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2011 Largest Soccer Crowds
by Paul Kennedy, August 9th, 2011 1:38AM

TAGS:  mls


[MAKING A LIST] Despite tours by such popular clubs as Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Mexico's national team remains the biggest draw on the U.S. soccer scene.

The Tri, which faces the USA on Wednesday in Philadelphia, has drawn six of the 15 largest soccer crowds of the year on U.S. soil, including four of the top six crowds.

Reflective of its ability to attract fans for heavyweight opposition, the USA has played on four of the nine dates that drew the largest crowds.

The seven other largest crowds not involving the USA or Mexico were for the 2011 World Football Challenge. Five of those games involved MLS teams.

2011 Largest Crowds

1. USA-Mexico (Gold Cup)
June 25
Pasadena, Calif.
81,807 2. Man. Utd.-Barcelona (World Football Challenge)
July 30
Landover, Md.
80,108 3. Mexico-El Salvador (Gold Cup)
June 5
Arlington, Texas
78,936 4. USA-Argentina (friendly)
March 26
East Rutherford, N.J.
78,807 5. Mexico-Guatemala (Gold Cup)
June 18 East Rutherford, N.J.
70,627 6. Mexico-Honduras, USA-Panama (Gold Cup)
June 22
70,080 7. Barcelona-Guadalajara (World Football Challenge) Aug. 3
67,052 8. Seattle-Man. Utd. (World Football Challenge) July 20
64,121 9. USA-Spain (friendly) June 4
Foxboro, Mass.
10. Mexico-Costa Rica (Gold Cup)
June 12
61,308 11. Chicago-Man. Utd. (World Football Challenge) July 23
12. Mexico-Ecuador (friendly)
March 29
San Diego
13. Barcelona-Club America (World Football Challenge)
Aug. 6
14. Philadelphia-Real Madrid (World Football Challenge)
July 23
Los Angeles
56,211 15. Los Angeles-Real Madrid (World Football Challenge) July 16
Los Angeles

  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: August 9, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.
    Seattle is awesome
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: August 10, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.
    Someone please explain to me why Mexico would choose to play a friendly in March 2011 in a US city. Mexico vs. Ecuador, March 29, San Diego. Why? No stadiums available then in Monterrey? Guadalajara? Nuevo Leon? Pueblo? What gives? Mexico did all its pre World Cup 2010 matches in the USA prior to flying to South Africa. This is already a longstanding trend. Why? (I have ideas; I would like others to chime in with what they know) Note: Yes, I see where Mexico will host -- in Mexico -- Brasil in October and Argentina in November. Okay. But there have sure been a lot of Mexico games in the USA (I'm obviously not meaning ones like the recent Gold Cup matches). This is great for fans here, but, if I live in Toluca, Irapuato, or Queretaro, I'd rather see El Tri in my hometown.
  1. Andy Grudich
    commented on: August 10, 2011 at 9:51 a.m.
    Very Simple Carlos, M-O-N-E-Y!!! Mexico plays more games in the United States than they do in Mexico. They can make much more money playing in the USA. They can charge much higher ticket prices and bring in more cash. Promoters and stadium owners know they will sell out a Mexico game in the USA vs anybody. Mexico could play my high school girls team in Dallas, charge $85 a ticket, and still sell out.
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: August 10, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.
    Andy, I get the financial aspects. Yes. And the matches played in the USA are surely televised live in Mexico, so there is guaranteed TV and advertising revenue for the federation, players, coaches. But is it just the financial? Or is there a security aspect to this as well? We all know the precarious position Mexico is in vis a vis its organized crime with tentacles into every aspect of the nation's leadership. Is this also a factor? Greater safety for the players and large suporting cast? (national team delegations tend to be about 50 - 80 people) Fewer possible "problems" if the matches are held outside Mexico's borders? Has a cartel ever directly threatened the national squad or national program? Or have there been threats to the stadium/fans where a match would be held?

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