Books on the history of American Soccer

These books can be ordered on-line through A couple are out of print, but Amazon will find used copies for you.

The Encyclopedia of American Soccer History by Roger Allaway, Colin Jose & David Litterer, is a 496 page comprehensive encyclopedia of the history of soccer in the United States from the 1860s through December 1999. Included are hundreds of entries on leagues, teams, players, coaches, cups, competitions, topics/issues, stadiums, coaches, and builders, as well as an extensive statistical archive, recaps of 51 significant games in US soccer history from 1869 to 1999, and an extensive bibliography on US soccer history. (ISBN 8-8108-3980-6). $65.00, February 2001, order from Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706 800/462-6420 or online at, or through

Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America’s Forgotten Game, by David Wangerin. A comprehensive account of the development of American soccer from its origins in the 1800’s through the “golden era” of the 1920s, the lean years following that, the extravagance through the NASL era, subsequent collapse and it’s hard-won acceptance in the early 21st century. 360 pp. $19.95. Published in 2006 by Temple University Press or # 0954013476).

www.davewangerin.netSoccer Made in St. Louis: A History of the Game in America’s First Soccer Capital, by David Lange. A comprehensive history of soccer in St. Louis, the first city to develop a large soccer-playing population that not primarily composed of recent immigrants. The book covers leagues, teams, playing style, and chronicles the evolution of the game and soccer community. August 2011, Reedy Press ( 208 pp. $35.00 ISBN 9781933370668. website for the book new

Distant Corners: American Soccer’s History of Missed Opportunities and Lost Causes, by David Wangerin. Wangerin describes the fluctuating American appetite for soccer over the years. He chronicles the game at the college and professional levels and describes the city of St. Louis’s unique historic attachment to the sport. He also profiles Tom Cahill, the almost-forgotten “father of American soccer,” and writes passionately about the 1979 North American Soccer League season, the high-water mark of the game in the twentieth century. Published by Temple University Press, April 2011, 264 pp. Order here: ISBN # 1-4399-0630-0. new

Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture, by Andrei S. Markovitz and Lars Rensman. The book examines the phenomenon of 21st century sports phenomena, how the players contribute to globalization while at the same time strengthening deep-seated and antagonistic local allegiances. Has some emphasis on women’s soccer and american sports. 345 pp. Published 2010 by Princeton University Press, Princeton University. ISBN # 978-0-691-13751-3. new

Corner Offices & Corner Kicks: How Big Business Created America’s Two Greatest Soccer Dynasties, Bethlehem Steel and the New York Cosmos, by Roger Allaway. A detailed hstory of the business side of the creation and running of two famous historian American professional soccer teams. Published May 2009. Available July 2009 through St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ or

Evolvements of Early American Foot Ball: Through the 1890/91, by Melvin I Smith. This book is a nearly 700-page account, very heavy on specific statistical details, of pre-1890 games in the United States in various football codes, including soccer, rugby, American football and their predecessors. Published by AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN., 2008.

Once in a Lifetime: The Incredible Story of the New York Cosmos, by Gavin Newsham. Covers the heyday of the New York Cosmos when numerous international stars played for the reknowned team, and they became the talk of the town with celebrities, business moguls and the party scene at Studio 54. (ISBN # 1843543753) 288 pages, $18.60, 2006. Available through

Rangers, Rovers & Spindles: Soccer, Immigration and Textiles in New England and New Jersey, by Roger Allaway. A fascinating account which analyzes the role played by the waves of immigrants to the United States in the late 1800s in the parallel growth of soccer and the textile industries of the northeastern United States. This volume focuses on the West hudson section of New Jersey and the Fall River-New Bedford region of New England, both of which developed into early hotbeds of American Soccer. June, 2005. 158 pp. $24.50. ISBN # 1-878282-36-0. Available through St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ or

Soccerhead: An Accidental Journey into the Heart of the American Game, by Jim Haner. An exploration of the heritage of soccer in America through archive visits, interviews with oldtime players, and conversation with soccer enthusiasts, and visits to fabled soccer homelands. 288 pages, April 2006. $16.32. Published by North Point Press (ISBN # 0865476942). Available through new

Playing for Uncle Sam: The Brits’ Story of the North American Soccer League, by David Tossell. The story of the North American Soccer League from the perspective of the British players who played in the league. Extensive recollections by former players and coaches including many major stars of their experiences and perspectives on the league during this time of rapid soccer growth in the United States. (ISBN # 1840187484). September 2003, 272 p. Price 7.99 pounds sterling. Published by Mainstream Press. Available through through

