Chase Cozart

I am a member of group B, so I read about the influence of Communist soccer leagues in the United States from the late 1920’s to the mid 1930’s.

The Russian Bolsheviks gained power during the 1920s and developed sports into an instrument to spread Communism. “The RSI prescribed that sport be used in conjunction with trade unions and as an additional means to free the workers from capitalist control and influence.” This plan would start in 1923 with the creation of the United States Communist Party (CPUSA) which would use its Young Worker’s League (YWL) “to entice future workers into joining the party.” USFA and ASL would also find themselves at odds with one another opening the door for the YWL to start their Communist campaign.

Young workers league, Chicago Soccer Club. Source: The Young Worker.

Communist soccer leagues would soon find great success in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit competing with USFA and ensuring the differences between the two organizations were noted. The WSA noted these differences by commenting on the corruption of USFA and ASL calling them “greedy” and hypocrites for paying wages to their “amateur” players. The WSA sought to take soccer from these “greedy” owners and return it to the people.

USFA and ASL noticed this increase in the popularity of WSA and tried to limit it in any way they could. The USFA went so far as to declare WSA an “outlaw” league in hopes to disparage its reputation. Despite this WSA and LSU would become extremely successful through this time period and would eventually liquidate into the Workers Sport League of America (WSLA). This new league would shift its focus to trade unions rather than Communist policies.

In conclusion, the leagues created by these Communist associations created a dynamic of soccer that had been lost to its capitalist owners. The Communist associations attempted to return soccer to the players and teams they belonged to but were eventually pushed away. This article was extremely entertaining given that I had never even heard about Communist sports leagues until now. I suggest you check it out.