AMERICA'S SOCCER STORY
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.
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. Now, our pro and international quality of play has launched into a quantum leap forward.
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?
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.