Report: American Soccer History Symposium and Annual Business Meeting, October 20-21, 2018

Opening Remarks and Special Presentation

Tom McCabe (Rutgers University-Newark) began the program by welcoming thirty attendees to the conference, crediting Roger Allaway, Jack Huckel and Colin Jose with starting the Society in 1994. He also called for the body to embark on SASH 2.0 as we look forward to hosting the World Cup again in 2026. McCabe then introduced special guest Phil Saragusa, the proud owner of the American Football Association trophy from 1884, who he tracked down through research at the National Soccer Hall of Fame archives in Hillsborough NC. Saragusa then unveiled the trophy and shared his remarkable story with the assembly.

The Coming of U.S. Soccer, 1913-1930

Every presentation in some way involved the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which re-opened during the weekend, and Kevin Tallec Marston (CIES-Centre International d’Etude du Sport) began the early morning presentations with “Immigrant President: The Story of Dr. Gus Randolph Manning, US Soccer’s First President.” Marston traced Dr. Manning’s German, English and American experiences as he was a soccer influencer in each of those countries.

Brian D. Bunk (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) then gave a talk titled “Maurice Hudson, U.S. Soccer and the Great War, 1918-19” which discussed American soccer both at home and abroad during the Great War. His stellar use of primary sources and governmental and institutions reports created a new understanding of American soccer at war and suggested its importance in the coming of the American Soccer League in 1921.

Zach Bigalke (University of Oregon) gave a brief sketch of the first USMNT squad at the 1930 World Cup, busting some of the long-held myths about the team and its performance in Uruguay.

James Brown (public historian), a grandson of one of the 1930 squad members, then discussed the family network he has assembled from that very first World Cup team, connecting family members and aiding in research and ancestry projects.

U.S. Soccer and Popular Culture after 1950

The second panel began with Steve Holroyd (public historian), who examined the first North American Soccer League college drafts and how the American player fared in professional soccer. Several draftees have been inducted into the NSHOF.

George Kioussis (California State University, Northridge) presented on player, manager and administrator Phil Woosnam’s “reformist impulse” and how he helped shape midcentury American soccer.

David Kilpatrick (Mercy College) delivered a talk on coaching books by Hall of Famers Gordon Bradley, Clive Toye, and Walt Chyzowych, and how each helped further the cause of coaching and player education in the 1970s and 1980s.

Patrick Salkeld (University of Central Oklahoma) finished the second panel with a retrospective on the USWNT that won the World Cup 1999. The ‘99ers proved to not only be champions, but legacy builders for generations of players to come. Salkeld called for the team to receive the National Soccer Medal of Honor next summer during the Women’s World Cup in France.

Roundtable: The North American Soccer League at 50

Dick Cecil (Atlanta Chiefs), Derek Liecty (Oakland Clippers) and Clive Toye (Baltimore Bays, NY Cosmos, Chicago Sting and Toronto Blizzard) participated in a panel moderated by David Kilpatrick. The three North American Soccer League administrators talked about the formation of the league, its pioneering days and its ultimate legacies. The panel concluded in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Hall.

Screening of the film: SOCCERTOWN, USA

Tom McCabe and Robert Penzel screened SOCCERTOWN, USA, a film about Hall of Famers John Harkes, Tony Meola and Tab Ramos, who all grew up in Kearny, NJ, and how the trio made it out of Kearny and to the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

Liars’ Retreat

Continuing the tradition of George and Peg Brown hosting a social hour on the Induction Weekend, Society members concluded the first day of the conference by enjoying a social gathering at a local hotel, where they met and stood for a picture with new U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro.

Roundtable: Building the New Hall

Djorn Buchholz and Jim Trecker told us about their work on the new Hall, from its first renderings, to discussion and decisions about how to include technology, and to the first Induction Ceremony the evening before. The two leading forces behind the new Hall talked about the one-of-a-kind experience that visitors will enjoy when the new Hall officially opens to the public in early November 2018.

Annual Business Meeting

Finally, the Society had a successful Business Meeting, where we ratified the SASH Constitution and By-Laws (never formally ratified, though originally drafted 25 years ago), then made plans for annual conferences and a new journal, which will be called The Sash. We adjourned to explore the new Hall of Fame.

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