Written by WSC contributor Ian Plenderleith


WSC readers can save £2 on contributor Ian Plenderleith’s book Rock ’n’ Roll Soccer, which charts the rise and fall of the North American Soccer League. You can read an extract from the book, about the culture shock for British players in the NASL, here.

Buy Rock ’n’ Roll Soccer for £12.99 here (normal price £14.99).

From the publisher Icon Books:

The North American Soccer League – at its peak in the late 1970s – was way ahead of its time. It was football as performance, played by men with a bent for flair, hair and glamour.

More than just Pelé and the New York Cosmos, it lured the biggest names of the world game like Cruyff, Best, Beckenbauer and the mercurial Rodney Marsh to play football as it was meant to be played – without inhibition, to please the fans.

It experimented with rules and innovations that upset purists, and liberated players from the negative tactics of the muddy, hooligan-blighted grounds of Europe.

Rock ’n’ Roll Soccer reveals in all its glory the colour and chaos of the world’s first truly international league. How it sold itself in a continent unfamiliar with soccer, and how it crashed back down to earth like a rock star’s private jet, bankrupt but laughing all the way.

Ian Plenderleith is a US-based British football writer and journalist. He has been writing about football for the past twenty years for publications including the Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, When Saturday Comes and Soccer America. He lives just outside Washington DC.

Rodney Marsh won nine caps for England between 1971 and 1973 and was best known, in the UK, for playing for Manchester City and Queen’s Park Rangers. In the USA he played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies between 1976 and ’79, later coaching the club after spells coaching New York United and Carolina Lightnin’. He worked as a pundit for Sky Sports until 2005.

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