Games similar to soccer were played in China as early as 400 B.C. In 200 A.D. the Romans played a game in which 2 teams tried to score by advancing the ball across a line on a field, which means no soccer goals. They passed the ball to one another, but not by kicking it. Also in the 1100’s, London children played a form of soccer (World Book Encyclopedia, S p.73).
In the early 1800’s, many English schools played a game that resembled soccer.
Players added many rules that changed the game, and each school interpreted them differently. In 1848, a group of school representatives met at Trinity College in Cambridge and drew up the first set of soccer rules (Brooks Clark, 1993). In 1863, representatives of English soccer clubs founded the English football clubs found the English Football Association.
Soccer began to spread throughout the world in the late 1800’s. By 1900, associations had been established in Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. In 1904, the national associations founded the Federation Internationle de Futbol Association. Soccer was made an official Olympic sport in 1908. The Canadian Soccer Association was established in 1912, and the United States Soccer Federation was set up in 1913. The first World Cup was played, in 1913, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Since then, the World Cup has been held every four years, except during World War II (1929-1945), when the games were suspended.
Indoor soccer began in 1939, was formed by Major Indoor Soccer League, it started so people could play during the winter months. The North American Soccer League had its own indoor league from 1979-1984. Some of the differences from outdoor soccer are: there were only five players on the field and the goalkeeper, the goals are smaller, and the field is smaller. The field is like a hockey rink with astro-turf field surrounded with Plexiglas. The soccer goals are also built into the wall. This is a very fast paced game with four periods of 15 minutes each.
In the United States, major league professional soccer has attracted little interest from the fans. Either indoor or outdoor proved to be successful, even with stars coming from Europe and Latin America. American Soccer League was the longest running professional league in the United States soccer history, going from 1921 to 1984. The North American Soccer League only existed until 1985. Some of the worlds’ greatest players competed in this league, such as Michael Platani and Giorgio Chinaglia. Among them was Pele a Brazilian soccer player known as the greatest player in the history of the sport.
Professional Soccer struggled compared to the amateur soccer, which grew in
popularity during the late 1900’s. Today amateur soccer is the fastest growing sport in the United States high schools. Soccer was also gaining popularity in college.
In 1991, the United States won the first FIFA sponsored women’s World Cup. The United States won the title again in 1999. The United States hosted the World Cup for the first time. The United States was eliminated in the second round. The best they’ve done since 1930 when they got to the fourth round.
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