MLS Insider: John Harkes traces soccer's roots in historic Kearny, New Jersey

If you’ve never heard the story of Kearny, N.J., take a few minutes to educate yourself on one of the cradles of American soccer culture.

The latest edition of the Emmy-nominated MLS Insider series follows Kearny native and former US national team hero John Harkes back to his roots in the working-class New Jersey town, which landed a remarkable three players on the US’ pioneering World Cup teams of 1990 and 1994.

Once a town obsessed with soccer because of its large population of Scottish immigrants – including Harkes’ father, also featured in a hilarious barroom conversation at the legendary Scots American Club – Kearny’s demographics are changing, but the city’s love for the game remains the same.

For more on Harkes and his career in Major League Soccer, check out this 2013 interview on And don’t forget to don’t forget to catch up on previous episodes of MLS Insider chronicling the 2013 MLS Cup, the new look of Toronto FC, Graham Zusi’s humble rise to stardom and more.

Art by Futbol Artist Network | Illus: John W. Tomac | @johnwtomac