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A look back at one of the more curious fads in American professional sports, the sudden rise and precipitous fall of the North American Soccer League, spanning its existence 1968-1984, as seen through the experience of its most famous club, the New York Cosmos. The NASL made very little impact in the US, where soccer had virtually no following, until in 1975 the New York Cosmos succeeded in signing the most famous player in the world, Pele. Attendence for Cosmos games exploded, outdrawing even the New York Giants and New York Jets of the NFL, to where exhibition games in Seattle were drawing huge crowds, and when Pele announced his retirement in 1977 his final game drew the biggest crowd to ever see a soccer game in the US. His retirement from the game began a slow but steady decline for the NASL as money issues for the league and the spending practices of the Cosmos became a running controversy. Written by
One of the bubbliest, most rollicking, and most surprising documentaries you'll ever see.
I am a soccer fan, but you won't have to be one to enjoy this movie. If you like anything about the 1970s--the music, the disco scene, the cheesy TV graphics--you'll love this movie.
It's premised on the nearly-insane vision of multimillionaire media mogul Steve Ross to make soccer a big time sport in the USA. It led to absurd spending, classic sports excess, and surprise, surprise--sold out stadiums! The whole thing was a roller-coaster destined to crash from the very beginning, but my it's fun to watch happen.
The cinematography is quick, flashy, and usually tongue-in-cheek. The interviewees inform, hedge, dodge, bicker, and blame. You end up with a partially contradictory but often balanced view of what happened with this wildest of teams. The personalities of this movie are its most endearing quality.
It all makes for an entertaining story for non-enthusiasts, but an epic story for anyone with any liking for this game. There are a few factual discrepancies (the largest of which was that the NASL had accomplished a few things in cities other than NY before Pele ever got there), but they're more than compensated for by the insight the film gives to its central topic.
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