America’s Forgotten Soccer History

Good stuff as every from erstwhile Pitch Invasion contributor and Run of Play maestro Brian Phillips, posting at Slate on the forgotten shooting star that was American soccer in the 1920s:

In the 1920s, soccer was big in America. Not big in the way that baseball was big (this was the era of Ruth and Gehrig) or college football was big (these were the days when Ivy League rivalries played out as violent eruptions in the mud), but at its height, the top American soccer league had tens of thousands of fans, featured some of the world’s best players, and looked set to challenge the fledgling NFL in the competition to supply the nation with a post-October pastime. Along the way, this country’s early soccer entrepreneurs also managed to alienate the United States from the international soccer community, lay the groundwork for America’s greatest moment of World Cup glory, and generally create one of the most bizarre and fascinating might-have-beens in U.S. sports history.

Read the rest.

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