Soccer in New York over the years

Beginnings: Early American leagues and European clubs

Beginnings: Early American leagues and European clubs on tour
Soccer in New York dates back to the late 19th century, as the city hosted a number of teams in early leagues. The leagues never gained traction, however, and a pro league in the U.S. wouldn't gain popularity until the 1970s. With domestic leagues facing difficulties, the sport's biggest moments in New York came in the form of touring European clubs who would play exhibitions. Yankee Stadium hosted its first soccer game in 1931, with Celtic of Scotland defeating the American Soccer League's Yankees. The following 40 years saw club teams and national teams play at Yankee Stadium, like the 1969 exhibition between Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan (pictured). | (Credit: AP)

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With a reincarnated New York Cosmos and the creation of New York City FC, a new era of soccer in the New York area is upon us.
The sport has a rich history in the region, which has played host to the famed original Cosmos, numerous matches between major European and South American teams, and FIFA World Cup games in 1994.

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