Premier League

Pulisic inspiring a generation, but Manchester United is still the most popular Premier League team stateside

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The English Premier League has the greatest international following of any domestic league on the planet. You’ll encounter Tottenham fans in Uzbekistan and Manchester United devotees in Zambia.  

 In the USA, soccer is a comparatively minor sport compared with American football, baseball and basketball. What’s more, American fans have their own MLS teams to support. But still, the English Premier League is seen as the epitome of the sport and just as America football fans around the world might follow local leagues but still support an NFL team, so most American soccer fans pay attention to the English Premier League.  

 It is helped by the live sports betting in the US, which takes the drama to new levels. Also, many of the teams reach out to US fans with preseason games and weekly TV broadcasts by the US networks. So which teams do it best and have the strongest fanbases? 

 Manchester United – the masters of marketing 

 United will tell you their global fanbase has been won through their entertaining brand of football. Well, maybe it has. But they are also one of the masters of branding and for decades, they’ve been leading the way in appealing to and pleasing young sports fans the world over. Sometimes it is through brand collaborations, sometimes through shrewd partnerships with specific cities and teams.  

 They know how to talk the talk and to press the flesh, but they also produce the results. True, the past two or three years have not been the best for United, but they have been consistently up and around the top of the Premier League since its inception 30 years ago. Of course, the strategy of making world class signings like Cristiano Ronaldo helps fans to keep the faith in times of trouble, too. The result? More than a third of all EPL fans in the USA identify as Manchester United supporters.  

 Chelsea – the Kingmakers  

 The South London team is one that tends to polarise opinions. Even die-hard fans have felt conflicted in recent months, but setting politics aside, there is a sporting reason why Chelsea is attracting a growing fanbase in the USA, especially among youngsters. That reason is one Christian Pulisic.  

 Known as Captain America, the 23 year old midfielder from Hershey, PA is one of the most exciting young talents in football. He has already represented his country more than 50 times, having made his senior team debut aged just 17. 

 Pulisic is an inspiration to today’s young players in America, and as a result, The Blues have a growing following stateside.  

 And the rest 

The other Big Six teams have a solid following in the US, especially Liverpool, a club with which many Americans just can’t help falling in love.  Like their neighbours from across town, Manchester City, meanwhile, is a team that goes to extra length to schmooze its American fans with special attention and an annual preseason friendly against LA Galaxy.  

Photo by Unsplash

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