American League of Professional Football was the first professional soccer league in the United States, existing for one season in 1894. It was also one of the earliest professional leagues in the world. It was created by the owners of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, partly to fill their dormant stadiums in the winter months and partly for publicity reasons to keep their baseball seasons visible to the public during the off-season.
The 1894 schedule included six teams sponsored by National League teams that played a total of 23 games. Although the club owners encouraged attendance by setting ticket prices low, typically 25 cents, the turn out was light averaging about 500 spectators—by comparison, average crowds in the National League that year ranged from as much as about 6000 (New York Giants) to as few as about 600. Baltimore Orioles F. C. regularly attracted crowds as large as 8,000 for some matches. However, other club owners accused Baltimore of illegally employing British players, and U.S. immigration officials soon began to investigate the allegations. At the same time, with rumors circulating that a new baseball league was being formed, the club owners became convinced that the soccer league was a distraction from the serious business of possible competition from a new, rival league. This was combined with a move by the American Football Association to ban players from the ALPF from playing in the AFA. This came as the AFA saw the ALPF encroaching on its territory. The combination of these new competitive pressures and the ongoing immigration investigation scuppered the planned 1895 season and the League itself.
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The 1894 Baltimore Orioles F.C. season was the club's first and only season of existence, participating in the American League of Professional Football, an offseason soccer league established by National League owners to maintain brand relevance. The club was owned and affiliated by the baseball club of the same name.
During the 1894 season, the Orioles played only four matches, winning all four of them. Baltimore scored 24 goals and conceded only three. All four of their matches, however, were against the Washington Senators F.C.1895–96 in American soccer
The following article lists notable events during the 1895–96 season in American soccer.Alec Wallace
Alexander Wallace (1872–1950) was an English professional footballer who played in the Football League for Ardwick and Small Heath. He played as an outside left.Arthur Irwin
Arthur Albert Irwin (February 14, 1858 – July 16, 1921), nicknamed "Doc", "Sandy", "Cutrate" or "Foxy", was a Canadian-American shortstop and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the late nineteenth century. He played regularly in the major leagues for eleven years, spending two of those seasons as a player-manager. He played on the 1884 Providence Grays team which won the first interleague series to decide the world champions of baseball. Irwin then served as a major league manager for several years.
Irwin occupied numerous baseball roles in the latter years of his career, having spent time as a college baseball coach, a major league scout and business manager, a minor league owner and manager, and a National League umpire. For most of Irwin's career, the collegiate and professional baseball schedules allowed him to hold positions at both levels in the same year.
Irwin also produced several innovations which impacted sports. He took the field with the first baseball fielder's glove, invented a type of football scoreboard, promoted motor-paced cycling tracks and ran a short-lived professional soccer league.
Irwin became terminally ill with cancer in the last weeks of his life. Shortly after his death from an apparent suicide, Irwin made headlines when it was discovered that two wives and families survived him in separate cities. He had been married to one woman since the 1880s and to the other since the 1890s. He was posthumously elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.Baltimore Orioles F.C.
Baltimore Orioles F.C. were a soccer club based in Baltimore, Maryland. The club was formed in 1893 and in 1895 the club folded. They were sponsored by the early professional baseball circuit, the National League with their 19th Century Baltimore Orioles baseball club, who were then famous for winning three League championships in a row: 1894, 1895, and 1896. The "Orioles" soccer/football club played in the short-lived league of the American League of Professional Football.David Gould
David L. Gould (January 9, 1873 – January 25, 1939) was a Scottish American soccer player, coach and referee. He coached the U.S. national team at the 1934 FIFA World Cup and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was born in Galston, ScotlandHistory of association football
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, can be traced to as far back as the ancient period in China (Han dynasty). The modern game of association football originates from cuju, an ancient Chinese football game, as recognized by FIFA. The formation of The Football Association was later implemented in London, England in 1863 based on multiple efforts to standardize the varying forms of the game. This allowed clubs to play each other without dispute and which specifically banned handling of the ball (except by goalkeepers) and hacking during open field play. After the fifth meeting of the association a schism emerged between association football and the rules played by the Rugby school, later to be called rugby football. At the time, football clubs had played by their own, individual codes and game-day rules usually had to be agreed upon before a match could commence. For example, the Sheffield Rules that applied to most matches played in the Sheffield area were a different code. Football has been an Olympic sport ever since the second modern Summer Olympic Games in 1900.New York Giants (soccer)
New York Giants was a name used by three different New York City soccer teams. Two of these teams were associated with the New York Giants baseball franchise. The first team that used the name played in the American League of Professional Football in 1894. The second team played in the American Soccer League between 1923 and 1930 while the third team played in the same league between 1930 and 1932.
