includes victory in the most recent edition of the tournament in 2019.

The team holds the longest streak in FIFA history as the world’s top-ranked team, doing so for six-and-a-half years, between 2008 and 2014. They have never been ranked lower than second, and have been the top-ranked team in the world since the middle of 2017.

The USWNT has also won four Olympic gold medals in seven appearances, including three straight between 2004 and 2012. However, they have failed to win the gold since that span. They also have won eight of their nine appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dominated by stars such as Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, and Carli Lloyd, the USWNT has been a worldwide draw for fans, both male and female. Their tours often sell out wherever they go, as they continue to dazzle with their open style of play and star power.


#2. United States Men's National Soccer Team

Nickname: The Yanks

Founded: 1885

League: CONCACAF

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
United States Men's National Soccer Team. Photo: FOX News

The United States men's national soccer team (USMNT) represents the United States in men's international soccer competitions. The team is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and is a member of FIFA and CONCACAF. The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, where they reached the semi-finals. The U.S. participated in the 1934 and 1950 World Cups, winning 1–0 against England in the latter.

After 1950, the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup until 1990.The U.S. qualified as host of the 1994 World Cup, where they lost to Brazil in the round of sixteen. They qualified for five more consecutive World Cups after 1994 (for a total of seven straight appearances, a feat shared with only seven other nations), becoming one of the tournament's regular competitors and often advancing to the knockout stage. The U.S. reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, where they controversially lost to Germany.

In the 2009 Confederations Cup, they eliminated top-ranked Spain in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil in the final, the team's only appearance in the final of a major intercontinental tournament. The U.S. also competes in continental tournaments, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América. The U.S. won seven Gold Cups and the inaugural edition of the CONCACAF Nations League and has achieved a fourth-place finish in two Copa Américas, including the 1995 edition and 2016 edition. The team's head coach is Gregg Berhalter, since November 29, 2018. Earnie Stewart is the team's General Manager since August 1, 2018.


#3. LA Galaxy

Nickname: The Galaxy

Founded: 1994

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
LA Galaxy

At one point during the 2021 MLS season, the LA Galaxy were a top-three team in the Western Conference led by a Golden Boot candidate in Javier Hernandez and it seemed like Greg Vanney was pushing all the right buttons in his first season as manager.

Fast forward to the end of the season and the Galaxy failed to clinch a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season, winning one of their last 17 matches and finishing the year in 8th place out West.

Even with the hot start for the Galaxy, their demise at the end of the season was somewhat predictable. After inheriting one of the worst rosters in the league when hired, Vanney overhauled every positional group, adding 10 new players and relying heavily on players from outside of Major League Soccer made it challenging to build a cohesive unit.


#4. DC United

Nickname: Black and Red

Founded: 1994

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
DC United

DC United made history as it became the first team to lift the MLS Cup. The Washington DC-based club achieved this grand style and successfully defended the MLS Cup the following year. The team achieved an incredible record as one of the early winners of the MLS, winning eight titles in three years from 1996 to 1998. DC United also holds the record as the first club to win the MLS Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup consecutively.

Founded in 1994, the club plays its home games at the Audi Field, situated in Washington DC’s capital. In the history of the CONCACAF Champions League for the United States, DC United became the first team to lift the trophy amid Méxican dominance in 1998. The successes recorded by DC United took the club to a high level, becoming one of the most respected teams in the history of the MLS.

DC United became the first club in the MLS franchise to lift the MLS Cup Trophy in 1996 and successfully defended it the following year in 1997. A third title was achieved two years later in 1999 as Chicago Fire proved worthy to outclass the club to its first-ever Trophy in the final.

The loss did not disturb the Washington-based club who qualified for another MLS Cup playoffs final in 1999. It took the club more than five years to add a fourth MLS Cup Trophy in 2004. As history makers, DC United won the double, winning the MLS Cup and US Open Cup the same year. The club also won the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup in 1997 and 1999. In the space of ten years, DC United won four MLS Cup, two Supporters Shield and one Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.


#5. Columbus Crew

Nickname: The Crew

Founded: 1994

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
Columbus Crew. Photo: MLS

With one of the most passionate fanbases in all of American sports, The Crew has claimed the MLS Cup twice, including the 2020 campaign. They also have a U.S. Open Cup victory, and in 2021 they claimed the Campeones Cup, defeating the champions of Mexico’s Liga MX.

