Tag Archives: 19th century

21

Why Fall River?

A few places might lay claim to the title of the first soccer capital of the United States. St. Louis has sometimes been referred to by that name. An argument might be made on behalf of the West Hudson area of New Jersey. The first game of association football ever …

6

Some early all-stars

Choosing an all-star team can involve some very difficult judgements. It’s tough enough when you’re picking among people who played a week ago or a month ago. When it’s people who played a century or more ago, it becomes largely guesswork. All of that can be taken as a sort …

6

School days

Among the unexpected things to be found in the Spalding soccer guides from the early part of the 20th century is a high school soccer league. That’s right. A public high school soccer league in the United States more than 100 years ago. The 1907 edition of the Spalding guide …

17

The oldest American team

Who is the oldest still-operating soccer club in the United States? I used to be sure that I knew the answer to that question. I thought it was the Kearny Scots, the earliest mention of whom that I’ve seen is in 1895. Then I learned that the Kearny Scots who …

15

U.S.-Canada in Kearny

Clark Field in East Newark, N.J., or at least the place that used to be Clark Field, doesn’t have a very athletic look about it today. Most of the block is a parking lot. At one end, there are some row houses. At the other end is a large diner. …

15

A false start

Soccer got going pretty quickly in American colleges after the standardization of the rules in England in 1863, but that turned out to be something of a false start. The very first steps took place farther west than one might expect, in Waukesha, Wisc., on Oct. 11, 1866, when a …

10

A shirt sponsor in 1887?

Shirt advertising is a relatively recent development in big-time professional soccer. The first European first-division team to wear shirt advertising was Eintracht Braunschweig of West Germany in 1973 (“Jagermeister”), and it has grown from there. The last major European team to give in to the seemingly inevitable and put a …

12

Who were and weren’t the Oneidas?

Not too many years ago, references to the Oneida Football Club of Boston usually described it as the first soccer team in the United States. Even those of us who were skeptics about this idea were willing to concede the possibility that it might be true. The Oneidas began play …

9

The American Football Association

The name is simple, clear and direct. It would make an excellent title for an organization governing the sport of soccer in the United States. However, it has already been taken, well over a century ago. The American Football Association was founded by British expatriates at a meeting in the …

15

State-by-state soccer debuts

When and where was the first soccer game played in your state? Here are the answers to those questions — partial answers in many cases — for more than 40 different states. Of course, a few of these weren’t states yet when the first soccer game was played there, and …