In the United States, we think of soccer as a sport most of us played as kids, but not much else. Most of us played on a rec soccer team or participated in soccer camps. However, we usually categorize those experiences as ways to learn teamwork and social skills rather than the start of a lifelong sport. But in the rest of the world, it’s a different story when it comes to soccer, or as they call it, football.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at soccer: the world’s most popular sport…except in the United States.
Professional Soccer in the United States
There is a professional soccer league in the United States, but it trails in popularity behind bigger sports like football, basketball, and baseball. Professional soccer in the United States started with the establishment of the American Soccer League in 1921. The current version of the league is Major League Soccer, which was founded in 1993. The United States also sends both men’s and women’s teams to the FIFA World Cup. The men’s team doesn’t usually fare too well against the rest of the world, but the women’s team has an impressive record. Since FIFA started the Women’s Word Cup in 1991, the United States women’s team has won four titles in 1991, 1999, 2015, and 2019.
Why do we call it “soccer”?
Most people know that the rest of the world calls soccer “football.” And it makes sense. After all, there’s a ball, and you have to use your feet. What most people don’t know, however, is that Americans weren’t the first to call the sport soccer. That started in England in the 19th century as a slang abbreviation for “Association Football,” which was the full name of the sport. At that time, there were many types of football played in England, and Association Football was one of them. As the other types of football became less popular, the distinction was no longer necessary. We kept the name in the United States to differentiate it from American football.
Soccer Camps at The Edge Sports Center
Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the United States, but it claims the top spot throughout the world. More than half of the global population consider themselves soccer fans, and FIFA estimates that there are over 265 million soccer players worldwide. If you want to give your kids a leg up on becoming international soccer stars, start with soccer camps at The Edge Sports Center!