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Random House Speakers

Playing for Uncle Sam: The Brits' Story of the North American Soccer League

David Tossell

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Published by Mainstream Publishing, part of Mainstream

  • Epub

Format: ebook

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EAN: 9781780574721
Published: 18 Sep 2005

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About the book

Synopsis

A coach transported to the field in a hearse as he played dead. An English manager taken at gunpoint to an Argentinian jail after trying to sign that country's World Cup captain. The hero of 1966 who talked his team out of going on strike on the eve of a title decider. All are part of the British professionals' story of life in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s and early '80s, when star turn and unsung journeyman alike had the chance to play alongside Pelé, Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Eusebio in the greatest galaxy of world stars ever assembled in one league. Playing for Uncle Sam recalls the British players and coaches who were part of an organisation that changed the face of football with its shoot-outs, offside rule and wacky marketing methods.

It began with Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers spending a bizarre summer posing as the Cleveland Stokers and Los Angeles Wolves in 1967. The late '70s saw the NASL, run by a former Welsh international, reach its peak, drawing crowds of 70,000 and featuring names like Banks, Moore, Hurst and Ball. Rodney Marsh pitched his tent in America by declaring famously that English football had become a grey game, while George Best used the NASL as an escape from the fishbowl of his life in Britain. Typically, the pair delighted and exasperated teammates and coaches in equal measure.

Through approximately 60 interviews with members of the British contingent who accepted the offer of the Yankee dollar, Playing for Uncle Sam recalls one of the most fascinating episodes in football history: the remarkable rise and chaotic collapse of the NASL.

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About the Author

David Tossell has more than 20 years' experience in sports journalism and is currently the head of European Public Relations for the National Football League (NFL). His previous publications include Seventy-One Guns: The Year of the First Arsenal Double and The American Match.

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