Soccer Frontiers

The Global Game in the United States, 1863–1913

  • Author(s): Bolsmann, Chris and George Kioussis, eds.
  • Series: Sports & Popular Culture
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2021-09-20
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Hardcover - Printed Case: Price $65.00 | Buy Now
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Winner of the 2022 North American Society for Sport History Book Award!


The early history of soccer in the United States has received relatively little scholarly attention. While the sport’s failure to make cultural inroads has been the source of much reflection and retrospection, other pastimes such as baseball, basketball, and American football have been covered far more extensively. Soccer Frontiers helps to fill this gap and correct the widespread notion that soccer was unfamiliar in the United States before the late twentieth century.

Editors Chris Bolsmann and George N. Kioussis’s collection sheds light on America’s little-known soccer history by focusing on the game’s presence in major American cities between 1863 and 1913. As waves of immigrants arrived and American cities began to industrialize and become sizable cultural hubs, soccer, too, began to flourish. With essays focused on the years between the Civil War and World War I—a period which saw the creation of both the English Football Association and the US Soccer Federation—this volume also offers diverse regional representation, moving from New England to the South to the West Coast.

Soccer Frontiers seeks to identify the distinctive yet understudied traits of American soccer, thereby contributing an important missing piece to the broader puzzle of American sport history.


CHRIS BOLSMANN is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Northridge. He is coauthor, with Dilwyn Porter, English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amateurism and the Global Game and coeditor of two books with Peter Alegi: Africa’s World Cup: Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Space and South Africa and the Global Game: Football, Apartheid and Beyond.

GEORGE N. KIOUSSIS is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Northridge. His work has appeared in the Journal of Sport History, Sport in History, the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, and Soccer & Society. He currently serves as an editor for Sport in History.