Top 45 most-attended soccer games on US soil in 2018

Photo credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports

While attendances for both the USMNT and the USWNT were down in 2018, the trio of the Mexico National Team, International Champions Cup and Atlanta United all had very successful years with huge attendances in the United States.

Out of the top 45 most-attended soccer games in the United States in 2018, an incredible 46% of them were for home Atlanta United games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia.

Mexico had a 146% greater average attendance for their games played on US soil than the US Men’s National Team did in their own country. Plus, there were a number of MLS games that drew crowds of over 40,000.

Here’s every game in the US that was attended by more than 40,000 in 2018:

1. Liverpool vs. Manchester United – 7/28 – ICC – Michigan Stadium – 101,254
2. Mexico vs. Wales – 5/28 – Friendly – Rose Bowl – 82,345
3. Mexico vs. Croatia – 3/27 – Friendly – AT&T Stadium – 79,128
4. Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers – 12/8 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 73,019
5. MLS All-Stars vs. Juventus – 8/1 – Exhibition – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 72,371
6. Atlanta United vs. Seattle Sounders – 7/15 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 72,243
7. Atlanta United vs. DC United – 3/11 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 72,035
8. Atlanta United vs. Real Salt Lake – 9/22 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 72,017
9. Atlanta United vs. Orlando City – 6/30 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 71,932
10. Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire – 10/21 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 71,812
11. Real Madrid vs. Juventus – 8/4 – ICC – FedEx Field – 71,597
12. Atlanta United vs. New York City – 11/11 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 70,526
13. Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls – 11/25 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 70,016
14. Mexico vs. Iceland – 3/23 – Friendly – Levi’s Stadium – 68,917
15. Barcelona vs. Tottenham Hotspur – 7/28 – ICC – Rose Bowl – 66,805
16. Manchester United vs. Real Madrid – 7/31 – ICC – Hard Rock Stadium – 64,141
17. Mexico vs. Uruguay – 9/7 – Friendly – NRG Stadium – 60,617
18. Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund – 7/22 – ICC – Bank of America Stadium – 55,447
19. Barcelona vs. AS Roma – 7/31 – ICC – AT&T Stadium – 54,726
20. Liverpool vs. Manchester City – 7/25 – ICC – MetLife Stadium – 52,635
21. Minnesota United vs. LA Galaxy – 10/21 – MLS – TCF Bank Stadium – 52,242
22. Real Madrid vs. AS Roma – 8/7 – ICC – MetLife Stadium – 51,528
23. AC Milan vs. Barcelona – 8/4 – ICC – Levi’s Stadium – 51,391
24. San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy – 6/30 – MLS – Stanford Stadium – 50,743
25. Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers – 6/30 – MLS – CenturyLink Field – 47,521
26. Peru vs. Croatia – 3/23 – Friendly – Hard Rock Stadium – 46,893
27. Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew – 8/18 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,303
28. Atlanta United vs. LAFC – 4/7 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,207
29. Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC – 8/4 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,191
30. Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union – 6/2 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,140
31. Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution – 10/6 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,122
32. Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers – 6/23 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,116
33. Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls – 5/20 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,089
34. Atlanta United vs. DC United – 7/21 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,087
35. Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact – 4/28 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,039
36. Atlanta United vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 3/17 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,003
37. Atlanta United vs. New York City – 4/15 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 45,001
38. Atlanta United vs. Sporting Kansas City – 5/9 – MLS – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 44,696
39. Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy – 8/18 – MLS – CenturyLink Field – 44,213
40. Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas Guadalajara – 3/7 – CCL – CenturyLink Field – 42,885
41. Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 10/28 – MLS – CenturyLink Field – 42,617
42. Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 7/21 – MLS – CenturyLink Field – 41,849
43. Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire – 6/20 – Open Cup – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 41,012
44. USA vs. Mexico – 9/11 – Friendly – Nissan Stadium – 40,194
45. Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC – 3/4 – MLS – CenturyLink Field – 40,070

Fans in the American soccer community love to argue which city truly is “Soccer City USA.” After 2018, that title has to go to Atlanta. Every single Atlanta United game drew over 40,000, as did the MLS All-Star Game which was played in Atlanta. The city hosted nine games that drew over 70,000 people. Overall, 22 games were played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and all 22 of them drew over 40,000. In fact, over 1 million fans attended a soccer game at MBS this year.

What other city that led the way in soccer attendance for so long? Seattle did as well as they ever have but it feels different now that Atlanta has blown past them over the course of two years. They had six games draw over 40,000 people but the high this year was 47,521 in June against the Portland Timbers.

The annual International Champions Cup brought out the fans in droves. The now bi-annual tradition of playing a game at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan saw Liverpool and Manchester United draw over 100,000 people. Other games featuring European clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan drew crowds in excess of 50,000.

And finally the international game did about as well as could be expected given that the US Men’s National Team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Only one US game drew over 40,000 and that was against Mexico. Meanwhile, El Tri played six games in the US and five of them drew over 40,000 with four of those five drawing over 60,000. Perhaps the most interesting of all the international friendly crowds was the 46,893 that Peru and Croatia got in Miami. Peru fans certainly made their presence known this year as they packed stadiums in Miami, Switzerland, and at the World Cup. Their nation qualified for the World Cup for the first time in over 30 years so kudos to them for that.

2 Comments

  1. Jason December 18, 2018
    • Lawrence Dockery December 18, 2018

Leave a Reply to Jason Cancel reply