Historically, soccer” despite being the world’s most popular sport” has not been among the top sports in the United States. This fact is demonstrated by an NASL team called the Philadelphia Atoms.
The NASL” North American Soccer League (both American and Canadian cities were represented)” had a very short history indeed, lasting only from 1967 to 1984. And one of its teams” the aforementioned Philadelphia Atoms” had an even shorter history: They played only from 1973 to 1976. Their first season was successful, with goalkeeper Bob Rigby becoming the first soccer player to make the cover of “Sports Illustrated.” Unfortunately, they were not able to keep up that level of success. The team was sold to some Mexican sports clubs in 1975 and folded completely the following year.
For more than a decade, there was no professional soccer league in the United States (though the sport did retain its popularity among amateur players” I played it at summer camp during my early teen years myself). Then, in 1996, Major League Soccer was formed, and new teams are continually being added in. And Mr. Rigby is now a sideline reporter for one of those teams” the three- year- old Philadelphia Union!