Teams USA
July 28, 2010 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Football (Soccer) in the USA has a much longer history than many people think. In fact, the first International Match outside of the British Isles was between the USA and Canada in 1885, played at Newark, New Jersey.

Canada won one-nil, as can be seen in this complete list of all US National Team results

(For the seriously geeky, here is another version of the list, however this list is in reverse chronological order, but does contain the names of the players in each team: Team results with players (1885-1969, with link to 1970-1979 results and so on))

There has also been an indoor American soccer league.

US Football (Soccer) also has an unexpected and famous fan who sits on the board that bought the World Cup to America. And he wants another one. (What would the American gimmick vuvuvzela be?)

There have been Several Famous Footballers who have played American club football, and More are (possibly) On Their Way

Accompanying the rise in popularity of football in the United States has been the rise of the "Soccer Mom" to the extent that there is even a film about them. (and a band..) There has also been TV programs such as "Secret Life of a Soccer Mom", (and a backlash against the program.)-

And don't worry, Canadian Mefites, there is Football in Canada too, with its own history. More on Football in Canada can be found here, and in this online magazine. There are even some Canadian guys writing about Soccer.

Nowadays, Football has moved on a little, and there is Womens Football and the USA has its own womens national team. You can see them in action here (top and bottom of page, bottom 2 are links which you will need to copy and paste.) The first video is against Mexico (I won't tell you who won, but the goal is a close offside call - I have seen them given (as offside) as the pundits say.)

There is a womens world cup too - it is next year in Germany. Good luck with that.

If you are thinking of playing Football this website claims "You'll Be Playing The Best Soccer of Your Life... No Matter How Much More 'Natural Ability' Your Opposition Might Have!"

If any of this has whetted your appetite for football, and you would like to learn more, have a look at these websites:

Laws of the game. It is interesting to note how few rules there actually are. Most of the rules are related to the size of the pitch and the markings on the pitch, different kits, and that there should be a referee and linesmen.
Tactical* Issues*. (Although Jonathon Wilsons Guardian Column occasionally covers other aspects.)
Defending the defenders*.
Various* Football* Blogs*

For the cynical, yes, there are darker* sides* to football*, but there is very little the average fan can do about these issues, and, to be fair, they are prevalent in all areas of our society.

*Links Marked with an asterisk have RSS feeds available.

[Some Previous Football Threads (Third links has more on Jonathon Wilson/Zonal Marking]
posted by marienbad (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I always find it amazing to see the old names and pictures of footballers and teams from the victorian and era and early part of this century. Interesting to think that the played a different formation, and in the early days, had different sets of rules.

a couple of comments...

re: womens world cup: I think we all know who will win it, especially as they are playing at home!

I only found out about the cheatinsoccermom band when I searched, I don't know what their music is like, nor have I watched the film.
posted by marienbad at 2:19 PM on July 28, 2010

Gee, I can't wait for another "soccer is awesome/soccer sucks" debate on the blue. We only had 3-4 during the World Cup.
posted by mreleganza at 2:23 PM on July 28, 2010

Me neither! Soccer is awesome!!!
posted by josher71 at 2:24 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2010

Back in college, my wife worked for a company that, inter alia, ran things for the Portland Pride CISL team. This meant that I got to run around by the goals with various access passes, which was only important because if one caught an errant ball that entitled the catcher to one free pizza from Round Table Pizza. As a poor college kid, I did my darndest to make this happen A LOT. That was fun. VIVA FUTBOL
posted by norm at 2:54 PM on July 28, 2010

I went to a couple of MISL games as a kid and loved them. I, of course, have a kids' memory of the event, but I recall the crowd digging it, too.

I saw the Hartford Hellions, which means I must have gone in the 1979-81 window. I wondered what happened to them and it turns out they were moved to Memphis and renamed the Memphis Americans. Clearly, the greatest con those devils ever pulled was making the world think they didn't exist.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:59 PM on July 28, 2010

"Gee, I can't wait for another "soccer is awesome/soccer sucks" debate on the blue. We only had 3-4 during the World Cup."
posted by mreleganza at 10:23 PM

I don't remember there being much of that during the world cup; I remember there being a lot of interesting and informed discourse and debate about football, and the various aspects of the game. There are a lot of knowledgable mefite football fans, and it was both a pleasure and fun for us to have a bit of back and forth.

Further, this post is designed to stimulate interest in US Soccer, but hey, if people want to come in here and snark and threadshit, that's up to them. And if the mods delete said shitting, then that is up to them.
posted by marienbad at 3:07 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Soccer's popularity (as a spectator sport) in the US has seemed to be right around the corner for most of my life now but doesn't ever seem to get there. I remember when Pele started playing for the Cosmos in the seventies that soccer was the next big thing. It's certainly exploded as a participatory game in the years since then but that doesn't seem to have translated into fandom. Our local pro soccer team can't give tickets away while the wait for season tickets for the NFL team is measured in decades.
posted by octothorpe at 3:24 PM on July 28, 2010

Further, this post is designed to stimulate interest in US Soccer, but hey, if people want to come in here and snark and threadshit...

