USA vs. Ghana in 2014 World Cup Becomes ESPN's Most-Viewed Men's Soccer Match

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: John Brooks of the United States (R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Fabian Johnson during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's too bad soccer will never catch on in the United States, right?    

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, the U.S.' 2-1 win over Ghana was the highest-rated soccer match ever on ESPN, coming in at 11.093 million viewers:

Ourand also reported that another 1.4 million viewers watched the game on WatchESPN:

According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, ESPN's highest-rated soccer match was the United States vs. Japan in the 2011 Women's World Cup final:

Karp helped to put the men's 11.093 rating into perspective:

Soccer broadcasting in the United States has come a long way in a short amount of time.

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

During the 1990 World Cup, networks ran commercials during match action, which led to fans missing out on goals as they were being scored. Sixteen years later, ESPN came under fire for appointing somebody who was used to broadcasting baseball games—Dave O'Brien—and deputizing him as one of the lead announcers for the 2006 World Cup.

Considering the 11.09 rating was only the United States' first match of the group stage, it wouldn't be crazy to think that the ratings will only improve. Ghana was by far the least marketable of the U.S.' three matches.

Germany and Portugal are among the best teams in Europe and have much bigger reputations than the Black Stars. American fans are waiting with bated breath to see the Yanks take on Cristiano Ronaldo and for coach Jurgen Klinsmann to take on his native Deutschland.

Soccer is only growing rapidly in popularity, and the numbers are certainly reflecting that.