The months have flown by and we’re somehow knocking on the footsteps of 2018. With the amount of soccer we’re privy to on U.S. TV, it’s hard to discern one month from the next, as competitions and leagues make the calendar one big blur. October had a spooky amount of soccer and thankfully (or begrudgingly… looking at you, USMNT) we caught most of it.
On the international stage, 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying held center court in October. CONMEBOL qualifying was electric with many teams still eligible for qualification heading into the last match day. After much fear from fans (and FIFA officials, sponsors, and basically everyone in existence) Messi carried… and will continue to carry… Argentina to Russia.
Fans of the U.S. Men’s National Team were treated to a great home victory against Panama to start the month (factoid: this was the most-watched game of October, 2.65M), but then were tricked by an embarrassing defeat a few days later and will miss out on all the sweets and treats in Russia next summer. But I’m sure you already knew that.
Fear not, MNT fans! Perfectly segued from the failure of World Cup qualification on the senior level, days later the U.S. U-17s made a run to the quarterfinals of the U-17 FIFA World Cup losing to eventual champions, England. (PSA: can we stop calling U.S. YNTs the “Baby Nats?”).
What else happened in October…
The MLS regular season came to close and gave rise to the [Jim Mora voice] PLAYOFFS?! By month’s end, Chicago, San Jose, Atlanta, and Kansas City were all eliminated. Down in Mexico, the Liga MX Apertura began its descent towards the playoffs. Over in Europe, the Champions League group stage continued, as did league play.
Two teams who both claim the “FCB” moniker and are teams you’ve definitely never heard of had the most appearances on U.S. TV in October. FC Barcelona’s most-watched game of the month was a La Liga match against Las Palmas on beIN SPORTS/beIN SPORTS Español (329,000). FC Bayern Munich’s most-watched game was against Hertha Berlin on FS1/UníMas (220,000).
As has been the case for months (years?) now, Mexican soccer, be it El Tri or Liga MX, dominated the airwaves and represented four of the five most-watched matches in October.
November will be another righteous month for soccer with all the spots for the 2018 FIFA World Cup secured by month’s end. Let’s boogie!