Semi-professional football is considered football played by men who are paid less than a living wage. This is not really correct. In most semi-professional leagues, such as the New England Soccer League, it is against league rules to reimburse players in any way. Which means that nobody makes money playing semi-professional soccer.
The Vermont Ice Storm freshman team in the New England Soccer League is made up of players who love soccer so much that they pay to play semi-professional soccer. In fact, all Vermont Ice Storm players have had to buy their own soccer team, contribute a player fee (to ensure they don’t have to pay more for the team’s uniform), and also have to pay expenses. on the road to get to all practices and away games. Over the course of a season, the financial burden can be considerable.
Professional soccer developed in the 1890s in Pennsylvania when local athletic clubs played in intense competition. Former Yale soccer star William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional soccer player in history when he was hired by the Allegheny Athletic Association to play in a game against his rival, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club in November 1892. In 1896, the Allegheny Athletic Association was made up entirely of paid players. As soccer became increasingly popular, local semi-professional and professional teams were organized across the country. Semi-professional soccer was the forerunner of professional soccer. Why did you come up with the name of semi-professional soccer? When we look at the history of this level of soccer, it tells us that some name was needed to differentiate this type of soccer from high school, college, and professional soccer. Some traveling players, who roamed the country looking for games to play, were paid small amounts (usually under the table) to make local small-town teams look better and win.
In the 1910s, professional soccer proved to be a viable spectator sport with the formation of the Ohio League. Canton was the main team with legendary decathlete and soccer star Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was an international star who took soccer to a new level. He won a gold medal at the Stockholm Decathlon in 1912. Thorpe and Canton’s team drew huge crowds and created a market for professional soccer in Ohio and beyond.
In the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the “Watertown Red and Black” football team is referred to as the “first professional football team.” So Watertown was the first paid football team. Today, Watertown Red and Black is a powerful semi-professional team with an excellent history behind it. He is a member of the Empire Football League and Vermont Ice Storm is one of his opponents.
So “semi-professional” soccer means “amateur soccer” in a real sense. It is played by adults, ages 18 to “whatever,” who love the game enough after high school and / or college careers that they feel like they haven’t got soccer out of their systems.