While the U.S. isn't favored to win the World Cup, it's emerged the champion by at least one measure: digital activity.
During the past month, the U.S. easily took the top spot with 23.5 percent of FIFA's global audience on digital platforms. That includes mobile apps and the website.
With an audience of more than 36 million, the U.S. had more than the next top four countries combined. Not bad for a place where many of the citizens struggle with identifying the sport's star players, knowledge of the rules and even basic terminology.
The U.S. has also shown the most growth. Since the last World Cup, the number of U.S. visitors has jumped by more than 200 percent, outpacing the overall increase of 174 percent, according to FIFA Digital Platforms. In addition, the U.S. has the most engaged digital fans with the number of visits per user 90 percent higher than the rest of the world. The biggest audiences came from the largest states: California, New York and Texas.
The activity points to the growing popularity of soccer in the U.S. During the week ended June 22, the top two cable television shows in the country were the U.S. games against Portugal and Ghana, which brought many offices to a standstill.
So, while the U.S. has just a 26 percent chance of topping Belgium today on the field, it can claim this victory. Belgium's digital audience ranked 19th.