Friday, February 1, 2008

What you don't know about Soccer?

This article featured on CrazyDetails Blogpost! - click here!

Soccer has become increasingly more popular in the United States in the last 30 years, with nearly 3 million children between the ages of 5-19 now playing in youth soccer leagues throughout the nation.

Soccer began in England in the mid-1800's, and was originally played by the higher, more aristocratic English classes in their boarding schools and private clubs. The ease and inexpense of the sport quickly moved it ahead as a sport for the masses however. Today soccer is ranked as one of the world's leading sports for commoners.

The London Football Association was founded and 1863 and is responsible for standardizing game rules throughout Europe. In less than 20 years, professional players and teams were hitting the field.

Soccer began to spread throughout Europe almost immediately, with Spain, Germany, Italy, and France all taking up the game b the early 20th century. As interest in the sport grew throughout the world, so did an interest in formal competition. In 1900, the first soccer game was played at the Olympics, with medals introduced just eight years later. Professional players, however, were exempt from competition in the Olympic Games for more than 80 years.

In 1904, The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), was formed, followed by the first World Cup international competition in 1930. A round-robin style tournament that pits teams from individual nations against each other every four years, the World Cup has grown into an international affair, with nearly 200 teams now seeking admittance. Only 24 are permitted to compete.

Although it took the United States years to enter the soccer arena on a widespread basis, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) was formed in 1913. Unfortunately, most Americans preferred watching (and playing) a different form of the sport -- American football -- until a Brazilian named Pele, (considered to the greatest soccer player of all time), joined the N.Y. Cosmos team in 1975. With such an amazing player to watch in America, popularity of the sport grew throughout the states, until his retirement in 1977, when soccer once again took a backseat to football. Following Pele's retirement, the North American Soccer League slowly lost fan support, finally dissolving in 1985.

It wasn't until the men's World Cup competition, was held in the United States in 1994, that soccer interest was renewed among American youth. The Major League Soccer (MLS), was founded in 1993, and began its first season in 1996 with 10 teams and 32 regular season games. More than 3 million fans watched the playoffs that year. By 1991, women were finally allowed to play on a professional level, when the Women's World Cup competition was introduced for the first time.

The interest in youth soccer remains strong throughout the United States today. Sports teams and leagues are now available in nearly every American community. From pee-wee players who aren't even in school yet, to semi-professional high school teams, players of all interest and abilities are now hitting the soccer field for both spring and fall competition. The U.S. Youth Soccer, a division of the USSF, now includes nearly 3 million official players.

#1. Soccer is called football in other countries besides America.
#2. Major League Soccer set all-time attendance record for a United States-based professional soccer league game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on June 16, 1996. That day, 92,216 fans watched the Los Angeles Galaxy win a 3-2 shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
#3. His real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, But the soccer world knows him as Pele. A native of Brazil, Pele retired as a player in 1977 but is still considered by many the greatest soccer player who ever lived. Since his retirement, he has been a worldwide ambassador for his sport. Wherever soccer is played, the name of Pele will always be magic.
#4. A standard soccer ball is made of leather and is between 27 and 28 inches in circumference. Unlike basketball, young players can use a smaller ball. For kids 8 years old or younger, a ball of 23 to 24 inches in circumference is recommended. For kids 9 to 12, a ball of 25 to 26 inches is often used.

No comments: