BY FRANCESCA PHILLIPPY
KEARNY – One of the most celebrated soccer players in the United States, John Harkes, was born and raised in Kearny, NJ.
MLS Insider reports that soccer started in Kearny when the factories were built in 1883 by the Scottish. The workers were soon imported from Scotland, Ireland, and England, who bred the sport in the United States.
Kearny was known as the heart of soccer in America.
Soccer historian Tom McCabe states that, “soccer has always been a working man’s sport.” New Jersey was building more and more factories in the late 1800s, allowing more immigrants to find work.
John Harkes was the embodiment of this Scottish soccer loving tradition, as his father immigrated to Kearny and passed the sport along to his son.