Truly Cosmopolitan Soccer

Eight divisions and over 90 teams.

That is over 2000 players, head coaches, and general managers. That is 21 board members, five division chairs, and three office administrators. Their clubs boast 15 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles and 2 US Amateur Cup also. They have been playing soccer continuously since 1923 in the United States and while I would not call them worldwide, “Cosmopolitan” is an appropriate name for a league that has been home to numerous ethnic amateur soccer clubs in their 90 plus years. That is the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL).

For those interested the Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s own history states, “What was once a German inspired collection of teams in the beginning has over the decades evolved into a truly cosmopolitan refection of the metropolitan area’s demographics. Clubs in the CSL represent the spectrum in ethnicity and bring a high level of enthusiasm and some outstanding talent to the field every Sunday.” (

Ethnicity is an equal partner in the league’s makeup of and has been so since the beginning. In 1923, the German American Soccer League founded with the following five clubs:

  • S.C. New York
  • Wiener Sport Club
  • D.S.C. Brooklyn,
  • Hoboken F.C
  • Newark S.C

In 1924 four more Swiss F.C., Elizabeth S.C., Eintracht S.C., and Germania S.C. joined. It was in 1927 that the league reorganized into the German American Football Association (GAFA). It was not until 1977 that the league changed its marketing name to the “Cosmopolitan Soccer League.” In 2007, the organization legally changed its name to “Cosmopolitan Soccer League, Inc.”

Over its 90 plus years, the CSL has had a Junior League and has done soccer business with the Eastern District Soccer League in the 1930s, the American Soccer League in the 1960s, the International Soccer League, the North American Soccer League, and the NY Cosmos. They merged with the New York’s National Soccer League in 1973, and worked with the American Soccer League of the 1980s and the American Eagles to form the Cosmopolitan Eagles franchise in that league in 1986. A number of Cosmopolitan people have served the United States Adult Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation including Erwin Single as President, Harry Kraus as Vice President, Harry Saunders as Eastern United States Development Chairman, and Fritz L. Marth as Division Administrator of the U.S. Soccer Senior Division (Later USASA).

Today the Cosmopolitan League is home to the historic clubs like Hoboken FC 1912, and the NY Athletic Club, but their ranks are joined by the NY Pancyprian Freedoms, NY Greek American Atlas, FC Japan and NY Croatia as well as many more. Their clubs are Italian, Greek, German, and Irish as well as coming from the Balkan Peninsula the Iberian Peninsula, Ukraine and as far as Asia. Almost every continent is represented including the Caribbean. The Cosmopolitan Soccer League brings them together to play soccer at a high level of the amateur game in the United States of America. The CSL is truly a melting pot of soccer like this country. The diversity is distinctly American. Like its city, New York it is Cosmopolitan.

4 thoughts on “Truly Cosmopolitan Soccer

  1. One of these teams needs to make it to Asheville for the Beer City Cup! Registration opens on June 1… Tournament is Sept 5/6

  2. Not to forget the Caribbean-American teams – Blackpool & Brooklyn Juniors

    1. Stan, thanks very much for the information! It’s my mistake for forgetting to note Caribbean-American teams. I will make the correction to the piece above.
      Thanks for reading!

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