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Custom Soccer Uniforms

Soccer Voted Hottest Sport in the U.S. For Each Of Past Five Years

Soccer has been voted the hottest sport in the U.S. in each of the past five years by respondents to the SGMA International State of the Industry Survey. The growth in soccer is coming from participation in schools and community leagues. Play on high school soccer teams soared 88% between 1990-91 and 2003-04, while registration on U.S. Youth Soccer Association teams climbed at an almost identical rate to nearly 3.2 million players in 2002-03. According to American Sports Data, total soccer participation in the U.S. is at nearly 18 million. Girls account for 40% of all soccer players and 47% of all high school players. Soccer has also grown significantly among NCAA colleges, with a nearly 200% increase in female players since 1990-91.

Sales of soccer balls and equipment are increasing by 4% - 5% annually. Manufacturers' shipments totaled an estimated $250 million in 2004.

Major League Soccer, the men's professional league, completed its ninth season in 2004 and announced plans to expand to two more cities in 2005, bringing the total number of teams to 12. The eight-team Women's United Soccer Association folded in 2003 after three years of play, but a re-launch effort is underway under the auspices of a non-for-profit group called Women's Soccer Initiative.

In many communities, soccer is often played as a multi-season sport and its popularity has contributed to a shortage of playing fields. This, in turn, may be inhibiting the growth of organized team sports, generally, as well as denying space for pickup players. Many youth sports leaders report that community leagues have had to turn away players or schedule games at inappropriate or awkward times. To help solve this matter, SGMA International and other sports-oriented organizations have been successful in recent years in persuading Congress to allocate nearly $600 million for states and cities to create parklands, playing fields and other recreational facilities.

Fast Facts on Soccer in the U.S.:

How many participants? 17.7 million
Age Analysis: 70% of all players are age 6-17; 25% of all players are age 18-44
Playing Time: The average soccer participant plays 42 days a year.
Did you know? Soccer is the most popular NCAA sport for women, based on participation.

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