Recently, the USWNT played a friendly against New Zealand at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. They played in front of 30,000+ fans, making it the biggest crowd for an Ohio game, and the 7th most attended friendly for the team- more importantly this was the first time they played at Nippert. Nippert stadium is home to no other than the FCC- a USL team hoping to jump their way into Major League Soccer sometime in the near future. Now, you may be asking what this has to with College Soccer, and more importantly Women’s College Soccer. But don’t worry, all the answers are in this article.
It’s not that big of a secret that Women’s Soccer- both college and professional- doesn’t get nearly enough credit that it deserves. However, attending the game on Tuesday was an incredible experience and gave me hope that Women’s Soccer is truly growing in this country. Speaking from first hand experience, Tuesday’s game was one of the best soccer game I’ve attended. The crowd there was amazingly diverse, ranging from little girls rooting for Alex Morgan to my 60 year old uncle welcoming Rose Lavelle home. Cincinnati has proven itself to be a Soccer City, breaking record after record for USL, so of course the USWNT was welcomed with open arms. No one was doubting that the team would be met with crowds of people- but I think everyone was surprised when the attendance climbed to 30,596 in a stadium that normally only hosts college football and USL games.
With more than 30,000 people in attendance to view the National Team, that leads up to one question- how far can Women’s Soccer truly go? If the Women’s National Team can pile in seas of people into a small college stadium, what’s stopping even a fourth of that crowd to show up for some college soccer games? Obviously college soccer isn’t going to start bringing in the attendance as something like college football, but we can start building their crowds up. Can you imagine the possibilities if college soccer suddenly had twice the amount of fans that it has now? That would lead to more exposure, more interest, more growing in the league, etc. If people would start getting involved in college soccer, it would be a key part into helping soccer grow in this country.
So, if you went to the USWNT game on Tuesday, I’m calling out to you: Start supporting your local college soccer teams. Soccer is obviously growing in this country, and the best place to start is local colleges. If this country can get a fraction of the National Team crowd to go to college games, soccer would grow at an unbelievable rate- more so than it already is.