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

Football Union.

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

football.

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

time.

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.

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