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LA Times Column: Remembering AYSO's humble beginnings in Torrance


Please enjoy the following story put together by Chris Erskine of the LA Times that follows AYSO’s journey from 1964 to 2014. Relive some of the great moments that have had an impact on youth soccer players for over fifty years. Great Soccer Starts Here.

AYSO was born 50 years ago this fall, in a little garage on Talisman Street in Torrance, in one of those "The Wonder Years" neighborhoods where the dads all arrived home at 5 p.m. and the houses were so close you could smell if someone's mom had just baked a pie.

Registration fee? Five bucks (now it's $150 and up). If a player came to sign up and dad had a foreign accent, they recruited the old man to ref.

In the first couple of years, there were no age groups, so the 8-year-olds played on the same teams as the 12-year-olds. Territorial to a fault, baseball coaches kept backing up cars and pulling down the wooden soccer goals. One of the soccer dads solved it by ordering three truckloads of oil field pipe. The first time one of the goons tried to pull down a steel goal, the engine dropped right out of the butt end of his VW.

Like Jim Rome and Jose Canseco, AYSO was born in 1964, when Southern California was bursting with foreign-born engineers who came to work in aerospace. They pooled their knowledge of the game, obsessive skill sets and love for their kids into a grass-roots movement to bring soccer to America.

Hans Stierle, a graphic artist from Germany, designed the first league logo.

Continue Reading on LA Times website.

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