Soccer in the United States has long been popular amongst all ages and it is the most popular recreational sport for both boys and girls, and according to History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game, has been so for about 25 years. This late 20th century boom is attributed for the most part to the existence of the North American Soccer League from 1967 to 1984, and the New York Cosmos, its marquee team which included among its players stellar names like Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer.
Professional soccer has expanded since the mid-1990s, especially since the 1994 FIFA World Cup which was hosted in the United States for the first time. Both the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups were also held in the U.S., and the United States women's national team is one of the best in the world. Their home crowd of over 90,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the 1999 World Cup Final remains the largest crowd in the world ever to witness any women's sporting event.
More and more Americans, having played the game in their youth are now avid spectators. Most cities with Major League Soccer teams have large fan bases. In addition, as Latin American immigration is increasing overall in the entire nation, so is the popularity of soccer.
is a professional soccer
club located in Washington, D.C.
that participates in Major League Soccer
, the United States' top-tier soccer league. Considered the most successful club
in American soccer, the club has won the U.S. Open Cup
and holds the record for most MLS Cups
and MLS Supporters' Shields
with four apiece. Furthermore, D.C. United is the first club to be awarded the MLS Supporters' Shield back-to-back (2006 and 2007) and the first club to win back-to-back MLS Cups (1996 and 1997). In 1998 D.C. United became the first American club to win the CONCACAF Champions' Cup
and the Copa Interamericana
, defeating Club Toluca
of Mexico 1-0 and Vasco da Gama
on 2-1 aggregate.
The team's home field is the 20,000-seat Audi Field, in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. From 1996-2017, they played their matches at RFK Stadium. The club also has one of the strongest fan bases in the league and country, with three supporters' clubs (La Barra Brava, the Screaming Eagles, and La Norte) and one of the highest attendance averages in Major League Soccer. The club's official nickname is the "Black-and-Red" and home uniforms are black and white with accents of red.