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
I was the radio broadcaster for the Rocheter Lancers of the North American Soccer league from 1975-1980 and I spent quite a bit of time at Giants Stadium seeing Cosmos games,if we weren't playing. The film brought back all kinds of memories. It was great. I never would have recognized Shep Messing who played for Rochester in 1979. Also Chinaglia (sp?) I thought looked like Tony Soprano today. The Lancers used to play the Cosmos twice a year, once in New York (rather New Jersey) and once in Rochester. Plus we played a semi final series against the Cosmos in 1977...losing both games. We didn't beat the Cosmos after 1976. Still despite our lack of success, the Cosmos were a great team to watch. Anyboy who was a US soccer fan in the 1970's should like this movie. I didn't know it existed until I saw it on ESPN2 on 9/20/06.
PS-Downing Stadium on Randall's Island was my least favorite venue to broadcast from...Giants stadium was the best||| Yankee stadium was fun too in 1976.
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