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We’ve Got History – Footage of the 1924 U.S Open Cup Final

For many critics of the American game (among a plethora of other complaints) they cite a lack of history of the sport in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, the beautiful game was established here for much longer than most realize.

It goes past 1996 and the foundation of Major League Soccer. Past the 1960s and 70s of the New York Cosmos and the North American Soccer League. Even past Joe Gaetjens and the 1950 “Miracle on Grass”. American soccer history is long and storied; nearly as old as it's European foundations.

We've got history. It's time to tell those tales.


The United States Soccer Federation celebrates it's 100 years of existence this year and beyond managing our men's, women's, and youth national teams one of their greatest (and most over-looked) achievements is the establishment of the U.S. Open Cup, the oldest, ongoing national soccer tournament in America. Originally called the National Challenge Cup, the holders of many of these Cup titles are recognized as some of the most famous clubs in American soccer history (even if few know their whole story). Teams like Bethleham Steel (five time winners), Maccabi Los Angeles (five time winners), Fall River Marksmen (four time winners) or more recently, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire (four time winners), and Seattle Sounders (three, consecutive winners).

Unearthed and featured here is a brief clip of the Marksmen of Fall River against Vesper Buick in Saint Louis, Missouri. A more detailed description of the match follows below.

If you're interested in learning more about the shadows of American soccer history we highly recommend two works from the late David Wagerin, “The Ball is Round” and “Distant Corners”.

From the description on YouTube:

Perhaps the oldest extant professional U.S. soccer footage–snippets from the 1924 U.S. Open Cup final, played on March 30, 1924. Fall River Marksmen, champions of the American Soccer League, traveled to St. Louis to face Vesper Buick, champions of the St. Louis Soccer League. Before a crowd of 14,000 at High School Field, the Marksmen completed their “double” with a 4-2 win. The match was tied 1:1 at the half, but Fall River prevailed on a brace by Fred Morley and goals from Johnny Reid and Harold Brittan. Harris (whose goal is captured on film) and McCarthy scored for the St. Louis team. Findlay Kerr notched the win in goal for Fall River; Labarge manned the pipes for the losers.

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