AMERICA'S SOCCER STORY
 
Yesterday

Soccer is an American game, older here than football, basketball, and hockey,

younger only than baseball.

In fits and starts from our earliest games in the 1860s, soccer gradually became a ubiquitous subculture, present all around the United States without quite capturing the national imagination or becoming a national pastime.

Today

Through 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 has grown from adolescence into young adulthood. 

 

Since 1960, the builders created a stable platform 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. Nowour pro and international quality of play has launched into a quantum leap forward.

Tomorrow

We don’t know how 

America’s Soccer Story ends.

An underdog game that few Americans thought would become a major sport here, soccer and our people relegated that thought and now face compelling new challenges. 

 

Will all Americans someday have access to excellent soccer experience throughout their life? 

 

Will our women continue overcoming the challenges they must to conquer the world?

 

Will our men’s national teams and professional leagues achieve world class play? 

 

HISTORIES

Mark Krikorian.jpg
People

Before 1970, statistically

0 kids in the United States 

played soccer.

 

Today? American soccer is a multibillion dollar economy 

serving 15 million players

and perhaps 80 millions fans.

 

We capture the histories of those who made it happen.  

Places

Histories emerge in conversation with builders across the United States.

 

On the way and back, we research soccer and sporting history on location and document a comprehensive range of events.  

 

Coverage comprises 100,000 miles on highways and back roads. 

And miles to go before we sleep.

Pathways

For 100 years, soccer failed to capture the public imagination.

 

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. 

 

ARCHIVES

Documents

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.

Images

Photographs and images dating to the 1860s show American soccer's birth and let us see the people, places, and events that tell our story. 

Artifacts

Cups, stadia, grounds, clubhouses, uniforms, posters, programs, and other artifacts build compelling 

physical evidence of soccer's legacy in the United States.

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Chicago

Washington, DC

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© 2019  America's Soccer Story 

Mark Krikorian | Florida State University