Rock 'N' Roll Soccer is essential reading for enthusiasts of the American game, a group of which we certainly count ourselves a part. Plenderleith hasn't written a chronology of the NASL but the story of the NASL, making his book a fascinating, enlightening and entertaining volume that eschews needless league business details and boardroom minutiae in order to focus on what really made it tick.
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In that sense, the book shares the characteristics of its subject. Where the English game had become bogged down by negative football and an obsession with results, the NASL emerged as a league that was focused on entertainment, and, if Plenderleith's many interviews are anything to go by, a real joy to play in. Under the guidance of Phil Woosnam it became a league famous for glamour, celebrity and innovations that frequently got up FIFA's nose - some better conceived than others.
The league was also fundamentally and eventually fatally flawed, and proved to be fertile ground for storytellers, those fans and observers with an eye for a gripping yarn. 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.