Team USA beat Algeria yesterday 1-0 to advance in the World Cup. They will play Ghana in an 11:30 am showdown Saturday morning that will earn the winner a place in the quarterfinals. But, why do we call it soccer?
It seems like the rest of the world is REALLY annoyed that the U.S. World Cup team won yesterday. They think we don’t DESERVE to win because, you know, they think we don’t even LIKE the sport.
In the 1860s, people in England started playing an organized version of the sport. The proper term they created was “SOCCER” . . . but they also sometimes referred to it as “association football.” At first, only rich people played soccer. But eventually, the masses fell in love with the game and started playing too. “Soccer” was considered an elitist word, and the underprivileged didn’t want to sound like snobs, so they used the “Association Football” name. Over time, that was shortened to football. And, eventually, in England, that term became so popular that the sport just became known as “football.”
In the U.S., we started off by calling the sport football . . . but, when OUR version of NFL-style football became WAY more popular in the mid-1900s, it was too confusing, so we switched to soccer. And that’s how it’s stayed in both countries ever since.