Portal:Soccer in the United States

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Soccer in the United States has long been popular amongst all ages and it is the most popular recreational sport for both boys and girls, and according to History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game, has been so for about 25 years. This late 20th century boom is attributed for the most part to the existence of the North American Soccer League from 1967 to 1984, and the New York Cosmos, its marquee team which included among its players stellar names like Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer.

Professional soccer has expanded since the mid-1990s, especially since the 1994 FIFA World Cup which was hosted in the United States for the first time. Both the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups were also held in the USA, and the United States women's national team is one of the best in the world. Their home crowd of over 90,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the 1999 World Cup Final remains the largest crowd in the world ever to witness any women's sporting event.

More and more Americans, having played the game in their youth are now avid spectators. Most cities with Major League Soccer teams have large fan bases. In addition, as Latin American immigration is increasing overall in the entire nation, so is the popularity of soccer.

Selected article

The United States' men's national team training prior to the 2006 World Cup
The United States men's national soccer team is the national soccer team of the United States for men and is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation. Playing their first ever match in 1885 against Canada and winning their first ever official international in 1916 against Sweden; the team also have won an Olympic Silver and Bronze medal in the sport at the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The United States also had the honour of winning the first ever game to be played in the inaugural FIFA World Cup, defeating Belgium 3–0 and Bert Patenaude scored the first ever hat-trick at the finals in a 3–0 win against Paraguay. The third-place finishing position at this competition remains their best World Cup result.

Closer to home, the United States has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup on four occasions (in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007) and was awarded the honour of hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup. This latter event led to the increase in public interest in the game in the USA which resulted in the creation of the current leagues and the strengthening of the national team.

Selected picture

FC Dallas lineup
Credit: Flickr user Jason Gulledge

The players of FC Dallas line up prior to a 2007 Major League Soccer match against the Colorado Rapids.

Selected biography

Brandi Chastain commentating on a game
Brandi Chastain (born July 21, 1968) is a former soccer player, who was on the U.S. women's national soccer team from 1991 to 2004 and the San Jose CyberRays of the WUSA from 2001 to 2003. She is best known for her game-winning penalty kick against China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final and her bra-baring celebration afterwards.

Chastain first represented her country on April 18, 1991, against Mexico. She came off the bench as a forward to score five consecutive goals in a 12-0 United States win in a CONCACAF FIFA Women's World Cup. Team USA went on to win the World Cup, staged in China.

After retiring from the game, she moved into sports commentary; covering both Major League Soccer and the Olympic Games.


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Brief in-the-news coverage of Soccer in the United States is also available at Sports current events.

  • October 14: Chelsea announces Nike sponsorship
  • June 30: Messi speaks of Argentina exit after losing Copa América Centenario over penalties
  • June 27: Colombia beats USA 1-0 for 2016 Copa América bronze
  • June 20: Argentina beats Venezuela 4-1 in Copa América quarters; Messi equals Argentina's scoring record
  • May 6: FIFA ethics committee recommends lifetime ban of former FIFA vice-president
Sports current events | Wikinews Football




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