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On December 20th 1914, the New York Times published a year-end review of American sports and their past years along with prospects for 1915.
“Splendid outlook for sport in 1915,” the newspaper pronounced, with “new records expected” but a warning shot that international competition could be curtailed by the conflict in Europe: “Tentative challenges to be sent to Foreign Nations, with a War Proviso.”
The sport we now (mostly) call soccer here was referred to then in the body text as “soccer (Association) Football” (and we all, of course, know that the word soccer comes from “Association”), and in the subheading as “soccer football”.
It was the second single sport featured in the feature review, after football, with the prospects for “soccer football” declared by Dr. G. Randolph Manning. The Dr. was the President of the United States Football Association (USFA), a forerunner of today’s United States Soccer Federation and formed just a little over one year before.
1914 was a significant year for the USFA: it affiliated permanently to FIFA in June 1914 (one of 25 members at the time) and saw the conclusion of the first Challenge Cup, better known now as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. That was won by Brooklyn Field Club, in front of “7,000 enthusiastic spectators”, according to Manning.
Manning himself had an interesting backstory, and brought administrative experience in the sport to the formation of the USFA, as Roger Allaway explains:
The man elected as the president of the AAFA at its founding was a New York physician named Dr. G. Randolph Manning. Dr. Manning had been born in England and then was educated in Germany, particularly at the University of Freiburg. While in Germany, he had been involved in the formation of the Deutscher Fussball Bund in 1900.
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