The rise and fall of the short-lived North American Soccer League gets juiced-up E!-style coverage in this often hilarious account of 70s excess.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The rise and fall of the North American Soccer League gets juiced-up E!-style coverage in this often hilarious account of 70s excess. The game’s stars, and prototypes for every media-owned super-team today, the New York Cosmos were the pet project of Warner Communications mogul Steve Ross. Convinced of soccer’s huge potential in a country where barely anyone played the game, he went out and paid mega-fortunes for the best from everywhere else, starting with the legendary Pelé. (Kissinger was enlisted to persuade Brazil to part with its national treasure.) The Cosmos were soon badder than Shaft and hotter than the Rolling Stones. Stadiums were packed out, but soccer, lacking the stop-start, popcorn-break momentum of truly American sports, never made the transition to television. Here everyone except Pelé, but including Cosmos nemesis, Italian Giorgio Chinaglia, gets to have his say – and there’s plenty for them all to disagree about, vehemently. The wall-to-wall score locks it all down in a 70s groove; and the wealth of archival footage, on and off the field, is staggering. — BG