SASH Symposium, Session 2

The Society for American Soccer History hosted its second virtual session to replace the symposium originally scheduled for the weekend of April 18-19 at Rutgers University-Newark last Friday, June 5, 2020.

While the first session focused on the nineteenth century for the most part, session two featured presentations on the next two centuries. In addition, it featured a handful of first-time presenters to the Society.

Kurt Rausch, a public historian from New Jersey, used the exciting life and times of the diminutive Samuel Bustard to take us on a tour of a turbulent era in US soccer history. His talk begins at the 1:09 mark.

At the 20:08 mark, Patrick Sullivan, a public historian and preservation planner, discussed a handful of southern soccer trophies and in the process took those assembled on a tour of important soccer towns, including New Orleans, Birmingham and Atlanta. Importantly, this was one of the first presentations on the long history of soccer in the American southeast.

Kevin Tallec Marston, who teaches and researches history and governance at the International Center for Sport Studies, delved into an American soccer controversy when he evaluated citizenship claims of several players from the 1950 World Cup squad. His talk begins at 34:43.

Dan Creel, a researcher of the US Open Cup as well as other areas, delivered a Pecha Kucha talk on the fascinating 1976 American Soccer League season. An oft-neglected American league, Dan brings the league alive in a fast-paced tour of teams and personalities. Creel’s presentation begins at 52:50.

Steve Holroyd next delved into the intricacies of the 1979 NASL players strike. A labor attorney by trade, Holroyd’s understanding of labor law helps illuminate an important moment in American soccer history. His talk starts at 1:02:30.

Finally, Zach Bigalke, a PhD candidate at Penn State University, brought us into the 21st century with a fine presentation on Mexican-American players turning out for the Mexican women’s national team, and the embedded ramifications of these border crossings for North American soccer. Bigalke’s presentation begins at 1:22:00.

The session concluded with a question and answer period and a short SASH Annual Business Meeting at 1:30:00.

A new feature—SASH Sessions—is slated for Friday, July 3, 2020 and will feature a slate of speakers on the influence of the “Scotch Professors,” both in Europe and in the United States. Look for details on that Zoom presentation in the coming weeks.


  1. Osvaldo Croci

    I unfortunately missed the live presentations and just watched the posted video today. I have a question for Kevin. The Belgian newspapers article you had on the slides spelled the name of the Belgium-born US defender in the 1950 World Cup as Joe Macca. Yet, all the sources I consulted on the 1950 World Cup listed him as Joe Maca. Do you know whether the discrepancy was due to the fact that a lot of last names ended up for one reason or another being slightly changed when the individual in question immigrated to the the US. Also showed a pictures that asked whether Souza (one of the two) scored the goals. In 1950 the New York Times reported the score of the game and wrote that the goal had been scored by Souza, without however indicating which one of the two had scored it. I do not think however that there is any doubt that it was Gaetjens who scored.

  2. Dear Osvaldo, thank you so much for the comment. You picked up on a good detail that I did not have time to delve into. You are right, the slides with news articles I showed listed his name as Macca. Actually, quite a bit of the correspondence (including the USSFA’s own writing) misspelled his name with two c’s. I follow your note about name changes at the immigration officer’s speedy behest… Maca arrived in the fall of 1947 and the passenger manifest listed his name correctly. So not sure why later documents state Macca.
    As for Souza’s “goal”, it looks like the Brazilian press may have reported that and maybe that is how it got picked up. The source I showed with the picture was from a Brazilian report of the tournament. But as you say, it appears essentially incontestable that Gaetjens scored. No one has ever challenged that (least of all the players who would be the first witnesses anyways).
    Thanks for your question and look forward to seeing you on a future session. Let me know if you have other questions/thoughts/comments. Always much appreciated!

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