There’s little secret you might not have heard that team scarves are a major part of soccer. Nearly every professional soccer club has their own brand of scarves, as do most international teams. In recent years, youth club teams and high school soccer teams have embraced the tradition. But perhaps the one area where custom soccer scarves have really begun to take hold is colleges and their teams. Here are some reasons why:
First, there is a bond between people and universities that runs very deep, bordering on utter madness. Sporting events are often an all-day event, complete with pregame and postgame partying. Alumni make trips to the matches to relive the glory days of their past, while current students take pride in attending games and showing off their school spirit. Rivalries amongst such schools and their fans are extreme. Of the most famous such college rivals are Ohio State-Michigan, USC-UCLA, North Carolina-Duke, Alabama-Auburn, and the list goes on and on. With this high drama, winner-takes-all stakes that surrounds college sports, the fandom loves to be expressed.
Team scarves make this all possible, especially when supporting a university soccer squad. Students love to embrace the passion of soccer, which they’ve certainly seen by watching the World Cup or English Premier League. At this burgeoning age where youth meets adulthood, being loud and exuberant in the stands of your college’s big soccer match is an absolute joy.
A second reason why scarves and collegiate soccer make the perfect match is that soccer continues to be a rapidly growing sport within the young generation. Access to viewing matches in famous leagues like the EPL or La Liga today is far beyond what anyone had 10 years ago (I remember watching the FA Cup final 3 days later on tape delay one year, purposefully avoiding any soccer websites until I’d seen the match). Additionally, the MLS’s continued growth and the USA National Teams’ success (both Men’s and Women’s) have created a plethora of young adults fascinated with the sport. But the problem despite all this development is an overall lack of access to live games.
The MLS houses just 20 teams. England alone has 20 teams in the EPL, as well as nearly a hundred more in the lower divisions. Roughly 60-80 of those clubs could be considered professional, and please bear in mind that England is roughly the size of Louisiana. Then consider the size of Europe and the numerous leagues in contains. The continent has hundreds of pro soccer teams to compare to America’s 20!
But what fills the void is college. We have hundreds of universities here and many feature a soccer team. This gives students a chance to really take an active part in the matches, and they do. As part of embracing soccer, the fans take on soccer scarves, which help to legitimize the teams and add excitement to the games.
Soccer is beginning to show a real growth in America, and much of that is coming at the collegiate level. As more and more colleges release soccer scarves for their teams, the drama and wonder of the sport continues to blossom in the United States!