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The Chinese, Greek, Mayan and Egyptian civilizations played kicking games as a popular sport during ancient times: during the 19th century in England, the modern game of soccer started. J.C. Thring of the Uppingham School drafted the first laws of the modern game in 1862. A meeting with the London Football Association(FA)during 1863 split football into rugby football, which allowed handling and carrying of the ball and association football or soccer, which banned the use of hands.

Soccer was formerly played in private schools and universities for the most part. A tournament first organized in 1871 started the popularity of the game in England. The FA recognized the legitimacy of professional players and a regualr league was played in England on 1888. The International play began on Scottsdale in 1872 during a match between an English all-star team and its Scottish opponent.

The game spread globally in the late 1800s when the British carried the sport all around the world. In Europe the Germans and Italians widely accepted it, while the Argentinians, Uruguayans and Brazilians played the sport in South America. By 1904, the Federation Internationale de Football Association was formed. Professional games were played in many countries, making the FIFA organize the First World Cup in 1930.

However, the U.S. had long refused the game. It was mostly played by immigrants until the 1970s, when a national professional league began. The (NASL) National American Soccer League was organized in 1968. This gave the Brazilian soccer star and one of the greatest soccer players of all time named Pele the opportunity to come to the U.S. All 24 official teams were formed during the 1980s. The league suffered financial problems until 1984, when it went out of business. Yet the league made American involvement in the sport grow, most specially for the youth. Soccer became the most popular sport for high school and college students in the U.S. during the 1990s.

The FIFA recognized the growing number of individuals interested in the sport. It then gave the United States Soccer Federation the right to organize the 1994 World Cup. This showed a huge amount of success and attracted support from nearly 3.6 million attendees over its 52 games.