Sports History On This Day: July 13

July 13, 1930 – The first-ever football (soccer) World Cup competition begins in Uruguay. When soccer was dropped as a competitive sport for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, FIFA President Jules Rimet decided to organize an international tournament for 1930.

European football fans were disgruntled when, Uruguay, the winner of back-to-back gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics and 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, was chosen to host the inaugural World Cup series. On this day there were simultaneous matches where France defeated Mexico 4-1 and the United States blanked Belgium 3-0.

The Great Depression forced many of Europe’s greatest stars to stay home so as not to lose their jobs so teams such as Italy, England, Germany, Holland, and Spain were not represented. Uruguay agreed to pay travel expenses for teams like France, Romania, Belgium, and Yugoslavia so they were convinced to participate so that all was not lost.

In the first World Cup final, held on July 30, 1930, 93,000 spectators looked on as Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in a rematch of the 1928 Olympic gold medal game. The US squad took third after losing to Uruguay 6-1 in the semi-final game.

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The US national association football team during the 1930 World Cup held in Uruguay. Back row: Robert Millar (coach), James Gallagher, Alexander Wood, James Douglas, George Moorhouse, Raphael Tracey, Andrew Auld. Front row: James Brown, William Gonsalves, Bertram Patenaude, Thomas Florie, Bartholomew McGhee.
The photo is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons of Public Domain Photo of The US national association football team during the 1930 World Cup held in Uruguay. Back row: Robert Millar (coach), James Gallagher, Alexander Wood, James Douglas, George Moorhouse, Raphael Tracey, Andrew Auld. Front row: James Brown, William Gonsalves, Bertram Patenaude, Thomas Florie, Bartholomew McGhee. Special thanks to the resources of History.com, Newspapers.com, and OnThisDay.com for the information obtained.

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