FBref.com last week published a map of its most-viewed soccer teams by state in 2022 and the results show the incredibly varied interests across the United States.
Across the 50 states there were teams represented from the English Premier League, MLS, La Liga, USL, NWSL, the EFL Championship, the English fifth-tier National League – and the U.S. national team.
“There were definitely some surprises,” Jonah Gardner, product marketing manager for FBref, told The18 in an email.
FBref.com is the soccer arm of the sports-reference.com websites, offering a wide range of advanced stats across a wide swath of leagues in a number of different languages. Gardner said the site compiled its 2022 map by pulling a Google Analytics breakdown of most-visited pages by state.
@the18soccer @FB Reference ⚽️ bringing us the information we all wanted to know and it’s real interesting. #soccer #football #futbol #futbol⚽️ #usa #usasoccer #mancity #manchestercity #chelsea #chelseafc #portlandthorns #nwsl #mls #realmadrid #greenscreen ♬ original sound - The18
“It shows the incredible diversity of soccer fandom in the U.S.,” Gardner said. “Unlike Europe, where you just root for the team closest to you, U.S. fans come in with a wide range of options, and the map shows how many different paths you can take.”
Gardner said the site caters to serious soccer fans and theorized that the map could indicate where certain supporters groups are most active.
“It's very exciting to see women's teams leading the way in some parts of the country,” Gardner said. “Especially since we just expanded our coverage to include advanced stats for women's leagues.”
In Oregon, the Portland Thorns, who just won the NWSL title in October, were the most-viewed team on FBref.com.
Meanwhile in Iowa, the Welsh fifth-tier darlings Wrexham AFC, who are the subject of the Hulu docuseries “Welcome To Wrexham” took the top spot.
The English Premier League was by far the most popular league amongst FBref.com users, with Manchester City taking seven states, Chelsea winning six states, Arsenal and Liverpool each topping five states, Tottenham with three, Manchester United with two, and Leeds, Crystal Palace and Leicester City all grabbing one each. That’s 31 states in all.
MLS teams were most-viewed in 12 states and La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid accounted for three states.
Perhaps the most quirky, EFL side Hull City was the most-viewed team in Alabama. As of publication, The18 was unable to find any organized Hull City supporters groups in Alabama.