In the 1920s, the US was in the midst of an enormous manufacturing boom. Waves of immigrants were arriving from Europe to work in factories, plants and mills, and they brought soccer with them. In 1921 the country’s first pro soccer competition of note, the American Soccer League (ASL), was formed; its foundation teams came from industrial towns like Fall River, Massachusetts and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years ago to ancient China. Greece, Rome, and parts of Central America also claim to have started the sport; but it was England that transitioned soccer, or what the British and many other people around the world call “football,” into the game we know today. The English are credited with recording the first uniform rules for the sport, including forbidding tripping opponents and touching the ball with hands.
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