Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer (Paperback)
The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League
Ian Plenderleith, Rodney Marsh
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Superstars, hype, cheerleaders, razzmatazz – the North American Soccer League in its 1970s heyday was a league way ahead of its time. It lured the biggest names of the world game, like Cruyff, Best, Beckenbauer and the greatest of them all, Pelé, to play football as it was meant to be played – without inhibition, to please the fans.
It experimented with rules and innovations that upset purists, and liberated players from the negative tactics of the muddy, hooligan blighted grounds of Europe; then it crashed back down to earth like a rock star’s private jet, bankrupt but laughing all the way.
Acclaimed football writer Ian Plenderleith reveals in all its glory the colour and chaos of the world’s first truly international league.
Ian Plenderleith is a US-based British football writer and journalist. He has been writing about football for the past twenty years for publications including the Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, When Saturday Comes and Soccer America. He lives just outside Washington DC.
Rodney Marsh won nine caps for England between 1971 and 1973 and was best known, in the UK, for playing for Manchester City and Queen’s Park Rangers. In the USA he played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies between 1976 and ’79, later coaching the club after spells coaching New York United and Carolina Lightnin’. He worked as a pundit for Sky Sports until 2005.
Written with a raffish exuberance worthy of its subject.
‘A hugely entertaining account of the north American Soccer League in its 1970s heyday.’
‘A fantastic book!’
‘A compendious but vividly entertaining history of the League.’
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer is a compelling yomp through the tales that really made the NASL unique, from the 35-yard-line shootout tiebreaker to the Minnesota Kicks’ legendary tailgates. There’s been nothing like the NASL since, and Plenderleith captures it very well indeed.’
‘A brilliant and necessary read.’
‘Ian Plenderleith’s rip-roaring Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer is an account of the 1970s North American Soccer League which serves as a warning of what happens when football chooses to be simply a branch of a global entertainment industry and forgets where it came from on the way.’
‘This gem of a book is an excellent cultural document of sports and deserves to be read widely (and enjoyed) by even the most jaded of footy fans.’