More people filled Yankee Stadium to watch Liverpool beat Manchester City than see the Yankees


Steven Gerrard of Liverpool, center, and Matija Nastasic of Manchester City vie for the ball during the International Champions Cup 2014 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Who says soccer isn’t popular in the United States? In some cases, this sport is even more popular than baseball, it seems.

Yep, that’s right. Nearly 50,000 people traveled to Yankee Stadium, which has a capacity of 50,291, to watch Premier League powerhouses Liverpool and Manchester City duke it out on Wednesday night. That’s about 1,000 more than the highest-attended Yankees game attracted this season. According to Baseball-Reference.com, 48,522 people attended Yankees-Red Sox on June 27.

Does that mean Steven Gerrard is more popular than Derek Jeter? Not necessarily, but it does mean maybe that soccer’s popularity in the United States isn’t just a fleeting fad that ended when the Americans got knocked out of the World Cup last month.

It helps, of course, that the match between Man City and Liverpool was pretty good. Liverpool came from behind at the 85th minute with an equalizer from Raheem Sterling to make the score 2-2, and usher in the penalty kick tiebreaker, where Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet shut down Man City by making two saves.

Now the question remains, would a bout between two lower-profile MLS teams fill Yankee Stadium? Probably not, unless perhaps the Portland Timbers played the Seattle Sounders. Those two MLS teams routinely sell out their home team soccer stadiums, which combined, hold nearly 60,000 people total.

But give it time and have faith, soccer fans, for other MLS teams to catch up. As soccer’s popularity continues to grow, surely MLS audience will, as well. At least that’s the goal.

(H/t: New York Post)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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