Are you ready for some “football”?

With the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl soon, you probably have sports on your mind. After all, Boston is an amazing place for sports and the people who love them. The Boston Common is one of the best areas in the country for outdoor sports and fun–whether it’s throwing a football in an open field, jogging around the Public Garden, or ice skating on Frog Pond.

The Boston Common was the site of the first organized game of soccer in the United States of America. Called “football” at the time, several boys from schools across the city decided to enjoy the sport together as an official group. After forming the Oneida Football Club in 1862, members challenged players from various preparatory schools in the Boston area. Club members and opponents loved the game so much that they eventually referred to it as “The Boston Game.” They played their first game on the Common in 1862, where they continued to play until 1865. It is said that the Oneida Football Club went undefeated during that time, never even giving up a single goal to their opponents.

If you visit the Boston Public Garden, you can see the Oneida Football Monument, a tablet located by Beacon Street. Built in 1925, the monument stands at a little less than 5 feet tall. It’s just a quick walk across the street! There’s even a soccer ball on the top of the monument! Each of the founding members’ names are etched onto the back of the tablet, with the front side proclaiming the first-ever football game in the United States. The next time you visit the Boston Public Garden, keep an eye out for this interesting monument! And of course, play some soccer nearby when it gets a little warmer!