pic of the week 7/28-8/3

Portland Thorns Crowd

Attendance figures are all the rage these days in American soccer. It’s a never-ending race to see who can get the most fans out for games, and seems to be the main barometer by which the success of your club is measured. One record-setting crowd caught everyone’s attention this weekend, and rightfully so. But that was set by two European super clubs with arguably the largest followings in the United States. However, there was another soccer attendance record set this weekend, and that was by two American clubs.

This week’s Pic of the Week features the league record 19,123 fans that turned up last night for the Portland Thorns FC home match at Providence Park for their NWSL match against the Houston Dash. That’s right, nineteen thousand plus turned up for a women’s professional soccer game that was not the wildly popular US women’s national team — though a fair few of the participants on both sides do play for the lady ‘nats.

That’s a turnout of which many of the clubs from the fully professional men’s leagues such as MLS, NASL, and USLPRO would be extremely jealous. In fact, the Thorns averaged over 13k in attendance last season and are on pace to do so again this year. Either way, both women’s professional soccer and the soccer in general in this country can take a lot of pride that a crowd that large turned out for what many might consider a non-relevant match in the greater scheme of things.

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