Football may be behind baseball, basketball, and American football, but it's comfortably ahead of ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse. Lacrosse and football are gaining traction among young Americans. As things stand, football is undoubtedly the fourth most popular sport in terms of popularity. The MLS is focusing on expanding its clubs to large sports markets and increasing its appeal among younger generations.
However, the league has faced its fair share of challenges, such as financial issues, leadership changes and its ongoing struggle to attract a large television audience. Setting aside these numbers (or comparing them with the spectators of the World Cup, which is more appropriate than the MLS final), it is quite clear that football is doing very well compared to hockey, and could even overtake baseball if you exclude social security recipients. But, with international football legends like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney gracing the stage of Major League Soccer, the popularity of this beautiful game, both in participation and interest, is on the rise in the United States. Football is the sport that most depends on the playing surface that natural grass provides in pristine conditions. From expanding into football-hungry cities in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, to building football stadiums, progress has prompted MLS to become a popular league both internationally and domestically.
Just take a look at any world football website that doesn't take into account MLS fans who are devoted to the sport. I don't consider NHL to be a major player compared to football, as this site just published an article saying that football has become more popular than hockey in this country. LaLiga has two of the most popular football clubs in the United States and the EPL seems to have stalled with NBC. While other sports are struggling with their losses, football is only growing by providing the best sports environment in the country along with a growing level of talent. However, while these leagues dominate in terms of follower counts or hours of transmission, they remain relatively average in terms of growth.
One gaming sector that continues to generate new and exciting football games is that of online casinos, where slot machines such as Foxin' Wins Football Fever, The Champions and Hot Shots continue to gain ground among new and existing fans of the sport. International football was effectively the soft pitch for all this in the United States, and hockey is now used in the same way for domestic sports leagues in the United States. For example, among each major sports league, football ranked fourth out of the top five leagues in terms of broadcast hours.