The word soccer actually originated in England during the 19th Century as a colloquial abbreviation of what was then widely known as Association Football. In fact, the latter term was created by the English Football Association to differentiate it from rugby football, which we now know as rugby. This gives rise to why American Football is named thus, since the game of rugby - rather similar in rules to those of the NFL - was a form of football that broke away from the 11-a-side sport we know today.
Moreover, it is believed that the soccer abbreviation was coined by Oxford University student Charles Wredford Brown - himself a former England football captain - as another example of the "Oxford "-er"" words, which also produced rugger (abbreviation of rugby football). Subsequently, the words assoc and later soccer were used by the British upper classes, who were the sport's primary spectators in its infancy.
Eventually, the word soccer carried over to the United States, though initially the sport's ruling body was known as the United States of American Football Association (USAFA). This was altered in 1945 to the United States Soccer Football Association (USSFA), and later - as it became apparent that rugby and 11-a-side football no longer needed distinguishing by name - became United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in 1974.
So, as with the word aluminum (as opposed to aluminium), soccer was a creation of the English themselves and later - by way of differing standardization - remained gospel in one country and not in the other.
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