While once thought of as a minor sport with no future, soccer in America is thriving. In 19 years Major League Soccer, or MLS, has gone from a league on the verge of collapse to having the 3rd highest attendance average of all American pro sports leagues. While still behind the National Football League and Major League Baseball, MLS is ahead of the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.
According to MLS.com, the 2012 MLS average attendance was 18,733, which was a 4.6% increase of 2011’s average of 17,872. There is a long way to go to even come close to the numbers of the top two sports, but the significant growth shown is a sign that soccer’s popularity will keep growing.