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A Brief History Of Soccer In The United States
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Soccer in the world
Soccer become a much-loved sport long before it achieved popularity the United States. In the mid-19th century, soccer was invented in England as we know it today. But the roots of the sport might have been casted down centuries before. In 12th -century England, people played a similar game by kicking a ball around on meadows and fields.
Bringing soccer to America
Colonists from Jamestown settlements started spreading their love for the early version of the game throughout the rest of the territory. But it wasn’t after the Civil War that soccer gained popularity in colleges. Playing a game between schools was chaotic, as each one had their own rules! So, you might have Princeton playing with 25 men on the field versus another team with fewer players!
As you can see from the American confusion around these rules, there was a lack of common rules. That’s why FIFA was created in Europe in 1904. They laid out the rules for the game and organized international competitions. However, in the early 20th -century, FIFA refused the United States’s initiative to join. Maybe it’s from here that the big split between soccer and other “more American” sports comes from!
When immigrants got to the shores of the United States coming from Europe in the 1910s and 1920s, they brought along their love of soccer. Children and adults alike were used to playing soccer in the streets with friends back in their home countries. When they got to America to work in manual industries, they didn’t just drop this habit! In fact, the nation started paying more attention (and liking!) soccer. In 1921, the first-ever American professional soccer league was founded and named American Soccer League (ASL). As more enthusiasm grew over the ensuing years, more people enrolled in teams and fought to be crowned champions year in and out. Did you know that the United States finished third in the inaugural World Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay?
Where did all that love go?
But if soccer was once so loved, why is it that nowadays it’s not the top sport in the United States? Unfortunately, in 1931 with the Great Depression and thanks to a “civil war” inside the American Soccer League, the organization collapsed. With time, enthusiasm and excitement faded and other sports (such as basketball, football and baseball) filled the void left by soccer in people’s hearts.
Don’t be too sad that soccer was sort of wiped off the map in the 20th century. Luckily, the sport is making a comeback. The United States national team is drawing in more talents to dazzle crowds at home and abroad at international competitions. Maybe, in a few decades, the glory of soccer will be restored in the United States!
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