News and reviews of Rock n Roll Soccer

ROCK N ROLL SOCCER: The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League, by Ian Plenderleith. This is the blog to back the book hailed as "fantastic" by Danny Kelly on
Talksport Radio, and described as a "vividly entertaining history of the league" in the Independent on Sunday. In the US, Booklist described it as "a gift to US soccer fans". The UK paperback edition published by Icon Books is now available here for just £8.99, while the North America edition published by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books can be found here for $11.98. Thank you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Daily Express on RnR Soccer: "Hugely entertaining"

"I don't normally..." begins a three-paragraph mention of Rock n Roll Soccer by columnist Fergus Kelly in yesterday's Daily Express. Well, I don't normally read anything in the Daily Express, because just a glance at its daily expression of alarmist xenophobia usually makes me weep copious salty tears at The Human Condition. But I'm prepared to make an exception for Mr. Kelly, who sounds more like he should be writing for When Saturday Comes. Perhaps the Express pays better. Here's what he had to say:

Okay, just this once...
I don't normally plug books here but the one I'm currently reading, called Rock'n'Roll Soccer by Ian Plenderleith, is a hugely entertaining account of the north American Soccer League in its 1970s heyday. Legends such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Eusebio played together every week as they tried to introduce the game to the US in a glorious but short-lived spectacular of sky-high salaries, showbiz hype and cheerleaders.

The razzmatazz of clubs such as the new York Cosmos and tampa Bay Rowdies contrasted starkly with the grim grounds and hooligan taint of football here at the time, where a cup of Bovril was a luxury and I spent more than one Saturday afternoon dodging chunks of crumbling terracing lobbed by rival supporters over the wire fence of the partitioned Kop at my local club.

The experiment might have fizzled out quickly and even today we don't treat the game there entirely seriously (a bit rich when you compare the USA's World Cup performances to England's). But you can trace today's Premier League pyrotechnics and the £350,000-perweek salary of Manchester United's latest signing Radamel Falcao back to it. Which, depending on how traditional you are, might or might not be regarded as a good thing.

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