Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Why Soccer is Called Soccer in America

Soccer in America

One of the quickest ways to identify someone from North America is to listen for the word “soccer” when they talk about the popular sport. Why is it that North Americans use a different name for what is known as football in the rest of the world? Let’s explore the origins of this unique term.

The Origin of the Term “Soccer”

The term “soccer” originated as an abbreviation of “association” in association football. It was used to differentiate the sport from rugby football, gridiron football, and other variations. As an informal way of saying “association,” the term “soc” eventually evolved into “soccer.”

Countries Where “Soccer” is Used

While the United States is often associated with the term “soccer,” Canada also predominantly uses this term. These are the only two countries where “soccer” is widely used to describe association football. This is mainly due to the popularity of gridiron football in these regions.

Former Use of “Soccer” in Britain

Surprisingly, certain parts of Britain consistently used the term “soccer” up until the 1980s. However, over time, the term fell out of favor and became somewhat of a mockery. The decline in its usage may be attributed to the adoption of the term by the United States and Canada, as well as a desire for consistent terminology in the sport.

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Why Some Fans Dislike the Term “Soccer”

Soccer Fans

The term “soccer” can trigger negative reactions from fans in other parts of the world. One reason for this is the association of the term with casual or new fans of the sport. Some enthusiasts believe that using “soccer” instead of “football” indicates a lack of deep knowledge or commitment to the game. Additionally, fans may resent the prominence of American football and its name being used in association with a different sport.

Major League Soccer and Naming Conventions

In Major League Soccer, not all teams include the word “soccer” in their names. Some clubs use the term “football club” instead, which can cause confusion. The league deliberately embraced the term “soccer” to fully associate itself with the American tradition.

The Future of the Term “Soccer” in the United States

Soccer Celebration

Despite the ongoing debate, “soccer” remains deeply ingrained in sports culture in North America. The popularity and dominance of American football make it unlikely that the term will be replaced by “football” anytime soon. Rather than using separate names for association football and American football, shortening the term seems practical and familiar to North Americans.


Q: Is it wrong to call it soccer?
A: Calling the sport “soccer” is perfectly acceptable and widely understood. While different forms of football exist worldwide, using “soccer” helps differentiate and embrace the unique qualities of the sport.

Q: Will the term “soccer” ever be dropped in the United States?
A: Considering the strong presence of American football and the cultural attachment to the term “soccer,” it is unlikely that it will be completely phased out in the foreseeable future.

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The term “soccer” in America has its roots in the abbreviation of “association football.” While some fans may dislike the term, it has become an integral part of North American sports culture. Embracing the term “soccer” allows for clarity and ease of communication, ensuring that fans can continue to enjoy the sport they love. To learn more about soccer in North America, visit Movin993.