(BLACK PR WIRE) -- Anyone who knows anything about soccer knows that it is a team sport that is enjoyed by many. Typically played between two teams of 11 players each. It is the most popular code of football and is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world. The object of the game is to score by maneuvering the ball into the opposing goal; and only the goalkeepers may use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play.
There are thousands of fans of soccer, but most fans are unaware that African-Americans played a vital role in the development of the game in this country. While Jackie Robinson combated vicious opposition when he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, soccer did not face any of the resistance to integration that troubled other major sports in this country, according to www.findarticles.com.
In 1972, Dallas Tornado striker Cannen became the first black American to sign with the NASL, paving the way for stars such as Darryl Gee of the New York Cosmos, and naturalized Americans such as Colin Fowles of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Given that the majority of the NASL teams featured players of different races and nationalities, African-Americans blended with ease and were very good at putting their best foot forward.
According to www.findarticles.com, the African-American soccer boom really began before NASL integration, in 1971, when Howard University captured the NCAA Division I title, a feat it would repeat three years later. Howard was the first traditionally black school to win a national collegiate soccer title, after years of dominance by institutions such as St. Louis, Maryland, and UCLA.
Today, as African Americans continue to make their mark in soccer, we can rest assured that they will also continue to put their best foot forward.