The two Giants of the ASL were involved in a confusing name change. In 1930 after the original ASL Giants changed their name to New York Soccer Club, a rival team, the New York Nationals then changed their name to the Giants. One player, Davey Brown actually transferred from the original Giants to the Nationals, in effect moving from the Giants to the Giants. In 1931 the new Giants became ASL champions after beating New Bedford Whalers, a successor team of the original Giants, in a play-off.Polo Grounds
The Polo Grounds was the name of three stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used mainly for professional baseball and American football from 1880 through 1963. As the name suggests, the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876 and demolished in 1889, was built for the sport of polo. Bound on the south and north by 110th and 112th Streets and on the east and west by Fifth and Sixth (Lenox) Avenues, just north of Central Park, it was converted to a baseball stadium when leased by the New York Metropolitans in 1880. The third Polo Grounds, built in 1890 and renovated after a fire in 1911, is the one generally indicated when the Polo Grounds is referenced. It was located in Coogan's Hollow and was noted for its distinctive bathtub shape, very short distances to the left and right field walls, and an unusually deep center field.
In baseball, the original Polo Grounds was home to the New York Metropolitans from 1880 through 1885, and the New York Giants from 1883 through 1888. The Giants played in the second Polo Grounds for part of the 1889 season and all of the 1890 season, and at the third and fourth Polo Grounds from 1891 through 1957. The Polo Grounds was also the home field of the New York Yankees from 1913 through 1922 and the New York Mets in their first two seasons of 1962 and 1963. All four versions of the ballpark hosted World Series matches at various times. The fourth version also hosted the 1934 and 1942 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.
In football, the third Polo Grounds was home to the New York Brickley Giants for one game in 1921 and the New York Giants from 1925 to 1955. The New York Jets of the American Football League played at the stadium from the league's inaugural season of 1960 through 1963.
Other sporting events held at the Polo Grounds included soccer, boxing, and Gaelic football. The last sporting event at the Polo Grounds was a football game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on December 14, 1963. Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and replaced the Polo Grounds as the home of the Mets and Jets. The Polo Grounds was demolished over a period of four months that year and a public housing complex, known as the Polo Grounds Towers, was built on the site.Soccer in the United States
Soccer in the United States is governed by the United States Soccer Federation. The organization governs most levels of soccer in the country, including the national teams, professional leagues, and the amateur game with the exception of colleges and high schools. As of May 2015, over 24.4 million people play soccer in the United States. In 2017, Gallup reported that soccer was the third-most played team sport in the U.S., behind only basketball and American football. The popularity of the sport in the U.S. has been growing since the 1960s and 1970s and received a significant boost when the United States hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. It is the fourth most popular sport in the United States behind American football, baseball, and basketball, and is the second fastest growing sport in America, surpassed only by lacrosse.The highest-level men's professional soccer league in the U.S. is Major League Soccer. MLS began to play in 1996 with 10 teams and has grown to 24 teams (21 in the United States and 3 in Canada), with further expansion planned to 30 teams. MLS is currently the largest first division professional soccer league in the world. The MLS season runs from March to December, with the regular-season winner awarded the Supporters' Shield and the post-season winner awarded the MLS Cup. With an average attendance of over 20,000 per game, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U.S. after the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league worldwide.The first women's professional soccer league in the U.S. formed after the success of the 1999 Women's World Cup. The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) ran from 2001–2003 and featured many of the World Cup stars, including Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain. Its successor Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) ran from 2009–2012. Currently, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is the top professional league in the country and was formed in 2012. The NWSL season runs from spring to early fall (typically April – October). In 2017, A&E Networks bought an equity stake in the league and broadcasts a game of the week on Lifetime, and formerly streamed all games online via the go90 platform. During the 2018 season, the NWSL moved some of the games originally scheduled to air on Lifetime to evening slots on ESPNews (both channels being part of the Disney family), and when go90 owner Verizon shut down that platform at the end of July, the NWSL streamed the games that were intended for go90 on its own website.U.S. soccer fans also follow the U.S. national teams in international competition. The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final drew a record 26.7 million viewers, greater than final games of the 2014 World Series or the 2015 NBA Finals, and the 2010 Men's World Cup final drew 26.5 million viewers. The women's national team has won three Women's World Cup titles and four gold medals at the Summer Olympics and the men's national team played in every World Cup from 1990 to 2014.Sports in Maryland
Maryland has a number of major and minor professional sports franchises. Two National Football League teams play in Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore and the Washington Redskins in Prince George's County. The Baltimore Orioles compete as Major League Baseball franchise in Baltimore.
