America's Soccer Story
Soccer is an old American game,
played here sooner than
football, basketball, and hockey,
younger only than baseball.
In fits and starts from
the earliest games in the 1860's, soccer became a rich subculture hiding plainly in sight, present across the United States without attracting much attention, capturing the public's imagination, or addressing its economic, social, and cultural challenges.
Before the 1970s, few kids played the game, few coaches could teach it,
and soccer didn't matter to Americans.
Rooted first through mostly volunteer effort, American soccer professionalized into a multibillion dollar sport, lifestyle and culture market, still emerging.
Nurtured in the twin cradles of school fields and ethnic sporting clubs, American soccer has grown through adolescence into young adulthood.
In 1960, American soccer lacked the professional capacity, infrastructure, and durable investment required to create play that inspires national audiences.
Even 20 years ago there was little money fueling the new strategy for national
growth. Now, our pro leagues and international quality of play are primed for a quantum leap forward.
What happens next in
America’s Soccer Story?
An underdog game that few people thought would become a major American sport, soccer and its people are meeting that goal and now face new challenges —
Will all Americans find access plus excellent experiences throughout their life with the game?
Will American women continue to conquer the world and g mature generate mature pro leagues?
Will USMNTs and men's pro leagues achieve world class play?
Americans began playing soccer soon after our Civil War, yet by 1970 hardly anyone in the States knew the game.
Today American soccer is
a multibillion dollar sport, culture and lifestyle industry serving ~ 15 million players and 80 millions fans.
ASC shows the people who made it happen and how they did it.
Countless stories emerge speaking with builders across the US.
On the way and back from interviews, ASC learns soccer history on location and documents a remarkable range of events.
150,000+ miles across highways and back roads to see where American soccer lives, and miles to go
before we sleep.
It took soccer 130 years to capture the public's attention.
Our story follows builders through sporting clubs, schools, teams, and organizations, tracing changes in public perception and social relevance as the US learns the game while infrastructure and investments grow.
Books, news reports, institutional documents, personal notes, and other materials illuminate the events, people, money, circumstances, and perceptions shaping American soccer.
Photographs and images dating to the 1860s trace American soccer from its birth alongside the people, places, and events that changed the game's story.
Cups and Trophies, kits, stadia and grounds, clubhouses, posters, programs, and other artifacts bring to life critical soccer events, places and times.