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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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U.S. Plays England in Los Angeles Soccer Match

May 28, 1959, Soccer

May 28, 1959: Ed Hopkinson during practice before the U.S.-England match.

May 28, 1959, Sports Peter Young writes:

I'm a regular reader of your blog, and I've e-mailed you a few times before with praise for the blog and a correction or two.
I've just realized that on Thursday it's 50 years since I attended my first big soccer match in the U.S.A.  It was U.S.A. 1 England 8 at the old Wrigley Field on May 28, 1959, attended by 10,000.  I believe the match was arranged on very short notice as the England team finished a tour of South America and Mexico.  The dirt baseball paths were in front of one of the goals, which made things a bit difficult for the teams.
It was perhaps the first time a European national team had visited Los Angeles for a full international match.  And it was one of only a few games the U.S.A. national team played in the Fifties.
Ten years ago I posted a story on the match on my England team website.  You can find it at
It was my first visit to Los Angeles, and I remember the experience as if it was yesterday.   But I would love to have whatever the press of the day had to say about the game.

May 26, 1959, Soccer

May 28, 1959, Soccer
View this page

At left, The Times on May 26, 1959: the British team arrives. They practiced at Hollywood High School.  

May 29, 1959, Sports
View this page
England defeats the U.S., 8-1
May 29, 1959, Soccer
View this page
Johnny Hynes makes it 8-1 with a tricky kick from 10 yards out.


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Comments (7)

Fifty years since you went to your first soccer game, eh, Peter? We have something in common ...

Today is also the 40th anniversary of the first time I had dental work done without Novocain.

I wonder whose experience was more painful?

Speaking of dental work, there's a note in the Dodger story that Manager Walt Alston had to have a tooth pulled and almost missed the game.

Since when was there a Wrigley Field in Los Angeles? Is it still around?

Also, Jeff, soccer is the most popular sport in the world, both in terms of participation and viewership. That must drive you crazy, huh?

Larry - Thanks for posting the soccer stories. I am a long-time U.S. fan and it was interesting to see coverage about the sport from a bygone era.

Peter - Your comments and web site were also quite interesting. Too bad there wasn't a program for sale at the match. It would be worth a lot today.

A correction to my e-mail message to Larry Harnisch, quoted in the story above. The U.S.A.-England match was not arranged at the last minute. A collleague on my England website has informed me the archives of the London Times show that the match was planned ahead of the England tour of South and North America in May of 1959.

Hi there.

When I click 'View this page' for the actual match reports on this 1959 match, nothing happens. Help!

All the best,

Cris Freddi

PS In response to another commentator, there WAS a match programme for this game. I've seen a copy (though I can't remember where!), and I took down details of the US team from it. Let me know if you'd like them.

Cris Freddi


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