U.S. Men's, Women's Teams Seeing Different Levels Of Support
While the USWNT have "sold out every stadium they’ve been in" during this year's World Cup in France, the USMNT on Sunday played at Lincoln Financial Field for a Concacaf Gold Cup knockout game against Curacao and the "lower bowl was barely half full," according to Jonathan Tannenwald of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. For the last three weeks, "tens of thousands of American soccer fans have charged across France to roar on" the USWNT, but the USMNT throughout the Gold Cup has seen "empty seats" at many games. K.C., a "perennial hotbed, didn’t sell out for the group stage finale against Panama, the group’s toughest opponent." From the "stands to social media, there is a clear public apathy around the U.S. men right now." The court of public opinion has "rendered a clear verdict." Fans would "rather watch the star-studded and successful women, at least until the men’s team starts playing well again" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/2).
ALL EYES ON US: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote the USWNT "has America’s attention," which "doesn’t happen easily in women’s soccer." In the case of the USWNT players' lawsuit against their federation, whether fans "gleefully support the players or side with the market-forces argument of U.S. Soccer," it is easy to "recognize that the more the Americans win, the stronger their argument gets, at least in the court of public opinion." A World Cup win "doesn’t get them everything that they want." It "doesn’t win them a court case." But it "helps, certainly a lot more than a semifinal defeat on a weekday afternoon" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/1).