North American Soccer League Encyclopedia, by Colin Jose. A complete NASL player register with full career stats for almost every player. Colin scoured original source material to make a register more accurate than the stats provided in the old NASL media guides and even his previous NASL book. An essential guide for anyone interested in US soccer history. Outside of a small amount of missing statistical data from the 1967-1969 seasons, the stats are complete. Also includes Goalkeeper and coaching registers, NASL outdoor league standings, and detailed match reports for all NASL finals. ISBN #1-878282-25-5. 392 pp. August, 2003. Order through St. Johan’s Press, 315 Scarborough Road, PO Box 241, Haworth, NJ 07641, or through

The United States Tackles the World Cup, by Roger Allaway and Colin Jose. Very handy reference guide includes every game played by the US men’s and women’s National Teams in World Cup Qualifying and Finals with box score, lineups and detailed game accounts. There are also overviews of USA involvement in other major soccer tournaments (Olympics, CONCACAF Cup, Copa America, etc.) and biographies of every player on the rosters for the US teams that made the World Cup Finals. 213 p. 2002. $19.99. ISBN # 1-878282-19-0. Published by St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ, and can be ordered through

Offside: Soccer & American Exceptionalism, by Andrei S. Markovits & Steven L. Hellerman. An exhaustive and scholarly account of the development of Soccer in the USA from a sociological, economic and political perspective. In comparing the development of soccer with other sports in the USA, the authors found that well established American sports had their primary growth between 1860 and 1930, a time of rapid technological and cultural change where it was possible for sports to become imprinted in the American cultural psyche. Soccer, having blown its several opportunities during this time, has remained marginalized, facing large obstacles in its quest to break into the big time. Also contrasts the history of soccer in the U.S. compared with other nations where it is the national passion. An excellent and comprehensive book, rich in history and analysis, valuable for both the soccer enthusiast and the league administrator alike. 367 pp. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2001, ISBN #0-691-07446-1. $17.95 (paperback). Available through

National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer, by Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist. A very interesting and detailed comparison of the long process of the development of Baseball in the United States and Soccer in England (and its subsequent spread across the world) Explores the differences as well as remarkable similarities in the way the two sports grew, developed and were promoted within their respective countries to become the predominant sport of the masses, and ultimately considered national pastimes. April 2005 by Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC. 263 pp. $26.95. ISBN # 0-8157-8258-6. Can be ordered through

The American Soccer League: The Golden Years of American Soccer 1921-1931, by Colin Jose, is a 560 page comprehensive statistical review of the first professional soccer league in America. Includes complete player stats, league tables and results, an extensive set of biographies of over 100 players, and accounts of the Ibternational Soccer League and US Open Cup from 1921-1939. published July 1998 by Scarecrow Press. (ISBN 0-8108-3429-4). $70.00 (+ 3.00 P&H;), order from Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706 800/462-6420, or online at or

The Game and the Glory,: by Michelle Akers with Gregg Lewis. Michelle Akers’ autobiography, this is an inspiring story of her historic career, her faith and her battles with chronic fatigue syndrome. 2000, Grand rapids, MI: Zondervan.

NASL: A Complete Record of the North American Soccer League, by Colin Jose, is a comprehensive statistical history of the NASL, including all full league tables and lineups, scoring results, a complete player register, biographies, many photos and logos, and other summary info. Currently out of print, it can be ordered through Amazon-com through their book-search service. $29.95, 352 p.

The Simplest Game: An Intelligent Fan’s Guide to the World of Soccer, by Paul Gardner. A very well written book covering all aspects of soccer with a strong emphasis on the history and development of the American game. Excellent introduction for the new fan, but also comprehensive, well researched, and with probing insights that will inform the veteran as well. New York, NY: MacMillan. revised 1994. 323 p. $12.00. ISBN # 0-02-043225-9. Also available through

Keeping Score: Canadian Encyclopedia of Soccer, by Colin Jose. The first complete historical encyclopedia of Canadian soccer history. Includes detailed accounts of the development of the league and overviews of various leagues throughout the century, the National team and an extensive set of biographies of significant players. 208 pp. December 1998. $17.95 ISBN # 0-9683800-0-X. Order from: The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, The Soccer Centre, 7601 Martingrove Road, Vaughan, ON, L4L 9E4, CANADA.

