Sport: Here Come the Americans

Home-grown soccer stars are at last making it in the pros

"This is a soccer ball."

— Spokesman announcing to the press the formation of a professional soccer league in the United States, 1966

Now no introductions are necessary. In the land of baseball, football and basketball, the once funny-looking, 32-faceted, black-and-white soccer ball is a familiar sight, booted about schoolyards, dribbled across suburban greensward. And, finally, the international accents of professional soccer have taken on a definite American lilt as native-born players break into lineups long the preserve of the visa brigade.


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