US Soccer Hotbeds

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by Bill Schmidt, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Bill Schmidt

    Bill Schmidt BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 3, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Where are the hotspots for soccer in the U.S.? Places that have lots of fans, produce many NCAA and professional players, and where soccer is generally incredibly popular as a participant and spectator sport?

    I know California is, and I would say Pennsylvania, outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is. Where else?
  2. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax
    historically st. louis is the spot

    here's a good article -

    current USMNT players from the loo:
    chris klein
    steve ralston
    taylor twellman

    other current MLSers from the loo:
    bobby rhine
    bras davis
    brian kamler
    pat noonan

    in addition, brian mcbride went to st. louis university

    SLU has won more NCAA soccer titles than any other school with 10 (including ons shared with michigan st. in '68 and not including a final loss in '72 to howard who later had their title stripped)

    other area schools with NCAA titles:
    southern illinois edwardsville '79

    SIU edwardsville '72
    U of missouri-st. louis '73

    quincy a record 11 times

    Njunior collegeAA
    florissant valley JC a record 8 times
    meramec CC 2 times

    the US open cup won by stl teams:
    stix, baer & fuller 2 times
    scullen steel 2 times
    kutis 2 times
    busch 1 time
    simpkins ford 1 time
    ben miller 1 times

    st louis teams also have 10 runner up finishes

    at one point in the '50's, the US national team was really just a st. louis all-star team and the famous win over england in the 1950 WC was by a side of about half st. louisians
  3. pwhitdog

    pwhitdog New Member

    Aug 7, 2002
    I know this may sound strange but what about the Northwest? When I moved to the Seattle area I was in a state of shock to see so many people there playing soccer on a regular basis.
  4. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Well, while it doesn't suck, I wouldn't consider Western PA a hotbed, either. At least not since the Mill and Mine semi-pro leagues faded away with the mills and the mines.

    I would also mention Kearny (sp?) New Jersey. Home of Tony Meola and several other national team mainstays from the early 90s who were crucial to bringing the game out of its decades'-long slump in the US.
  5. jamison

    jamison Member

    Sep 25, 2000
    Re: Re: US Soccer Hotbeds

    Reyna and Harkes are from Kearny as well. Plus, Berhalter is from Tenafly, about 20 minutes away. Gaven (Hamilton), Eskandarian (Montvale) and Szetela (Clifton) are also from Jersey. Tim Howard, of course, if from Brunswick, and Phil Marfuggi (U-17 gk) is from Jersey. And Bob Bradley is from Princeton (roughly). So that's 9 guys (w/meola) and a coach from within an hour of Giants Stadium.

    All of Jersey plays soccer. Sometimes I think there are more junior level soccer teams than fans at Metro games, though, some nights that doesn't take a lot.

    I'm not a big Jersey guy, but they do pretty well. Still way behind California, but you could argue they are the second best state in terms of production. I won't, but you could.

    I am from NY, with really Armas, Buddle and Petke to claim, though Kotschau is from Strong Island as well.
  6. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    Re: Re: Re: US Soccer Hotbeds

    You listed everybody, but you forgot the most important New jersey player -- Tab Ramos of Kearny, NJ. :)
  7. Pyro

    Pyro Member

    Apr 18, 2000
    Fulton River District
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Overriding rule:
    Everywhere is a hotbed until it is expected to put 16K butts in seats 16 times a year rooting for an MLS side.

    Fmr hotbets:
    San Jose
  8. Mglnbea

    Mglnbea Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Northern California
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I could be wrong about this, but I believe Portland was dubbed (or dubbed itself) "Soccer City, USA" during the NASL, and Portland Timbers, days. I believe this was the first US city to so name itself thusly.

    Didn't both the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have strong support during those days?
  9. Bill Schmidt

    Bill Schmidt BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 3, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    good point about the "former" hotbeds. Certainly it's true that having a larger youth participation base and/or lots of professional players does not equal great MLS or A-league attendance.
    I was surprised to see Seattle selected for the Manchester United tour this summer, and that the stadium sold out. Since then I've learned a lot more about soccer in the area. So it doesn't take great weather for soccer to be popular in an area.
  10. elainemichelle

    elainemichelle New Member

    Jul 20, 2002
    I think areas with diverse groups of people (aka people from big soccer countries) seem to do better. DC's still doing well as is Chicago, as far as I know.
  11. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In addition to calling itself the "Football Capital of the South," Birmingham also refers to itself as the "Soccer Capital of the South." We may not be producing a lot of players (there's only one Alabamian in MLS, and one on the women's national team), but we put some serious people in the stands for meaningless friendlies, hosted 80,000+ sellouts during Olympic soccer in '96 and even had some U-17 international tournaments that drew very well (pre-Adu) and in the last decade have had a consistenly good college team (UAB.)

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