Episode 20: North American Soccer League (NASL)
1968 was a watershed year for the United States of America in many ways. We were in the midst of the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon was voted the next president of the United States, the incomparable Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy's murder dealt another tragic blow to one of America's greatest political families, there were riots in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Chicago, and with the burden of all that on America's shoulders someone had the temerity to start the North American Soccer League (yes, soccer). The NASL operated as the premier United States soccer league from 1968 until it ultimately collapsed under its own weight in 1984. The league started as a scrappy alternative to the established American sports of Baseball, Football, and Basketball, and things looked promising for their future when the New York Cosmos lured a retired Pelé to play in the league. Attendances increased, gimmicks grew, and franchise expansion followed, but it turned out not to be sustainable. Attendance dwindled, gimmicks no longer worked, and franchises folded leading to the demise of the league. But did it have to happen? Brian once again regales all with his vast cornucopia of soccer knowledge ("man kicks ball"), and Rodrigo laments the demise of his beloved Brazil in the 2018 world cup. Join us as we once again delve into the world of soccer! This episode is a real kick in the ball!