San Francisco Soccer Football League

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San Francisco Soccer Football League
San Francisco Soccer Football League Logo.png
Founded1902; 117 years ago (1902)
CountryUnited States United States
ConfederationCONCACAF
(North American Football Union)
Number of teams31
Level on pyramid5
Domestic cup(s)U.S. Open Cup
International cup(s)CONCACAF Champions League
Websitewww.sfsfl.com

The San Francisco Soccer Football League or SFSFL, established in 1902, is "the oldest American soccer league in continuous existence."[1][2]

The SFSFL is a men's semi-professional and amateur soccer league consisting of teams from San Francisco, California and surrounding cities in the Bay Area. The SFSFL is affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association region IV California Soccer Association-North[3] and regularly sends teams to the National Amateur Cup.[4] The league is on the fifth tier of the American soccer pyramid and features its own promotion-relegation system between 3 divisions. SFSFL teams have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup four times.[5][6]

History[edit]

Established in 1902 as the California Football Association, the SFSFL is the oldest soccer league continuously operating in the United States,[7] pre-dating even the 1913 foundation of the United States Soccer Federation. The next-oldest U.S. leagues, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League of New York City and the National Soccer League of Chicago, were formed in 1923 and 1938, respectively. With several community leaders and soccer enthusiasts, alike, they created football (soccer) clubs, such as: Pickwicks, Pastimes, Barbarians, Hornets, Vampires, American Rifles, Independents, Albion Rovers and the Thistles FC. These clubs help lay the foundation for organized adult soccer which led to the inception of the SFSFL. Teams played soccer matches on Sundays, competing with teams as far north as Sacramento when transportation was only by ferry-boat. Over time, the SFSFL helped launch the California Soccer Association and would compete in the first California State Cup in 1904. Dominating the national soccer scene from the earliest days, SFSFL teams have won four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup; numerous state and national titles; to hosting and playing international matches in the historic Kezar Stadium. The SFSFL would be known across the country, producing memorable clubs, players, personalities, all-star games and national champions. SFSFL members have been inducted into both the US Soccer and CSAN Halls of Fame for contributing to the game.

Some of the league's earliest teams still in operation are:

Organization[edit]

The league currently has three divisions, playing from March through November. Premier Division games are played at Boxer Stadium. Other divisions split games between Crocker Amazon Park, West Sunset, Beach Chalet, and the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park.

Each team is individually owned and team owners approve new team membership. Annual divisional promotion and relegation occur keeping teams competitive. Division winners are awarded a permanent trophy with teams' names placed on the century-old trophy as well as awarded prize money. Players are granted amateur status preserving NCAA eligibility.[11] Standard FIFA games laws are used.[12] Teams are allowed 22 roster players of which 17 can play on game day. A three-referee crew are assigned to each match. Elite officials from FIFA to state level travel across California to officiate in the SFSFL.

2018 Team List[edit]

This is a list of the participants in the last season:[13]

Premier Division[edit]

Majors Division[edit]

First Division[edit]

Champions[edit]

Season Premier Champion Majors Division Champion First Division Champion
2011 Deportivo GIMS SF Celtic SF City FC
2012 Mezcala SC Tyneside FC Berenice Reserves
2013 Mezcala SC Bay City Rovers Kezar FC
2014 Olympic Club Olympic Club Reserves SF Battery
2015 El Farolito SF City FC Black Primero de Mayo
2016 Olympic Club[14] Berenice Total Football FC

Notable Members[edit]

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions:

National Amateur Cup Finalists:

National Soccer Hall of Fame members:[15][16]

United States men's national soccer team coach Lothar Osiander[17]

United States men's national soccer team capped players:[18]

Major League Soccer players:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Rheenen, Derek (2009). "The promise of soccer in America: the open play of ethnic subcultures". Soccer & Society. 10 (6): 781–794. doi:10.1080/14660970903239974. ISSN 1743-9590.
  2. ^ "Soccer and the World: Questions for Martha Saavedra". CALIFORNIA Magazine. Cal Alumni Association. 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "CSAN League List". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  4. ^ "USASA - National Cups - Past Champions". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  5. ^ "US Open Cup History". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  6. ^ "The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation - USA - List of US Open Cup Finals". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  7. ^ Garcia, Ken (7 June 2002). "Soccer fever in S.F. is not new outbreak". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Olympic Club Sports". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  9. ^ "SFIAC History". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  10. ^ "SF Vikings SC History". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Remaining Eligible - NCAA". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  12. ^ "FIFA Laws of the Game". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  13. ^ "SFSFL Standings". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Congratulations to Olympic Club SFSFL Premier Division Champions". California Soccer Association North. 13 September 2016.
  15. ^ "USSF - Hall of Fame - History". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  16. ^ "US Soccer Hall of Fame Membership". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  17. ^ "NCAAA Foundation - Lothan Osiander". Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  18. ^ "SoccerStats.us US soccer statistics from 1866 to 2013". Retrieved 27 March 2013.

External links[edit]