Other professional sports franchises in the state include five affiliated minor league baseball teams, one independent league baseball team, the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team, two indoor football teams, two low-level Basketball teams, three low-level outdoor soccer teams and the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse.
The Congressional Country Club and Aronimink Golf Club have hosted several professional golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, Senior PGA Championship, Kemper Open and Quicken Loans National.
Maryland has had famous athletes including baseball's Cal Ripken Jr. and Babe Ruth, and Olympic swimming medalists Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff.
Since 1962, the official state sport of Maryland is jousting. Lacrosse was named the official team sport in 2004, and Sports Illustrated wrote the sport "has always been the showcase for the flower of Maryland manhood." In 2008, intending to promote physical fitness for all ages, Maryland declared walking the official state exercise and became the first state with an official state exercise.Sports in Pennsylvania
Sports in Pennsylvania includes numerous professional sporting teams, events, and venues located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Between 1979 and 1980, the Pirates, Phillies, Steelers, Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers all made it to the end of the postseason, with the Steelers, Pirates, and Phillies being victorious.
. Until recently, when the Philadelphia Eagles won the super bowl 2018.Sports in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been home to many teams and events in professional, semi-professional, amateur, college, and high-school sports. Sports are a huge part of the culture of the city and the Greater Philadelphia area. Philadelphia sports fans are considered to be some of the most knowledgeable fans in sports, and are known for their extreme passion for all of their teams. Philadelphia fans, particularly Phillies and Eagles fans, are also known for their reputation of being the "Meanest Fans in America".Philadelphia is one of twelve cities that hosts teams in the "Big Four" major sports leagues in North America, and Philadelphia is one of just three cities in which one team from every league plays within city limits. These major sports teams are the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association and the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League. Each team has played in Philadelphia since at least the 1960s, and each team has won at least two championships. Since 2010, the Greater Philadelphia area has been the home of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, making the Philadelphia market one of nine cities that hosts a team in the five major sports leagues. Prior to the 1970s, Philadelphia was home to several other notable professional franchises, including the Philadelphia Athletics, the Frankford Yellow Jackets, the Philadelphia Warriors, the Philadelphia Quakers, and the Philadelphia Field Club.
The Greater Philadelphia area hosts several college sports teams. The Philadelphia Big 5 is an informal association of basketball schools consisting of La Salle University, the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph's University, Temple University, and Villanova University. Those five schools, along with Drexel University, Delaware State University, and the University of Delaware, all represent the Greater Philadelphia area in NCAA Division I, while several other area schools field teams in other divisions of the NCAA. Temple fields the lone Division I FBS football team in the region, though many Philadelphia fans root for other programs, such as the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions.
In addition to the major professional and college sports, numerous semi-pro, amateur, community, and high school teams play in Philadelphia. The city hosts numerous sporting events, such as the Penn Relays and the Collegiate Rugby Championship, and Philadelphia has been the most frequent host of the annual Army-Navy football game. Philadelphia has also been the home of several renowned athletes and sports figures. Philly furthermore has played a historically significant role in the development of cricket and extreme wrestling in the United States.
Defunct soccer leagues in the United States