Anything but Ringers: Historical Sketches of the Soccer Hotbeds That Produced the 1930 U.S. World Cup Team
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This project investigates the impact of four regions of the United States that were integral to the development of soccer in the United States in the early 20th century. During the period, soccer was second in popularity only to baseball in the parts of the country under investigation, and this widespread interest of both players and spectators would lead to the creation of the first professional soccer league in either North or South America in the 1920s. Utilizing newspaper reports from the period, census data, and secondary research from other historians, this project shows the demographic impact of immigrant populations and industrial development on the sport’s growth during the first decades of the 1900s. The data illustrates the rich history of the sport in the United States and shows how these developments helped contribute to the success of the U.S. national team at the first FIFA World Cup in 1930.