German-American Soccer League

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The German American Soccer League (GASL) is the previous name of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, a semi-professional and amateur soccer league which was founded in 1923. The league competes primarily in the New York metropolitan area and northern New Jersey.


In 1923, five teams, S.C. New York, Wiener Sports Club, D.S.C. Brooklyn, Hoboken FC 1912 and Newark S.C., banded together to found the German American Soccer League. As the name suggests, the teams were largely composed of recent immigrants from Central Europe, primarily Germany. The next year, four more teams, Swiss F.C., Elizabeth S.C., S.C. Eintracht and Germania S.C., joined the league. The league renamed itself the German American Football Association in 1927. While the GASL began as a single division league, it added a junior division in 1933. That year, the league also held its first indoor tournament. In addition to its junior division, the GASL also added several lower divisions over the decades.

In 1943, all of the U.S. leagues suffered from significant player losses from the U.S. participation in World War II. In order to continue to play a competitive schedule, the GASL joined with the Eastern District Soccer League to run a joint season. Following the end of the war in 1945, the GASL found itself turning from a lack of quality players to an overabundance as Central European professionals left their war ravaged countries to move to the United States. The league experienced a second influx of talented players when Hungarians fled their country following the Soviet Union crushing the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

In 1964, the GASL joined with the professional American Soccer League in a short lived experiment. That year, the two leagues formed the Eastern Professional Soccer Conference which competed during the GASL/ASL off season. The league was a failure and did not complete its one season in existence.[1] While the merger with the ASL was less than successful, the GASL undertook a cooperative agreement with another league, this time the International Soccer League (ISL) in 1965. That season, the GASL All Star team entered the ISL as the New Yorker, going to the final where it lost to Polonia Bytom 5-1.[2] The string of league mergers continued in 1974 when the National Soccer League of New York merged into the GASL.

In 1977, the GASL changed its name in response to a changing American soccer scene. While soccer had existed as an ethnic sport since the 1930s, the creation of the North American Soccer League in 1968 had brought the sport into the mainstream. Recognizing that maintaining its ethnic identity would hinder its acceptance by the wider U.S. sports culture, the GASL governing board voted to rename the league the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. As part of this process, the league’s teams were directed to change their names to ones with less ethnic connotations, although this requirement was dropped three years later.

Despite the regional and semi-professional nature of the league, it featured many of the top U.S. player in the 1950s and 1960s. Even into the early 1970s, GASL players appeared regularly with the U.S. national team. The high regard afforded to the league is reflected in that the National Soccer Hall of Fame considers the GASL as one of a handful of leagues in which a player may become eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame.[3]

New York Cosmos[edit]

The GASL had named an All Star team beginning in 1930. In 1968, after the newly established North American Soccer League approached the GASL about placing a GASL team in the NASL, the league formed its All Star team, known as the Cosmos, into an exhibition team. The Cosmos did not enter the NASL until the 1971 season, but when it did, it was well stocked with former GASL players.


GASL in national competitions[edit]

National Challenge Cup[edit]

National Amateur Cup[edit]

McGuire Cup (U-19 National Cup)[edit]

  • 1936 Hatikvoh FC
  • 1937 Hatikvoh FC
  • 1952 Killsman SC
  • 1953 Newark SC
  • 1955 Blau-Weiss Gottschee SC
  • 1959 NY Ukrainian SC


External links[edit]