Despite the USMNT's 4-2 loss vs Czech Republic 2 days ago in East Hartford, I think it was a good sign and a great night for US soccer.
- Sold Out Stadium: I'm an MLS fan in CT and I try to go to as many New England Revolution games as I can. Attendance at such events are typically laughable for a major league sport. Hearing that a stadium 'sold out' for a soccer match at all is a really awesome sign.
- Higher Ticket Prices: I hate ticket scalping. To hear that someone has 12 extra tickets to a sold out game and they are selling for double their face-value gets me pretty upset, but I'll be honest, that's a great sign for soccer. Ticket prices for soccer matches in the US are cheap, because lets be honest there isn't the interest. As demand goes up, so do prices. So I can understand that the face-value of these tickets were not as high as their actual value and they were still pretty reasonable comparibly to other professional sports. Knowing that people are paying 2 to 3 times the money for a ticket is a great sign for the sport. If leagues and venues know they can make more hosting soccer games, the more likely they are to invest in the industry.
- ESPN Coverage: ESPN is ramping up a lot for World Cup coverage and the fact that they were there at the game with live coverage was fantastic. So not only was the stadium sold out, eyes were seeing the match all over the country and seeing the interest and energy involved.
- Crowd energy: I watched the match from home and had a co-worker who wen to the game. From what I can tell from watching and his experience, was that the crowd was really excited and into the match. Which is normal for soccer, as any soccer fan knows. Lots of chearing, standing, singing etc, made for an energetic and exciting atmosphere. It's that kind of atmosphere that makes fans and keeps them coming back for more.
- This was just a friendly, we still have the World Cup: Another great sign is that the attention and interest was there and high and this wasn't even a World Cup match. This was a friendly to help the team prepare. You could tell the coach and team were working more on tweaking the roster and experimenting than they were on winning the match, and that's ok. But if there is that kind of support going into the tournament, that shows there will be even more invested in the tournament itself. Which is a great sign.