Agar, Nathan : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Agar, Nathan

A pioneer of soccer in the United States, Agar was instrumental in the development of a national soccer organization in America. In the 1920s, he was also a prime mover in the ASL (American Soccer League), the sport's first major professional league in the U.S.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. July 26, 1887 - d. June 24, 1978

Career Highlights:
After he emigrated from England in the early 1900s, the 17-year-old Agar, who later became a certified public accountant, helped introduce soccer to the New York City area in 1904. The following year, he helped found the New York State Soccer League and organized the first American club team known as the Critchleys (they played at Coney Island). In 1911, Agar was chosen for the All-New York State team that played against the English amateur team, the Corinthians - the two teams played in front of 30,000 fans at the Polo Grounds. Two years later, Agar was instrumental in founding the USFA (United States Football Association -- now the US Soccer Federation).

The president of the International Soccer League, Agar also owned, managed, and played for the Brooklyn Wanderers of the American Soccer League. In 1922-23, he formed the Wanderers and played in seven games for the club (as a wing forward), scoring one goal during the ASL season. Agar also played three games in 1924-25, but then turned his focus to managing the club and did not play again. He remained connected to the game for a number of years and was one of the most powerful influences on the ASL during its existence. Agar was instrumental in bringing foreign stars to the league, including many Jewish members of Vienna-Hakoah in the late 1920s.

Sheffield, England

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The American Soccer League, 1921-1931: The Golden Years of American Soccer, by Colin Jose (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1998)
New York Times, June 26, 1978