Soccer began in England in the early 1830's as a popular
sport for working-class communities. It was seen as a way
of keeping the children out of trouble around the house and
while they were in school. They could relieve frustration
and learn to work as a team, important concepts to help
them grow and adjust to life as adults.
In 1857, the first clubs were formed in Sheffield. Within
10 years, the clubs had enough of a following to form their
own association, the Football Association, around 1867.
After the first matches between associations such as the
Sheffield Football Association and the London Football
Association, the clubs decided that official rules were
needed that could be followed between clubs.
The groups got together and began trying to establish rules
that everyone would approve, but there were many issues that
could not be resolved. Although they eventually came up with
rules, part of the group branched off and created the Rugby
Although in America, the sport is called soccer, throughout
much of the rest of the world it is known as football, and
what Americans know as football is called American
Soccer first entered the United States through the upper
class; it was played by schoolboys and college men, but
there was not a formal soccer club until 1862 when the
Boston Oneida soccer club was formed.
Generally, this is considered the first club to carry a
regular roster, because until this time pick-up games were
the norm. The club was an elite subsection of the population
that would play against pick-up teams. Throughout the
four-year history of the Oneida Soccer Club, they never
lost a game.
Beginning in the 1920's, soccer really began to gain a
place in America. The American Soccer League was founded in
1921, guaranteeing that the game was here to stay; it was
almost as popular as the National Football League for a
Eventually, the game and the clubs began to be available
to children and adults from the lower socio-economic
classes with the formation of a new league, termed the ASL.
Since this formation, soccer has become an increasingly
popular sport throughout the United States.
Today many people around the world stop everything during
the World Cup Finals to watch the game and cheer for their
team. If you want to know more about soccer, search the
Internet or visit with someone from your local league.