• When the United States took possession of Puerto Rico in 1898, an aggressive
    Americanization project introduced cultural practices, including
    American sports. However, although Puerto Ricans incorporated U.S.
    sports to their sporting profile, they did so adhering to a larger Hispanic-
    American ideology. Although soccer, or f ´ utbol, was played in Puerto Rico
    during the first decades of the United States occupation, it was associated
    with Spain and Hispanoamericanismo. Due to this, soccer was
    discriminated and unpopular in a population that incorporated American
    sports. I argue that through soccer we see another important element in the
    negotiation overU.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico and in the broader expansion
    of Hispanoamericanismo in the early twentieth century. Despite its
    unpopularity, soccer’s limited space within Puerto Rican sports came to
    symbolize a Hispanic and Latin American sport, helping to fuel broader
    notions of nationhood. In this regard, Puerto Rican soccer illustrates the
    conciliation of a colonial nation hoping to fit within Latin America, while
    also adopting American sports. Through Puerto Rican soccer we can observe
    broader cultural and political negotiations over Americanization and
    Hispanidad in the Spanish Caribbean and how this process can in turn
    help develop strong ideas of national identity.