Women’s Soccer: Not Popular Enough To Have Its Own League?
12:00 pm, January 31st | by Rebecca Srulowitz
Remember when you saw “Bend It Like Beckham” and it was the greatest thing ever? You vowed to be like Kiera Knightly, scoring goals and maybe meeting a few cute soccer guys along the way. Fast forward to today, and your dreams of playing soccer for the U.S. Women’s National team (or at least rooting for them) may not come true.
Despite the U.S. team’s thrashing of Canada in the CONCACAF regional final in Vancouver on Sunday, the U.S. Soccer Federation felt that Women’s Professional Soccer did not meet Division-1 standards, according to the Washington Post. Translation? U.S. women’s professional soccer may soon be a thing of the past.
And it’s not exactly like women’s soccer doesn’t have fans. In July, the women’s World Cup championship between the U.S. and Japan saw more than three times the viewership that the Stanley Cup finals roped in, according to Nielsen ratings. And yet, it would seem the sustainability of a professional league is in question.
True, while it’s gained a cult-like following of both men and women, women’s soccer still hasn’t gained traction as a year-round sport. It’s mostly of the “Olympic sport” variety – meaning it really only captures the attention of lazy, armchair fans and/or hipsters who’ve forced themselves into liking soccer.
This disaster for women’s soccer could, of course, turn around should U.S. Women’s Soccer snag the gold in London this summer, attracting new sponsors and investors. So, if you want your Kiera Knightly (or Mia Hamm) fantasies to return, start preparing early for a summer of hunkering down in front of the T.V. and obsessively rooting for women’s soccer.