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Channel: Before The 'D'...Association Football around the world, 1863-1937.
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The American Cup

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Association Football in the United States developed in industrialised areas in the East. The blue collar sector of East Coast society included a significant percentage of European workers.The influence of the textile industry in New Jersey was particularly important, as were the connections that a number of the leading manufacturers (Clark Thread Company of Paisley, Michael Nairn & Company of Kirkcaldy) had with Scotland. Paterson was noted for silk production, which also attracted a great deal of experienced Scottish labour.

As we have seen in previous posts one of the biggest problems that American soccer has faced during its history has been the power struggles between rival governing bodies and  associations. The American Football Association, founded in 1884, was the United States' first Association Football Governing body, and it was under the auspices of this Association that the first 'cross league' competition was played.
The tournament is usually referred to simply as The American Cup. Here is a list of the finals, up until the 8 year hiatus that saw the tournament lose it's prestige.


1885

Clark O.N.T.
1

0

New York

1886

Clark O.N.T.
3

1

Kearny Rangers

1887

Clark O.N.T.
3

2

Kearny Rangers

1888

Fall River Rovers

5

1

Newark Almas

1889

Fall River Rovers

4

0

Newark Caledonian

1890

Fall River Olympics

4

3

Kearny Rovers

1891

Fall River East Ends

3

1

Brooklyn Longfellows

1892

Fall River East Ends

5

2

New York Thistle

1893

Pawtucket Free Wanderers

3

1

New York Thistle

1894

Pawtucket Olympics

4

1

Paterson True Blues

1895

Newark Caledonian

4

0

Pawtucket Free Wanderers

1896

Paterson True Blues

7

2

Fall River Olympics

1897

Philadelphia Mainz

5

2

Paterson True Blues


Replay following a 2-2 draw.

1898

Kearny Arlington

4

2

Paterson True Blues




The first edition attracted 6 entrants (some sources state 13 but this appears to confuse the event with later editions).

The entrants were:
Caledonian Thistle Club (Paterson)- whose name leaves no doubt about their Scottish origins.
Clark O.N.T. (Kearney) -sponsored by the Clark Thread Company ONT was short for Our New Thread, Clark’s latest product.
Domestic (Newark)- backed by a well known sewing machine manufacturer.
Kearny Rangers
New York F.B.C.
Paterson F.B.C.


First Round
25.10.84
Clark O.N.T.

2

0

Domestic

ONT AA Grounds Kearney

01.11.84
Kearny Rangers

3

2

Caledonian Thistle

Domestic Baseball Grounds

Newark

01.11.84
New York

5

0

Paterson

Hoboken


Semi Final
A draw was made that gave Clark O.N.T a bye into the final.

27.11.84
Kearny Rangers

0

4

New York

Domestic Baseball Grounds

Newark


FINAL
14.02.85
Clark O.N.T.

2

1

New York

Emmet Street Grounds Newark

The match was played in snow. New York protested that not all the ONT players were genuine members of the club and that the goal posts were not regulation size. The AFA ordered a replay.


25.04.85
Clark O.N.T.

1

0

New York

Olympic Grounds Paterson





As well as a handsome trophy the winners received prize money of $150.

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