America's Soccer Story
Soccer is an American game,
older in the US than
football, basketball, and hockey,
younger only than baseball.
In fits and starts from our earliest 1860's games, soccer became a subculture, present all around the United States without capturing the national imagination or joining our national pastimes.
Seeded with largely volunteer effort, soccer in the United States grew into a multibillion dollar economy, still emerging.
Nurtured in the twin cradles of school fields and ethnic social and sporting clubs, American soccer is emerging from adolescence into young adulthood.
Since 1960, American soccer's builders generated a stable foundation of human capital, physical infrastructure, financial investment, and social capital.
Even 20 years ago there was little money to plan strategically for growth at national scale. Now, our pro leagues and international quality of play are primed for a quantum leap forward.
How will America’s Soccer Story unfold?
An underdog game that few people thought would become a major American sport, soccer and its people met 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 generate fans needed to mature the pro leagues?
Will USMNTs and 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 venture serving ~ 15 million players
and 80 millions fans.
ASC presents the people who made it happen.
Countless stories emerge in conversation with builders across the US.
On the way and back from builder interviews, ASC learns soccer and sporting history on location and documents an astounding range of events.
Coverage comprises 150,000+ miles on highways and back roads.
And miles to go before we sleep.
It took soccer 130 years to capture the American public's attention.
Our research follows the lives of the builders through schools and sporting clubs, tracing changes in civic perception, social acceptance and the growth of human capital, physical infrastructure, financial investment.
Books, news reports, institutional papers, personal notes, and other print materials document the matches, people, ideas, activities, perceptions, and finances shaping America's soccer history.
Photographs and images dating to the 1860s show American soccer's birth and show the people, places, and events that tell our story.
Cups and trophies, stadia, grounds, clubhouses, kits, posters, programs, and other artifacts reveal overlooked stories illuminating soccer's American story.