The United States may not be at the top of the list of soccer destinations, but it is certainly worth visiting. While the European Union and South America are widely known as soccer destinations, the United States is still emerging. Discover in this article the best football destinations in the United States and how apply for an ESTA.
Men’s football in the United States
Even though men’s soccer is not as well known in the United States as it is in Europe or South America, many international soccer stars leave their home clubs for American clubs to complete their soccer careers. David Beckham, for example, left Real Madrid to play for LA Galaxy for five years and Pelé played two seasons for the New York Cosmos towards the end of his career. In doing so, they both played a major role in helping American men’s soccer make a name for itself.
On the East Coast, for example, you could visit the New England Revolution’s Gilette Stadium in Massachusetts, New York City FC’s Yankee Stadium in New York, DC United’s Audi Field in Washington DC, or the Inter Miami CF in Florida. On the west coast, you’ll find the Seattle Sounders’ Lumen Field in Seattle, the Portland Timbers’ Providence Park in Oregon or the Los Angeles Galaxy’s famous Dignity Health Sports Park in California.
With an ESTA, you can stay in the United States for up to 90 days, giving you plenty of time to visit the East and West Coasts to make the most of your trip to the United States.
Women’s soccer in the United States
While men’s soccer is still in its infancy in the United States, women’s soccer has been immensely popular for decades. In 1972, a law was passed in the United States that schools and universities had to give as much money to women’s teams as to men’s teams. This is how, with the stroke of a pen, women were taken seriously in football on the same basis as men. Thirty years later, women’s football had a sudden boom, and in 1991 it achieved its best possible result: winning its first world championship title. Since then, the USA women’s team has won the World Cup three more times (1999, 2015 and 2019). She is now also the reigning world champion. The growth of interest in this sport is evidenced by the fact that over the years the Fifa has decided to increase the number of teams participating in this tournament. The 2023 edition, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, will be the first to increase from 24 to 32 participating teams.
To admire the individual talents of the players of the American team, you can for example go to San Diego, to see Alex Morgan play for San Diego Wave FC, or to Tacoma, where superstar Megan Rapinoe plays for Reign FC. Want to see them all in person? You can then catch a game of the United States Women’s National Team during soccer season. It does not have a fixed ground, so it is advisable to find out about the location and times of its matches before planning your trip to the United States.
Apply for ESTA for the United States
If you want to travel to the United States to get a taste of the football culture of this country, you will need to apply for an ESTA. It is an electronic travel authorization to enter the country. You can easily apply for an ESTA online and you do not need to visit a consulate or embassy. An ESTA is valid for two years from the date of grant and during these two years, you will be able to travel to the United States with a maximum stay of 90 days. This gives you plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in American football culture.