January Soccer Calendar

January 1 – Soccer Nets First Used

It’s in the back of the net? Not always.  The soccer net is one of the pieces of soccer equipment taken for granted but has dramatically changed the game and was first used on the goal posts in a match in England on January 1, 1890.

January 2 – Old Firm Tragedy

66 football fans were killed when a barrier collapsed after an Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Park football in Glasgow Scotland on this day in 1971.

January 4 – Blatter Wants More World Cup

Sepp Blatter, known for sometimes sticking his foot in his mouth, was condemned by UEFA and AFC on this day in soccer history in 1999 for proposing the FIFA World Cup be held every two years rather than the traditional four year cycle.

January 4 – Wrexham Manage FA Cup Upset

The FA Cup has long been loved for providing lower league clubs a chance to play the big boys although most of these fixtures go the way of favorite.  But this was not the case in 1992 when Wrexham, the 92nd rated team, faced mighty Arsenal, the league holders, at the Racecourse Ground in Wales and won 2-1.

January 4 – Maradona Enters Hospital

Diego Maradona lives as hard as he played and it was on this day in soccer history in 1999 that the former Argentine international was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Cantegril Hospital in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

January 4 – EPL Managers Call for Replay

The calls from English Premier League managers to use replay comes and goes usually hinging on a bad call and it was on this day in soccer history in 2005 that Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and Tottenham’s Martin Jol both made a plea for the use of video technology.

January 5 – Bomb Scare Match Completed

With new coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo at the helm, Real Madrid defeated Real Sociedad 2-1 on this day in soccer history in 2005 in the seven minute completion of the match started 24 days earlier but stopped due to a bomb scare.

January 5 – Preston North End Wins Inaugural Championship

Preston North End was declared the winner of the original football league in 1889.  The 1888/89 season was a good one for the club as they also won the FA Cup that campaign.

January 6 – First Club Soccer Match

The first match between clubs was played on this day in soccer history in 1898 when a football team hosted by the Genoa Cricket and Athletics Club faced off against a team made up of players from Internazionale Torino and FBC Torinese with the visitors winning 1-0.

January 6 – Terry Venables Born

Terence Frederick Venables, better known to football fans around the globe as ‘Terry’, was born on this day in soccer history in 1943.  Since turning professional with the Chelsea Football Club in 1960 after a three year apprenticeship, Venables has left his mark on the game most notably in England.

January 7 – Nowak Named D.C. United Head Coach

Peter Nowak was named as the fourth head coach of D.C. United of Major League Soccer in 2004 on this day in soccer history.  The first task of the former Polish international was to select then 14 year old, and soon to be highest paid MLS player, Freddy Adu at the MLS Super Draft and work with his development as well as returning the team to MLS summit.

January 8 – Campos Retires From Mexico

The Flashy Jorge Campos retired from international football in 2004 on this day in soccer history.  The Mexico goalkeeper was famous (in infamous) for wearing bright and fluorescent GK jerseys as well as not being restricted by the penalty area as is usually the habit for the netminder.

January 9 – Inaugural Game with New FA Rules

The early years of soccer were chaotic with various leagues and teams playing under different rules.  The Football Association was formed in 1863 with the goal of codifying the rules for all teams to follow and the first game under the new FA rules was played today in soccer history in 1864.

January 9 – Eriksson Resigns from Lazio

After signing on as the new England manager on Halloween in 2000, Sven Goran Eriksson was in limbo as he finished out his Lazio contract set to expire in the summer of 2001 but in a surprise move he resigned early from the Roman club on this day in soccer history in 2001.

January 9 – The Triple Edge Sword

The ‘triple edge sword’ was one of the most lethal weapons in China in 1991 and Carin Jennings-Gabarra, one of the three prong attacking threat of the sword, was born on this day in soccer history in 1965.

January 11 – Bryan Robson Born

Former Manchester United and England national team captain, Bryan Robson was born on this day in soccer history in 1947.

January 12 – Beckham Makes MLS Move

After spending his career at the likes of Manchester United Football Club and Real Madrid, David Beckham decided to make a move to Major League Soccer and the Los Angeles Galaxy on this day in soccer history in 2007.

January 12 – Lalas Hangs Up His Boots…For Good

After coming out of retirement once, Alexi Lalas made his official and final retirement from the Los Angeles Galaxy on this day in soccer history in 2004.  The red haired defender made his first emotional retirement from MLS club the Kansas City Wizards in 1999.

Janaury 13 – Orkney Stadium Disaster

South Africa suffered their 2nd worst stadium disaster on this day in soccer history in 1991 when 42 people died after being crushed at a pre-season friendly between the countries two biggest sides, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, at the Oppenheimer Stadium in the town of Orkney near Johannesburg.

