The New Base Ball Park by Braun Post Card Co - Cleveland Memory Project. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
“The New Base Ball Park” by Braun Post Card Co – Cleveland Memory Project. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Cleveland has a very long but under-recognized soccer history. The first official game took place in 1889, the first league formed in 1906, and the first fenced soccer-specific field was built in 1914. Cleveland teams have contested the US Open Cup title three times, in 1930, 1945, and 1973, and the Shamrocks won the Amateur Cup in 1932.  The history of soccer in Northeast Ohio is longer and stronger than most people imagine, as this first of two timelines of soccer’s beginnings in Cleveland illustrates.

A version of this article first appeared at The Sockerite on September 24, 2014.

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