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The Most Historic US Soccer Sites: What’s #1?

In Pasadena, California, there is a monstrous stadium that seats more than 90,000 spectators: the Rose Bowl. Built in 1922, the stadium is, of course, most famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl Game on New Years Day between college football powerhouses. But it also has hosted five Super Bowls and several events during the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

Prior to the construction of the HDC, the Galaxy played their home matches at the Bowl. But, it’s not the Gals that make the Rose Bowl the most historic soccer site in US history. No, it’s the fact that the Rose Bowl is only one of two stadiums in the world (with Rasunda Stadium in Sweden being the other) to host both a Men’s and Women’s World Cup Final.

The 1994 Men’s World Cup Final between Italy and Brazil was one of the greatest games ever played and it ended dramatically on a Roberto Baggio penalty miss. The 1999 Women’s World Cup was even more thrilling, especially for US fans, as Brandi Chastain secured the US victory over China with her successful PK.

That 1999 Women’s World Cup Final was the highest attended match in women’s sports history (over 90,000 fans). It signaled the end of a long era when women were excluded from participating in sports at the highest levels. As the Rose Bowl was the site of US soccer’s greatest victory, it gets the number one spot on my list.

I hope you all have enjoyed this series on America’s most historic soccer sites, and if I omitted any legendary site, let me hear about it in the comments.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Randall Hall January 13, 2009, 2:48 pm

    Holy Shnikes. Just realized who you were when I saw the trackback today. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do to help to make soccer more popular in America, and I’ll definitely do an additional piece on Soldier Field next month in your honor. We are supporting the women’s game here at STO, and if I can help contribute to your current venture in any shape or form, let me know. Thanks again for the feedback.

  • Randall Hall January 11, 2009, 6:19 pm

    I wasn’t trying to put down the midwest’s contributions to US soccer history, I just wasn’t aware of any sites in the cities you named more significant than the ones I chose. Just my opinion. I actually had Soldier Field on my original list, but I bumped it upon further reconsideration. I do have great respect for St. Louis as well, but again I was looking for specific sites and not whole cities. Thanks for the feedback.

  • peter January 11, 2009, 2:25 pm

    Lists like these are made for discussion and controversy, but i find it humorous/incredulous that you actually believe that 8 of the 10 most historic soccer sites in the U.S. are in the Eastern time zone, the other two are in LA and ZERO are in between. i guess you believe Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston and all the other places in the midwest had little to contribute to soccer’s history in the U.S.

    Specifically i would add Soldier Field and the whole city of St. Louis. DID YOU KNOW…St. Louis has more members (29) in the National Soccer Hall of Fame than any other city in the United States!

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