Everybody knows that golf is the "sport" that sucks most anyway. Discuss.
posted by Zerowensboring at 5:07 PM on July 28, 2010

Football (Soccer) in the USA has a much longer history than many people think.

Brian Phillips at The Run of Play (who's been posted about before) has been writing a serial novel based around this fact. Here's an article he wrote about the research that led him to start writing.
posted by asterix at 5:10 PM on July 28, 2010

I'm really pleased to see this post because I am sitting here, pointlessly excited about the All-Star Game, geeking out over Julie Foudy in the commentator's box, trying to explain to my family why they should be hoping Manchester United gets it's collective arse kicked but they don't really get it.

Anyway. I see someone's already jumped in for their team, so, up the Toffees!
posted by Put the kettle on at 5:51 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh god, never mind, I guess. I'm having flashbacks to the World Cup, of optimistically overestimating our abilities and then just rapidly deflating. And we don't even have Tim Howard or Clint Dempsey or any of those people.

posted by Put the kettle on at 6:07 PM on July 28, 2010

Regardless, I think this game is kind of exciting.
posted by josher71 at 6:18 PM on July 28, 2010

Also, it's totally sold out. That's awesome.
posted by josher71 at 6:19 PM on July 28, 2010

I like Donovan Ricketts and stuff, but I miss Kasey Keller. He will be my favourite MLS goalie by default until he retires.
posted by Put the kettle on at 6:46 PM on July 28, 2010

Nice post - thanks. And I agree that footie is generally well discussed here. As a Liverpool supporter, I wasn't too much involved with the world cup posts here on the Blue. I was too busy supporting Spain.

As for tonight's game, it is interesting that Macheda has scored a couple early on. He tore my heart out a couple of years ago with his goal against Aston Villa that more or less confirmed Man U as champions, which hurt, but when he went in to the stands and hugged his dad - who is younger than me, the bastard and was crying his eyes out - I felt sort of ok about it. You sort of hope that wasn't just a flash in the pan for the kid. I know he had an injury ravaged season last year, so lets hope he propels United to second place behind an Alberto Aquilani inspired Liverpool. Chance would be a fine thing.

Oh, and while we're sort of on the subject, I'm glad Rafa is gone, his treatment of Alonso (you know, the guy who now has a World Cup to go with his European Championship) was shameful.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 7:13 PM on July 28, 2010

I'm glad Rafa is gone

As a Milan supporter, I'm glad he's with Inter.
posted by L'OM at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2010

5-2. Whatta drag.
posted by Zerowensboring at 8:35 PM on July 28, 2010

Soccer has been the next big thing in the US for about 30 years now that never seems to actually get around to being a sport that more than a tiny fraction of adults give a crap about. As it stands in the US it is a sport that little kids play before most of them either give up organized athletics or switch to a real sport.

That being said ESPN has been seemingly paying more attention to soccer since the world cup, I don't know whether to expect that to last very long though.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:30 AM on July 29, 2010

BobbyDigital: It actually started last year when they started showing some Premier League games (and I think a few La Liga games as well). They have recently expanded into the UK market in a major way following the collapse of Setanta, so expect to see them continue to cover it some.
posted by proj at 10:46 AM on July 29, 2010

"Oh, and while we're sort of on the subject, I'm glad Rafa is gone, his treatment of Alonso (you know, the guy who now has a World Cup to go with his European Championship) was shameful."
posted by Nick Verstayne at 3:13 AM

Totally agree with everything in this comment.
posted by marienbad at 11:04 AM on July 29, 2010

Was at the game last night, along with 70,000 others. Okay, a large chunk of them were there to see Man United and many to see Javier Hernandez in particular, but still a very impressive turnout and there was a lot of Dynamo orange dotted around the stadium. MLS is building slowly, they do a lot of things right: soccer specific stadiums, reasonable prices for attendance, accessible players, not too many overpriced has beens. They also do a few too many things wrong, like scheduling their games without paying any attention to international schedules. Having the All Star game the day after a Concacaf Champions League game day was bizarre.
posted by IanMorr at 2:43 PM on July 29, 2010

I know that MLS doesn't want to compete with the European leagues, but honestly having a summer league in the US makes pretty much no sense. The incredible heat and humidity you have in DC, Chicago, NY, Houston, etc. mean that the game is going to automatically be a slower one. I also think the "not too many overpriced has beens" is probably going to change soon and we're going to see a lot more.
posted by proj at 6:15 PM on July 29, 2010

Where did "soccer" come from? - "Soccer," by the way, is not some Yankee neologism but a word of impeccably British origin. It owes its coinage to a domestic rival, rugby, whose proponents were fighting a losing battle over the football brand around the time that we were preoccupied with a more sanguinary civil war. Rugby's nickname was (and is) rugger, and its players are called ruggers-a bit of upper-class twittery, as in "champers," for champagne, or "preggers," for enceinte. "Soccer" is rugger's equivalent in Oxbridge-speak. The "soc" part is short for "assoc," which is short for "association," as in "association football," the rules of which were codified in 1863 by the all-powerful Football Association, or FA-the FA being to the U.K. what the NFL, the NBA, and MLB are to the U.S.
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM on July 31, 2010

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