The First World Atlas of Soccer,. A collaborative effort published by InfoKart, in Czechoslovakia. The first true cartographic work on soccer (i.e. “Atlas”), it provides hundreds of maps, charts and tables covering the game on international, national, league, and club levels. They show club locations, championships, logos, finances, stadia, etc. Other maps detail the club and national histories with regard to league and cup championships won, years of existence, attendance, and participation. Also included are thousands of club and association logos, comprehensive lists of champions, flags, web links and a massive club index. Europe is covered in particular detail, but there is a wealth of the other continents, and the United States gets good, accurately researched coverage. Amazing volume! 8.5 x 11″, 231 pp. ISBN # 80-902832-2-5. January 2002. Approx. $24.00 For ordering info, email to:

World Soccer Yearbook, 2003-04: The Complete Guide to the Game, by David Goldblatt. The ultimate “Annual” of World Soccer. With maps, tables, charts and written overviews, gives conprehensive coverage of international and domestic competitions, champions lists and historical overviews for every FIFA soccer nation and their respective leagues, ditto for major international competitions. Also a serties of impressive features on premier football cities and stadiums, the globalization of soccer, and women’s soccer. Leading players (caps & goals), attendance and club financial info is also included, as is World Cup 2002. Simply stunning. 528 pp. $30.00. ISBN # 0789496542. Order through or but it is available in many bookstores as well.

SoccerTalk: Life Under the Spell of the Round Ball, by Paul Gardner. A collection of articles and columns by the esteemed soccer writer Paul Gardner. These have previously appeared in Soccer America, World Soccer, the New York Times and the Sporting News. 256 pp. $14.95 paperback. Masters Press.

World Cup Soccer, by Michael Lewis. A nice fat volume covering the World Cup from an American perspective. Includes comprehensive narrative histories of the World Cup finals and qualifying tournaments, with particular emphasis on the U. S. participation. Also has extensive profiles of the US National Team, and its staff and players, and profiles of all the nations taking part in World Cup 2002. Although most valuable as an armchair reference for the 2002 World Cup, it is still a valuable resource on the history of US World Cup participation. 2002. 479 p. ISBN # 1-55921-319-1. $19.99. Published by Moyer Bell (Wickford, RI.) Order through Acorn Alliance House, 220 Ferris Ave., White Plains, NY 10603, 800/533-9471.

The Girls of Summer, by Jere Longman. An excellent account of the 1999 United States Women’s National team, and their triumph in the Women’s World Cup, by a soccer correspondent for the New York Times. 2000. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Soccer for Dummies, by Michael lewis and the United States Soccer Federation. Don’t let the title book you, this is both a comprehensive well-rounded introduction for the novice, as well as a useful reference took for the experienced soccer fan. Great coverage of the world of professional and amateur soccer, including the history of the game, current events, leagues and tournaments, as well as description of rules, strategies, playing tips. Useful for the soccer parent, player or fan. Chicago, IL: U. S. Soccer Federation. $19.95.

Onside: 125 years of Soccer in Ontario, by Colin Jose. An exhaustive statistical archive of soccer in Ontario, Canada. Includes historical overviews, provincial and national league histories, accounts of major international tours, colleges, biographies of major players and administrators, college records, international competitions, club team histories, youth soccer and indoor soccer, and more. This is a valuable reference source for Canadian soccer in general, and is an excellent companion to Colin’s enclclopedia of Canadian Soccer (see above). 281 p. To be reprinted. Published by the Ontario Soccer Association.

U.S. Soccer vs. The World, by Tony Cirino. This excellent book gives comprehensive coverage of US International competition, coverage of early US stars, the “Soccer War” of the 1920’s, world cup competitions, the growth of soccer with the NASL, olympic competition, and much more. 197 pp. 1983. Currently undergoing revision, Tony’s web page gives a preview, descriptions, outline and ordering information.

The Game of their Lives, by Geoffrey Douglas. An exciting account of the US National Team in the 1950 World Cup where they stunned the world through their upset of England. 1996. 146 pp. $23.00 Henry Holt & Company.

Captain for Life, and Other Temporary Assignments, by John Harkes with Denise Kiernan. John harkes’s account of his tenure with the US National Team and his professional career in which he became the first American to make a major impact in Europe, as well as his years in Major League Soccer. May 1999. 256 pp. $24.95. Sleeping Bear Press.

America’s Soccer Heritage, by Sam Foulds and Paul Harris. A pioneering overview of the history of Soccer in the United States, from its earliest origins through the ethnic amateur leagues and college game, through the professional leagues and the development of youth soccer. Published in 1979, this was the first comprehensive book on the history of American soccer. 151 p. Published by Soccer for Americans, Manhattan Beach, CA. Out of print.

Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer, by Dave Ungrady. An insightful account of the struggles of players of the 3rd division Northern Virginia Royals of the USL. A probing account of life in minor league professional soccer. 208 pp. January 1999. $14.95. Sports Publishing International.

Lace Up the Boots, Full Tilt Ahead: Recreation, Immigration, and Labor on Chicago’s Soccer Fields, 1890–1950, by Gabe Logan. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Northern Illinois, 2005.