Hello, Chris the friendly intern here back with another weekly post,
So, the USA soccer craze has absolutely blown up the past few weeks with the USA advancing past the group of death, but unfortunately losing to Belgium in a heart wrenching match. (Probably won’t be eating many Belgium waffles in the coming weeks). However, I was in New York City the past week and it made me realize how big soccer is actually getting in the United States, which I personally think is a great thing. Soccer is definitely the most popular sport overall in the entire world and if the United States got just as passionate as the European countries we would be fantastic.
However, this also made me think of something about America’s past, did we ever have soccer teams back in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s? If so how did they fair against the other nations of the time? So I decided to look up some information on soccer during the times of the Whaley’s. By 1876 soccer was initiated as an official sport in the United States and the first two teams that were created were club teams by Princeton and Rutgers Universities. During the 1880’s the United States had a big immigrant rush of British and other European citizens, who were already familiar and very fond of soccer. By 1884 popularity did grow in the states and the American Football Association (AFA) was founded which had structure to the sport. Lastly in 1885-1886 the United States and Canada played the first international match that had nothing to do with the British Isles or a European country; the sport was seemingly growing exponentially. FIFA was formed in 1904 but did not include the United States or Canada. Finally in 1916 and years prior the United States was granted allowance by FIFA and the United States started playing in international friendlies where in their first international tour they went 3-1-2, not bad for a fresh team. Later on in 1930 the United States also played in the very first World Cup, but after that the soccer craze seemed to fall off until in 1990 when the USA was back in the World Cup after 40 years. Needless to say soccer has gained a lot more buzz in the past decade, but it’s always good to see where our roots started.
Heres some awesome modern day USA soccer pictures: