It’s time to end the debate, friends.
Seattle is Soccer City, USA.
At least that’s what Portland’s flagship newspaper, The Oregonian, told us on Friday, when they revealed that Seattle finished atop their study that “analyzed 10 categories to determine interest and viability in all 16 US cities” that have MLS teams.
And they say Portland and Seattle don’t get along.
Portland finished second in the study, followed by Kansas City, Orlando and New York. Chester, Pennsylvania – which was measured instead of Philadelphia – brought up the rear, with Denver and San Jose rounding out the bottom-three.
That’s a big change from the last time The Oregonian commissioned a Soccer City, USA study in 2011, when the paper named San Jose as the nation’s best soccer town.
The Oregonian study ranked every MLS market using 10 categories that were weighted based on “their relative significance in creating a ‘soccer city,’” including several markers from women’s soccer.
The highest-weighted categories were the 2015 local TV ratings for MLS, average MLS attendance numbers from 2015, number of MLS Cups won and number of MLS Homegrown players signed. Categories given a moderate weight were the presence of an NWSL team and average NWSL attendance numbers. The lowest-weighted categories were NWSL titles, national team events hosted since 2000, USL titles and NCAA Division I soccer titles.
While Seattle won the study, Portland has nudged ahead of them on the field in the last couple of years, with the Timbers beating their rival Sounders to win Cascadia’s first MLS Cup in 2015 and winning their 2016 season series against the Sounders with a 2-1-0 record.