Soccer (Fútbol) in the Americas

Juan Javier Pescador

in Latino Studies

ISBN: 9780199913701
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:
Soccer (Fútbol) in the Americas

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  • History of the Americas
  • US Cultural History


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Soccer, association football, or simply “fútbol,” is by and large the most popular sport among Latino communities in the United States. This is particularly true in the Mexican, Guatemalan, Honduran, Salvadoran, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Colombian, Peruvian, Argentinian, Brazilian, Bolivian, Uruguayan, Paraguayan, and Ecuadorian communities. In large metropolitan areas, rural communities, or midsize cities, people of Latin American descent and origin participate in soccer teams, tournaments, leagues, clubs, and associations in massive numbers. Soccer affiliation easily represents the largest demographic participation in voluntary associations by Latinas and Latinos in the United States. As soccer players, referees, organizers, spectators, and consumers, Latin Americans and US-born Latinos participate in the sport on a regular basis and have made it not only an integral part of their recreational activities and leisure behavior but also a singular feature of the Latina/o popular culture and experience in the United States. For Latin American communities in the United States, soccer associations have played a fundamental role in structuring recreational activities for players, organizers, and their families. Leisure and entertainment are not, however, the only factors to consider. In fact, soccer associations are by far the largest civic and voluntary organizations among people of Latin American ancestry/origin in the United States, and these organizations have made a permanent contribution to the formation of a social life for Latinas and Latinos in American society. Soccer and other sports organizations have traditionally functioned as social venues to identify and develop leadership skills, as well as to provide agency and representation for the community to voice its needs and concerns, and to gain access to public facilities in organized and autonomous ways.

Article.  5978 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; US Cultural History

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