Definitions

1880s American Cup

American Cup

The American Cup (also known as the American Football Association Cup and the American Federation Cup) was the first major U.S. soccer competition open to teams beyond a single league. It was first held in 1885. In the 1910s, it gradually declined in importance with the establishment of the National Challenge Cup. It was last held in 1929. The trophy, originally valued at $200, was described as having "a neat design in silver and gold appropriate figures of foot ballists being engraved on it".

History

Founded in 1884, the American Football Association (AFA) was the first non-league organizing body in the United States. Allied with the Football Association, the AFA sought to standardize rules for teams competing in northern New Jersey and southern New York. Within two years, this region began to widen to include teams in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Within a year of its founding, the AFA organized the first non-league cup in U.S. soccer history. Teams from New Jersey and Massachusetts dominated the first twelve years. Then in 1897, Philadelphia Manz brought the title to Pennsylvania for the first time. Soccer in the United States went through a down turn in the late 1890s. As a result, the AFA suspended the cup from 1899 until 1906. By that time, the growth in the sport had led to a confusion of rules and standards. This led to a movement to create a truly national body to oversee U.S. soccer. Drawing on both its position as the oldest soccer organization and the status of the American Cup, the AFA argued that it should be the nationally recognized body. In October 1911, a competing body, the American Amateur Football Association (AAFA) was created. It quickly spread outside of the north east U.S. and began its own cup in 1912, the American Amateur Football Association Cup. That year, both the AFA and AAFA applied for membership in FIFA, the international organizing body for soccer. In 1913, the AAFA gained an edge over the AFA when several AFA organizations moved to the AAFA. On April 5, 1913, the AAFA reorganized as the United States Football Association. FIFA quickly granted a provisional membership and USFA began exerting its influence on the sport. This led to the establishement of the National Challenge Cup that fall. The National Challenge Cup quickly grew to overshadow the American Cup. However, both cups were played simultaneously for the next ten years. Declining respect for the AFA led to the withdrawal of several associations from its cup in 1917. Further competition came in 1924 when USFA created the National Amateur Cup. That spelled the death knell for the American Cup. It was suspended for four years, before playing its last season in 1928.

Champions by year

Year Final Group Rank
Winner Runner-up
1885
Details
Clark O.N.T. New York
1886
Details
Clark O.N.T. Kearny Rangers
1887
Details
Clark O.N.T. Kearny Rangers
1888
Details
Fall River Rovers Newark Almas
1889
Details
Fall River Rovers Newark Caledonians
1890
Details
Fall River Olympics Kearny Rovers
1891
Details
Fall River East Ends Brooklyn Longfellows
1892
Details
Fall River East Ends New York Thistle
1893
Details
Pawtucket Free Wanderers New York Thistle
1894
Details
Pawtucket Olympics Paterson True Blues
1895
Details
Newark Caledonian Pawtucket Free Wanderers
1896
Details
Paterson True Blues Fall River Olympics
1897
Details
Philadelphia Manz Paterson True Blues
1898
Details
Kearny Arlington Paterson True Blues
1899-1905 No competition
1906
Details
West Hudson A.A. Paterson True Blues
1907
Details
Clark A.A. Kearny Scots
1908
Details
West Hudson A.A. Paterson True Blues
1909
Details
Paterson True Blues East Newark Clark A.A.
1910
Details
Disston A.A. Kearny Scots
1911
Details
Howard & Bullough Philadelphia Hibernian
1912
Details
West Hudson A.A. Paterson Rangers
1913
Details
Paterson True Blues Disston A.A.
1914
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. Disston A.A.
1915
Details
Kearny Scots Brooklyn Celtic
1916
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. Kearny Scots
1917
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. West Hudson A.A.
1918
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. Babcock and Wilcox
1919
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. Paterson F.C.
1920
Details
Brooklyn Robins Dry Dock Bethlehem Steel F.C.
1921
Details
Brooklyn Robins Dry Dock Fore River
1922 No competition
1923
Details
Fleisher Yarn J&P Coats
1924
Details
Bethlehem Steel F.C. Fall River Marksmen
1925-1928 No competition
1929
Details
Providence Gold Bugs New York Nationals

External links

References

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