One of the arguments in favor of welcoming the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer to Austin is that it would be particularly popular among the city’s growing Hispanic population. From my Austin Monitor article today:
“The Hispanic community is really excited about the opportunity for Major League Soccer,” said Council Member Delia Garza, who said the city has not done enough to encourage entertainment geared toward the city’s growing Latino population.
Council Member Ora Houston also expressed her enthusiasm for the idea.
“Football, as it’s called everywhere else, is the major sport globally. It crosses ethnic bounds and geographic bounds,” she said. “Soccer is a big deal.”
The great majority of Austin’s Latino population is of Mexican descent. It’s worth noting that while soccer reigns supreme in much of Mexico, in some parts of the country my sense is that baseball is more popular (near the U.S. border and the Yucatan).
But here’s the thing about Mexican-American soccer fans: the evidence suggests they are much more tuned into the Liga MX than the MLS. Indeed, the MLS is at best the third-most viewed soccer league in the U.S., behind the Liga and the English Premier League.
From watching all three seasons of Club de Cuervos (great show on Netflix about a Mexican futbol team), I know that the Mexican league limits the number of non-Mexican players on teams. But I wonder if there is a rule against a team being located in another country.
I mean, why not? The NHL and the MLB are both U.S. leagues with teams in Canada.
For what it’s worth, I’d certainly be more likely to attend a Liga game than an MLS game.