By: Johnn Jin
Crowds of people covered in blue streamed down the streets of Philadelphia on day. But this color wasn’t the 76ers blue, it was the Chelsea FC blue. This soccer team was marching to face the English upstarts Brighton and the Hove Albion for the U.S. summer league series. The summer series has a total of nine matches across the U.S. East coast. Chelsea FC, who won the 2021 Championship League, is one of the six teams participating in the summer league.
New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Atlanta, and Orlando hosted the summer league teams. Soccer fans get an awesome chance to play on the Nike Skills Arena to win a premium summer league jersey, just before each summer league game. The best part of the fan fest is that there are also going to be former players and current players you can meet. The main reason that the fan fest offers this is to attract more fans to the game.
In the past few years, soccer has surpassed other sports like golf, hockey, and motorbike racing in popularity. The Washington Post has set a poll to see the most popular sports and the results are hockey 4%, soccer 8%, baseball 9%, basketball 11%, and finally football 34%. After the star soccer player Lionel Messi was transferred to inter Miami in MLS, jersey orders are backed up until October. This year the attendance record was broken in the MLS because in the LA Galaxy vs LAFC game there were over 82,000 people attending the Rose Bowl game.
With the 2026 World Cup coming, U.S. soccer is trying everything in their power to make the sport more popular. Famous soccer players such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Lorenzo Insigne have joined the MLS league, helping it become more popular. European teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona have a great rivalry back into history, previously boasting players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The teams will play “El Clasico,” maybe the biggest rivalry game ever, in Arlington, Texas.
Soccer is a sport that keeps getting better. With the increasing popularity of
MLS, the USMNT, and the international soccer clubs on tour in the States, all we can do is watch soccer grow.