US market taps in on Latin American football fever

By Agency

United States football fans have been enjoying a special treat during the latest international break as Latin America's heavyweights Brazil, Argentina and Mexico have decamped to the north for a pair of friendlies.
It was an unexpected boost for a country still smarting from its embarrassing failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, eliminated from qualifying by minnows Panama. But with a total of nine friendlies involving Latin American sides over two match days being played in the US, many have asked why there is such a proliferation all of a sudden.
"It's a question of the market," Carolina Jaramillo, director at Colombian sports marketing agency Score, told AFP.
"The US is a market that's absolutely growing. It's huge, with a very big Hispanic market." Some 24 years after hosting the World Cup for the first time and despite winning the right, alongside neighbors Canada and Mexico to deliver the 2026 edition, US football continues to struggle to compete for attention alongside the traditional sports of baseball, basketball and American football.