Why Major League Soccer is taking over American sports

On Friday, I walked up to Stanford Stadium to buy tickets for San Jose and Los Angeles the next night. The Earthquakes play one fixture a year at this college football stadium, and it wasn’t a problem getting tickets for the game with the New York Red Bulls last year.

Sold out.

Fifty thousand tickets were gone. I tried Stub Hub for the 4 tickets I needed, but the least expensive offer was $91 per ticket.

Ninety-one dollars for a ticket to a Major League Soccer match.

Surely, San Jose’s success this season played a role in selling out this match. The Earthquakes sit atop The Power Rank with a 0.68 rating, or average margin of victory against an average MLS side. More importantly, they lead the Western Conference as MLS approaches mid season.

Surely, fans also came out to see David Beckham and Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy, two players Europeans with long club careers in England. Unfortunately, Los Angeles just hasn’t put it together this season. The Galaxy are 13th in The Power Rank with a -0.06 rating, not a record anyone expects from the defending MLS champions. Their back line couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead against San Jose on Saturday night. The Earthquakes won 4-3.

Fifty thousand fans for a soccer match is what usually happens in London, not Palo Alto. MLS might not be taking over American sports yet, but the growth of the league has been quite remarkable.

To see our complete MLS rankings, click here.

Thanks for reading.

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