January 14 – Busby Retires

Sir Alexander Matthew “Matt” Busby retired his managerial position at Manchester United Football Club on this day in soccer history 1969.  The Scotsman had been at the helm of United since 1945 and returned for another short stint as club manager from 1970-71.

January 15 – Kenny Dalglish Takes Over Toon

After the abrupt departure of Kevin Keegan from the helm of Newcastle United, Kenny Dalglish was named the new manager of Tyneside club on this day in soccer history in 1997.

January 16 – U.S. MNT Draw Iran

After losing to Iran in the soccer political grudge match at the 1998 World Cup in France, the United States men’s national team got a chance at revenge at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on this day in soccer history in 2000.

January 17 – Barca More Than Just a Club

Barcelona is one of the top clubs in the world and it was on this day in soccer history in 1968 that Narcís de Carreras became the club president and during his acceptance speech coined what has become the club motto, ‘Barca more than just a club.’

January 17 – Blanco Born

With a creative flair matched by few players and an aggressive attacking attitude, Cuauhtémoc Blanco has become one of the top players for the Mexico national soccer team and the midfielder was born in 1973 on this day in soccer history.

January 18 – Beardsley’s Successful U.S. Move

Peter Beardsley is only European players who successfully made a move to America to play professional in the top domestic league, at the time the North American Soccer League, only to head back to Europe and play on a bigger stage and the forward was born in 1961 on this day in soccer history.

January 19 – Donovan Sets U.S. Mark

After scoring in his debut with the U.S. men’s senior national soccer team in 2001, the pressure to perform has always been great for Landon Donovan and the California native has lived up to the hype and became the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. men’s national team when he knocking home his spot kick against Sweden in 2007 on this day in soccer history.

January 20 – The Little Bird Dies

The football world lost one of its best players when Garrincha, the Little Bird, died in 1983 on this day in soccer history.  While many younger fans have not heard of Garrincha, he is considered second only to Pele, some even consider the two stars equal.

January 20 – Hooligan Crackdown

With violence tarnishing English football, police began the crackdown and arrests of hooligans, Operation Fulltime, in 1987 on this day in soccer history.  While the final arrests were very public, most of the five month investigation into people associated with soccer violence was quietly carried out.

January 21 – Phil Neville Born on this Day

With a pocket full of winners’ medals, Phil Neville is one of the most decorated active players in the game and the Everton player was born in 1977 on this day in soccer history.  The versatile defender/midfielder won six Premiership titles, three FA Cups and the European Cup while he was playing with Manchester United from 1994 until 2005.

January 22 – First Live Soccer Radio Broadcast

With the increasing amount soccer coverage on television (even in the United States) with such soccer channels as Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN soccer coverage, Setanta Sports, etc, it is hard to fathom a time when if you were not at the stadium you only read about the game in the newspaper.

January 23 – This Day in Soccer

One of the key players of the ‘golden generation’ of women’s soccer in the United States, Julie Foudy was born in 1971 on this day in soccer history.  The midfielder played with the U.S. WNT from 1987 through 2004, finishing with a remarkable 271 caps.  She captained the side from 2000 through 2004.

January 24 – Brazil’s Da Silva Dies

One of the first great players for Brazil, Leônidas da Silva died in 2004 on this day in soccer history.

January 25 – Posh and Becks Get Engaged

The English tabloids were in a frenzy in 1998 on this day in soccer history when Posh Spice of Spice Girl fame got engaged to Manchester United’s David Beckham.  The pair has since become the power couple with their fame crossing over from sports to entertainment to just about anything they touch.

January 26 – The Special One is Born

You either love him or hate and in 1963 on this day in soccer history José Mourinho was born.

January 27 – Cantona’s Karate Chop

Manchester United Football Club’s Eric Cantona was fined, suspended, and given community service rather than jail time for a karate chop to fan Matthew Simmons while leaving the pitch after being red carded for merely kicking another player in 1995 on this day in soccer history.

January 28 – Forest Finish with 10, by Choice

In the second replay of a FA Cup third round tie in 1991, Nottingham Forest was finally on the way to defeating Crystal Palace to advance when Brian Clough made the decision to take Steve Hodge off but even with one substitute remaining opted to play with ten players on this day in soccer history.

January 29 – Genoa Fan Stabbed

A.C. Milan and Genoa battled to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday January 28, 2009 which certainly left neither team pleased.  But it was a much better finish than a match between the two sides fourteen years earlier.

January 30 – The ‘Robot’ is Born

With a tall and lanky frame and an unusual goal celebration, Peter Crouch is one of the more recognizable footballers and the 6’7” forward was born in 1981 on this day in soccer history.

January 31 – England’s First Manager Born

England was the birthplace of football, soccer as it is called in the United States, and as such hold the honor of being the first at many events in the game’s history but not so with appointing a team manager which first happened in 1947 when Walter Winterbottom was named England manager.

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