I have arrived in San Jose just ahead of the Sounders, who will meet the Earthquakes tomorrow night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The headline above refers to a title The Oregonian newspaper recently bestowed on San Jose, based on factors including youth and adult league participation, game attendance, performance of local teams, and number of tournaments hosted.
Portland, which has long claimed for itself the Soccer City USA title, came in third behind San Jose and Washington, D.C.
Seattle ranked fifth.
“I’m not that caught up in the labels,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said yesterday. “I’d rather allow someone else to call themselves soccer city USA if we have the most season-ticket holders and the best fans and the best corporate support and the best team on the field. I think really the numbers should speak for themselves. We hope to maintain the best soccer business and the best soccer fans in the United States and let the media decide who soccer city USA is.”
The Oregonian decided on San Jose based in part due to home attendance both in MLS and in NASL (adjusted for local population), producing a player on the last U.S. women's World Cup team, and for winning men's and women's Division-I college soccer titles. Another positive on the score sheet was the Earthquakes Corporate Cup tournament. It also figured in MLS and historic NASL attendance adjusted for local population.
I'll take a look at more of this -- and especially the case for San Jose -- in the Saturday TNT. But for now, here are the Oregonian's top 10 soccer cities.
No. 1 San JoseNo. 2 Washington D.C.No. 3 PortlandNo. 4 Los AngelesNo. 5 SeattleNo. 6 New YorkNo. 7 PhiladelphiaNo. 8 Salt Lake CityNo. 9 ColumbusNo. 10 Houston.
And here's the Oregonian story.