Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism

By Andrei S. Markovits; Steven L. Hellerman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Soccer's Trials and Tribulations

DESPITE ITS overall existence on the fringes of American sports culture, the history of soccer in the United States has indeed been “long and varied.” 1 This chapter presents the motley patchwork of respectable marginality—ranging from the beginnings of soccer's discernible presence in the late 1800s through the years immediately following World War II—by first delineating the world of club and semiprofessional soccer in the United States, offering a taste of this world's organizational disarray and including an account of the early attempts to organize the sport in the United States. Subsequently, we turn our attention to the professional game, where the organizational and institutional inadequacies besetting this sport in America will become even more obvious. This includes an account of the first American Soccer League—a successful, yet ultimately ephemeral, establishment of a first division venue for the sport and a missed opportunity to put the sport on firmer footing in the American sport space. We also offer a brief account of the performance of American national teams on the international stage and present a few highlights of European and Latin American clubs visiting the United States. We then turn to a discussion of soccer's presence at American colleges in the course of the twentieth century, arguing that the very structure of college soccer has continued to impede the development of the game's overall quality, thus adding to its marginalization in America's sports culture. In short, this chapter deals with most of soccer's historical era, which Chuck Cascio has appropriately labeled “the dark ages in Yankeeland (1900–1968),” while noting a few subsequent developments. 2 Two essential aspects of soccer in contemporary America—youth soccer and women's soccer—are discussed in chapter 5, which will analyze the game's massive proliferation in the United States as an activity, if still not quite as culture, in the wake of developments that occurred in the late 1960s and in subsequent years.

Club and Semiprofessional Soccer in the United States and the
“Organization” of American Soccer

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, soccer was played by many immigrants to the eastern parts of the United States—initially most from


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 367

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?