The participants in outdoor and indoor soccer

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Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

In 2012, the Census Bureau reported that soccer was the third most played team sport in the United States, behind only basketball and baseball. Now soccer is the fastest-growing sport in the whole country; the popularity of the sport began growing especially rapidly after the U.S. hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

In 2014, the number of participants in outdoor soccer aged six years or older amounted to approximately 12.59 million people. In 2015 and 2016, the number of participants in outdoor soccer amounted to 12.65 million and 11.93 million people respectively.

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Numbers published on Statista.com show that indoor soccer is a popular sport in the U.S. as well — the number of participants in indoor soccer amounted to 4.53 million people in 2014. By 2015, the number of people who played this sport grew to 4.81 million people. In 2016, the number increased again, reaching 5.12 million indoor soccer participants.

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The highest level men’s professional soccer league in the country is Major League Soccer (or simply MLS). The following chart displays the number of U.S. residents who watched a Major League Soccer event on broadcast TV within the last 12 months from spring 2015 to spring 2017. In spring 2015, the number of MLS viewers amounted to 11.17 million people. In autumn 2015, the number jumped to 11.75 million viewers. The number of viewers then dipped to 11.55 million people in spring 2016.

In autumn 2016, the number of people who watched a Major League Soccer match approximated to 11.66 million viewers, while in spring 2017 the number of viewers amounted to 11.48 million people.

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About Pavel Prikhodko

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Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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