What is the History of the MLS?
No one really knows when the history of soccer started. There is a documentary evidence that a game or skill building exercise that involved kicking a ball into a small net was used by the Chinese military during the Han Dynasty around 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. Before that there are evidence that a field that is marked out to play a ball kicking game was found in Kyoto in Japan. Both the Greeks and ancient Romans played a game that was similar to soccer but at this time each team could have up to 27 players. It is hard to say exactly when and where soccer started but it has been played somewhere on the planet for over 3000 years.
There is a story which places the first football game in the east of England where the locals played “football” with the severed head of a Danish Prince they had defeated in battle. In medieval times towns and villages played against rival towns and villages and kicking, punching, biting was allowed. The rules of the game was that to move the ball to an agreed spot which had been marked out before play commenced. Hundreds of people took part and games could last all day long.
These matches became so violent that many attempted to ban soccer. In England King Edward III passed laws in 1331 to try and suppress football. In Scotland King James I in 1424 proclaimed in Parliament and said, “no man shall play football/soccer”.
Queen Elizabeth the first of England had a law passed which provided for soccer players to be jailed for a week and obliged to do penance in church. But no law could stop the game in Britain.
In 1815 Eton College established a set of rules which other schools, colleges and Universities began to use. These were standardised and a version known as the Cambridge Rules was adopted by most of England's Universities and Colleges in 1848. But now football was divided into two separate camps. Some colleges and schools preferred to follow rules drawn up by Rugby School, rules which permitted tripping, shin kicking and carrying the ball, which was all forbidden by the Cambridge rules while playing soccer. On October 1863 eleven London clubs and schools sent representatives to a meeting to set fundamental rules to govern the matches played amongst them and this meeting created The Football Association. This ruled out the rules for Rugby and in December 1863 the Association Football and Rugby Football split.
In 1869 The Football Association included in their rules a provision which forbade any handling of the ball which is used in the modern game stands of soccer now.
The name soccer comes from a shortened association (football) and added “er”. In 1888 William McGregor a Scot and director of Aston Villa club persuaded 12 clubs to agree to a regular home and away fixed list, and this created the English Football League. The 12 founding clubs were: Accrington (Old Reds), Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stroke City, West Bromwich Albion, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.