The North American Soccer League - at its peak in the late 1970s - presented soccer as performance, played by men with a bent for flair, hair and glamour. More than just Pelé and the New York Cosmos, it lured the biggest names of the world game like Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Gerd Müller and George Best to play the sport as it was meant to be played-without inhibition, to please the fans.
The first complete look at the ambitious, star-studded NASL, Rock 'n' Roll Soccer reveals how this precursor to modern soccer laid the foundations for the sport's tremendous popularity in America today. Bringing to life the color and chaos of an unfairly maligned league, soccer journalist Ian Plenderleith draws from research and interviews with the men who were there to reveal the madness of its marketing, the wild expectations of businessmen and corporations hoping to make a killing out of the next big thing, and the insanity of franchises in scorching cities like Las Vegas and Hawaii. That's not to mention the league's on-running fight with FIFA as the trailblazing North American continent battled to innovate, surprise, and sell soccer to a whole new world.
As entertaining and raucous as the league itself, Rock 'n' Roll Soccer recounts the hype and chaos surrounding the rapid rise and cataclysmic fall of the NASL, an enterprising and groundbreaking league that did too much right to ignore.