In 2017, their owner announced plans to move the franchise to Austin, Texas. In response, the fans began a campaign to “Save the Crew” and were successful in their efforts, and the club was eventually purchased by an ownership group led by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

They opened a brand new stadium in 2021, and their fans could not be happier.


#6. Seattle Sounders

Nickname: The Sounders

Founded: 2007

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
Seattle Sounders. Photo: Variety

Another personal favorite for many, Seattle Sounders, is a Washington-based team playing in the Western Conference of the MLS. The club came to life in November 2007 and started playing in the MLS in 2009 as an expansion team. Andrain Hanauer is the team’s majority shareholder, with the head coach being Brian Schmetzer, who took over from Sigi Schmid in 2016.

The Sounders have produced several star players, including Clint Dempsey, Fredy Montero, and Osvaldo Alonso. Even better, the team also works on developing soccer talent in Seattle, operating a players’ academy that has developed several stars.


#7. San Jose Earthquakes

Nickname: The Goonies

Founded: 1996

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes was founded in 1994, with the Quakes being a charter member in Major League Soccer. The team was originally named the San Jose Clash when they were founded but were renamed the Earthquakes before the 2000 season. The first coach of the team was Laurie Calloway, and the first two players to join the team were John Doyle and Michael Emenalo.

The Quakes have had several coaches during their time in the MLS. These coaches include Laurie Calloway, Brian Quinn, Lothar Osiander, Frank Yallop, Dominic Kinnear, Mark Watson, Chris Leitch, Mikael Stahre, and Matias Almeyda.

The Quakes have won the MLS Cup twice, first in 2001 and then in 2003. In 2005, the San Jose Quakes moved to Houston, Texas, and became the Houston Dynamo. The Quakes were recreated in San Jose in 2007. The Quakes were the first MLS team to go on a postseason international tour.

Two players on the Quakes have held the all-time goalscorer record for the MLS. The first was Landon Donovan with 145 goals, and the second was Chris Wondolowski, who broke Donovan's record in the 2019 season and who had 165 as of November 2020. In recent years, the Quakes have been known for their young players, brought on board by new coach Matias Almeyda. As of the 2020 season, they have 13 players under the age of 25.


#8. New York Cosmos

Nickname: The Cosmos

Founded: Originally in 1970; re-established in 2010

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
New York Cosmos

When you ask people of a certain generation who the first American soccer team was that actually made them pay attention, many will tell you it was the Cosmos. The legends surrounding the club, as well as the painful downfall of the organization, have inspired documentaries and continue to hold a special place in American soccer history.

The Cosmos was founded in 1970 and was built not as a club but as a business venture. After corporate investment in 1972, they brought in some of the biggest names in the world. One of the greatest players of all time, Pele joined the team in 1975.


#9. Chicago Fire

Nickname: Chicago Blues/Chicago Wind

Founded: 1997

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club based in Chicago and competes in the Major League Soccer as a member of the Eastern Conference. The club entered the MLS franchise in grand style with a double, including the US Open Cup and the MLS Cup.

The Fire won its first trophy, its first MLS Cup in 1998, and completed a double after the US Open Cup final win. Chicago Fire Soccer Club is one of the two MLS teams that have achieved up to four MLS Cup titles alongside Sporting Kansas City. The first Trophy was achieved in 1998 and the second two years later in 2000. Chicago Fire won the third title in 2003 and the fourth three years later in 2006. Since then, the Fire has qualified for Championship play-offs and faced turbulent times.


#10. New York Red Bulls

Nickname: The Red Bulls Metro

Founded: 1994

League: MLS

Top 10 Most Popular Soccer Teams in the US
New York Red Bulls. Photo: Goal

Based in New Jersey, the New York Red Bulls have competed in the Eastern Conference since 1996. The club was created in 1994 as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, and it rebranded in 2006 after being taken over by Red Bull GmbH. The team’s home matches are hosted at the Red Bull Arena, holding a maximum capacity of 25,000 fans.

Today, the New York Red Bulls are among the top two teams operating in New York’s metropolitan area. The team competes with New York City F.C. in the Hudson River Derby, with Chris Armas being the current head coach after years of service as a U.S. midfielder. Even better, the Red Bulls won the MLS cup in 2008 after beating the Columbus Crew in the final.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Successful Football Clubs in England

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