Think about this: If U.S. Soccer didn't exist, neither would Abby Wambach. Landon Donovan. Carli Lloyd. Chris Rolfe. Mia Hamm. Julie Foudy. David Beckham would still be a worldwide phenomenon (those abs, those legs!), but his presence in the US would have been limited to advertising and friendlies between countries.
Soccer in the United States is rumored to have begun in the Jamestown settlement However, no FIFA, and no records, exist from that time. Official recordkeeping began in 1913 when the United States Football Association, later U.S. Soccer , affiliated with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.
After 90 years of nurturing player participation and player development, U.S. Soccer’s opened a home of their own in the $130 million National Training Center at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. This includes the stadium used for CONCACAF events and for Major League Soccer’s (MLS) LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.
In 2013, soccer turns 100 years old. As part of U.S. Soccer’s yearlong Centennial Celebration, U.S. Soccer is hosting a viewing party in Grant Park on Tuesday, June 18, for the FIFA World Cup Qualifying match between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Honduras.
Pre-match activities begin at 4 p.m. and the match itself will start at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the general public. Evening festivities will include:
- Appearances by current and former soccer stars, including Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas and players Logan Pause and Chris Rolfe
- Pick-up soccer games on mini-fields
- A youth soccer clinic hosted by the Chicago Red Stars , and the Illinois Youth Soccer Association
- A small-sided adult tournament hosted by Chicago Fire Rec Soccer
- Enter for a chance to win tickets to a future U.S. Soccer match
- Purchase official U.S. Soccer merchandise
The match will be shown on a 19’ X 33’ GoVision high-definition mobile giant screen at the Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park between Jackson Drive and Monroe Street.
“Our supporters are incredibly passionate and are crucial to the continued growth of the sport in the United States,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “You saw that last Sunday when they packed RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. to capacity. We want to continue to give them the opportunity to come together and cheer on their National Team during a crucial World Cup qualifier, and there are few better places to do that than Grant Park in Chicago.”
The Centennial Celebration will continue throughout the year at all U.S. Men and Women’s National Team matches. Late last month, U.S. Soccer opened its archives to offer an in-depth look at the history of the sport with 100 Years of Soccer in America , the official, definitive, and unique celebration of a century of achievement in U.S. Soccer. It features a preface by President Bill Clinton.
Additionally, ussoccer.com is displaying historic content with never-before-seen photos, unique videos and engaging interviews that celebrate the sport’s history in the United States.