Online Resources Guide

There are a number of resources available online to assist you in researching US soccer history. Here are a few to help get you started.

Early Codes, Guides and Annuals

Early guides and annuals are useful resources for understanding the evolution of the Laws of the Game and for the dispersal of those Laws in the United States. The first US publisher of the Laws of the Game was New York City’s Beadle and Adams in 1866. In 1871, New York City’s Peck & Snyder published a comprehensive collection of the various football codes then played under in Britain, compiled and edited by Charles W. Alcock, Honorary Secretary of England’s FA. A PDF copy of the Beadle book is available courtesy of Northern Illinois University. A PDF copy of the Peck & Snyder book is available courtesy of the Library of Congress. A PDF copy of the Dominion Football Association of Canada Rules and Constitution published in 1879 as part of Robertson’s Cheap Series and based upon the rules of the Scottish FA is available via Canadian and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

Spalding Guides

The Spalding Guide was the yearbook for American soccer between 1904 and 1924 and contains a wealth of information on local and national topics. The Spalding Guide of a given year of publication covers events of the preceding season (e.g., the 1910 Spalding Guide covers the 1909-1910 season). PDF copies of the Spalding Guide are available for download courtesy of the Library of CongressSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville, HathiTrust, and SASH. Click on the institution’s acronym in the list below to access the desired download.

FIFA World Cup Technical Reports

World Cup technical reports provide a wealth of information on the tournament beginning with the 1966 World Cup in England for the men’s tournament and 1991 for the women’s tournament. Click on the desired part or section of each report in the lists below to access the desired download.


Reports on the men’s Confederations Cup (1997-), U-20 World Cup (1977-), U-17 World Cup (1985-), Club World Cup (2000-), Futsal (1989-), Beach Soccer (2008-), and Boys Youth Olympic Football Tournament (2010-) can also be found on the FIFA website.


Reports on the women’s U-20 World Cup (2002-), U-17 World Cup (2008-), and Girls Youth Olympic Football Tournament (2010-) can also be found on the FIFA website.

Olympic Reports

Reports by the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and FIFA contain summaries of the football tournament. Below are links to official reports through 2008 archived by the LA84 Foundation on the tournaments the U.S. Men’s National Team participated in (1924, 1928, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1972, 1984, 1988; US U-23 MNT in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008) and those the U.S. Women’s National Team participated in (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). Click on the desired part or volume of each report in the list below to access the desired download.

The LA84 Foundation Digital Library Collections is the source of the above listed Olympic reports. Among the useful resources available there are The Sporting Life Collection (published 1883-1917) and back issues of Soccer America (2000-2003).

Online newspaper resources

The digitization of newspaper archives has made information about US soccer history more accessible than ever. Check your local newspaper’s website for archive information. Public and university libraries also have access to newspaper archive databases such as America’s Historical Newspapers (from NewsBank) and ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Some libraries also host digital archives of local newspapers that are otherwise unavailable such as the Newark Public Library and the Pawtucket Public Library. You can also subscribe to a resource such as,, and Free online newspaper resources are also available such as the Old Fulton County New York Postcards website (alternate search interface here), the Google Newspaper Archive, and the Chronicling American Newspapers database from the Library of Congress. State universities sometimes also provide digital archives online for newspapers within their state. Some examples include these archives covering California, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington. The Library of Congress also maintains a list of newspaper archives.

Genealogical Websites

Genealogical research via websites such as and are important resources for piecing together the story of historical players and administrators through census records; birth, marriage and death records; military records; immigration records, and more.

Museum Databases

Look for online databases for museums and historical societies to help find items in collections. Finding guides will also help you prepare for in-person visits. PastPerfect Online allows you to search more than 1,000 collections and nearly 8 million collection records.

Newspaper Photo Morgues

While the rights and permissions, not to mention the costs, to reproduce images vary, newspaper photo morgues — the archive of a newspaper’s photographs — can be useful sources for images. The Library of Congress has a list of public institutions that host newspaper photo morgues.

American Soccer History Archives

An extensive website, now defunct, on US (as well as Canadian) soccer history that includes year-by-year summaries (1909-2011), as well as many articles on a wide range of topics. Click here to view the legacy version of the website, now hosted by SASH.

National Soccer Hall of Fame Player and Builder Bios

Capsule biographies of players and others inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame are available here on the SASH website, as well as the US Soccer Federation websiteYou can also view eligibility and election criteria for the Player, Veteran Player, and Builder ballots, as well as the Colin Jose Media Award.

Also available here on the SASH site are complete listings of the US Men’s National Team and the US Women’s National Team results.

Contains a large and expanding amount of information on the US Open Cup from the founding of the tournament in 1913. Click here to view the website.

NASL Jerseys and

While focused on team jerseys of the original North American Soccer League, the site also has very useful roster information. Click here to view the website. has attendance information for the original NASL as well as other US professional soccer leagues. Click here to view the website.

Historic Soccer Videos

For years, was a go-to destination with its extensive archive of video recordings of NASL, US National Team, and other matches but Brett has retired the site. With a little searching, you can find a wealth of historic footage on YouTube.

Prepared and maintained by Ed Farnsworth