In the United States, soccer's popularity barely cracks the top five sports: it falls behind baseball, football, hockey and basketball. Globally, however, soccer is the world's most popular sport and everyone pays attention to it. Is the U.S. finally catching on? Networks, sponsors, and youth leagues are helping to propel the sport forward into mainstream culture. One big fact: three million American children played youth soccer in 2012. Check out these figures on what you should know about the United States and soccer so that you can actually participate in World Cup excitement, starting today.

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