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Globally, FIFA reported roughly 265 million soccer participants from 200 countries and 3.6 Billion fans, which makes soccer the most popular sport from a participation and fan base standpoint. An ESPN poll revealed that second to China, the United States has the highest youth participation rate in soccer with roughly 24.5 million players. And, within the country, soccer is the second most popular sport for youth, trailing only behind basketball.
Soccer is inexpensive to get started. Cleats, shin guards and soccer socks are the only necessary equipment purchases prior to joining a team. Depending on whether a player is joining a recreational or select-travel team, participation costs can run anywhere from $50-$3,000.
Soccer is one of the easier sports to learn. Due to the of infrequent stoppage in play, there is a lot of time and space for free play and creativity. There are only a couple of major tactical regulations, such as offside, that need to be learned before jumping into the sport.
Soccer is known to be the most popular sport in the world, and one of the few that is played in nearly every country. To get a gauge of fan base popularity, in 2014 there were nearly 111.5 million people who tuned in for the Super Bowl and 1 billion who tuned in for the FIFA World Cup Final.
The most common injuries in soccer are sprains and strains of ankles and knees. Although there are other major injuries, such as concussions and ACL tears that can be prevalent mostly at the higher levels, severity and recovery time for soccer injuries tends to be low.
Soccer requires a high fitness ability, specifically endurance and agility. On average, a soccer player will run a total of 7 miles per game, depending on level of participation and position played.
Fitness Components for Soccer
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