2What is Soccer?Soccer is considered to be the most popular sport in the world.Soccer is played by two teams of eleven on a field at one time trying to put a round ball into the opposing teams net with a goalkeeper protecting it. The object is to score more goals than your opponents.Known as “football” in many countries, the reason? You are not allowed to use your hands in the sport unless you are the goalkeeper. The only time a field player can handle the ball is during a throw-in from the sideline.
3History of SoccerVariations of soccer have been played around the world for over 2000 years. Such games have been documented in China, ancient Rome and even among Native Americans.By the mid-19th century, soccer was being played at many public schools in England. In 1848 at Cambridge University in England, the “Cambridge Rules” were created. They contained association football (soccer) rules which influence the rules people use today for the game. The Football Association (FA) became the governing body of British soccer.In Paris in 1904 FIFA, the international football governing body was formed. FIFA declares the laws of the game to this day.
4History of Soccer in America Some form of soccer was played as far back as the settlement of Jamestown in 1609.Some say the Oneida Football Club in Boston was the first established team in America. Photographic evidence supports Paterson FC in NJ (right) as the first club team in 1880.In 1869, the first U.S. match with Football Association (FA) rules was played. The game featured Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won 6-4.In early soccer leagues in the U.S., they used the word football. Eventually, in 1945 the U.S. used soccer with football. In 1974, the U.S. just used soccer and dropped the word football.
5Soccer Currently in America In 1994, the U.S. held the World Cup for the first time. Games were played at the Pontiac Silverdome indoors – another first.Two years later, in 1996, the MLS (Major League Soccer) was created. This replaced the former men’s pro league, the NASL (North American Soccer League) which had gone bankrupt only 10 years before and included famous players such as Pele.The Women’s National Team has been very good while the Men’s has had mixed history. The women have won 2 of the 5 world cups so far. The men’s national team advanced to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup, but greatest game was defeating England in the 1950 World Cup, 1-0.
6Popularity of Soccer in America Soccer has come a long way since coming to America a long time ago. It is very popular with kids, teens, and colleges at the league, club and school levels. It is not necessarily popular with adults because they did not grow up soccer was to popular.Although soccer has been increasing in popularity with the MLS expanding year by year and the arrival of star David Beckham, the sport has far to go to catch up with baseball, basketball or “American” football.Some argue that the soccer is less popular because there are not many points scored, there are no true superstar players and our men’s team mixed record at the International level.
7Interview #1 with Dad Q: How do you think soccer came to America? A: I believe that it came through British immigrants.Q: How has soccer influenced your life?A: It has been very important because I have played it in America and England. I also love watching it and it is my favorite sport. It is the “beautiful” game.Q: What do you think the world would be like without soccer?A: In America, kids would mostly be affected, but throughout the world, there would be riots everywhere because it is so popular!Q: Why do you think soccer is so popular everywhere besides the U.S.?A: America may not like it as much because there is not enough scoring.Q: Do you think Soccer will ever be really popular in the U.S.?A: Well it already is for kids, but in order for it to be as popular as basketball or baseball the U.S. men’s national team needs to be a top team in the world.
8Interview #2 with David Dwaihy Q: How do you think soccer came to America?A: I think it came by European immigrants.Q: How has soccer influenced your life?A: It has influenced my life in a big way. It is my favorite sport and it has kept me in shape and gave me a form of creative expression.Q: What do you think the world would be like without soccer?A: Well there would probably be another sport would take its place, but it would be missed and it does a lot of good for the world.Q: Why do you think soccer is so popular everywhere besides the U.S.?A: In other parts of the world there is not that much competition like the U.S. and it is a simple sport which is also a cheap one for some countries lacking money.Q: Do you think soccer will ever be really popular in the U.S.?A: I don’t think it will ever be really popular, but it has come a long way over the years.
9BibliographyBooks:David Wangerin, Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten GameTemple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.The American Encyclopedia of Soccer, edited by Zander Hollander; Everest House, New York, NY, 1980.Internet:Interviews:David DwaihyRichard Hopkins