How Pele Tarnished America's View of Soccer

AP Photo

On October 1, 1977, more than 75,000 fans, including Muhammad Ali, packed into Giants Stadium and millions more tuned into ABC's "Wide World of Sports" to watch the final professional soccer match played by Edison Arantes do Nascimento. The 37-year-old Brazilian, known to the world as Pelé, spent the first 45 minutes in a Cosmos uniform—scoring a free kick minutes before the referee blew his whistle—and the second half wearing the jersey of the only other club he ever played for, São Paulo's Santos. That match was the peak of soccer in America, a demonstration of what the sport could be in a country that never much cared for it.


But the popularity of the Cosmos also created an impossible standard for future leagues, a one-off opportunity that could never be...

Read Full Article »

Recommended Articles

Donovan to Return, But Questions Remain

Kyle McCarthy, - February 19, 2013

Speculation and uncertainty dictated the conversations about Landon Donovan this winter. One bedrock principle – his desire to step away from the game for an unspecified amount of time – fueled the ongoing furor and... more »

Sailboat Busts 'Golden Route' Record

Beth Carter, Wired - February 21, 2013

Famed Italian skipper Giovanni Soldini and his tireless crew of eight sailors obliterated the record for sailing the “Golden Route” from New York to San Francisco, shaving a full 10 days off the previous record around the... more »

Madrid's Season Comes Down to 8 Critical Days

Sid Lowe, Guardian - February 25, 2013

Real Madrid and José Mourinho have eight days. Eight days to define a season and, quite possibly, a legacy; eight days around which to define an exit strategy too. When it comes to knockout tournaments, promise and threat are... more »

Beckham's Paris Debut a Winner

Peter Berlin, Sports Illustrated - February 25, 2013

PARIS -- The snow fell in soft flakes Sunday on Paris. It felt like Christmas. If you were looking for a late present for a loved one, Paris Saint-Germain soccer club had one, and only one, suggestion for you. The outside of the... more »

Mile-High Soccer Comes With a Stunning View

Jeremy Hart, - February 26, 2013

GSPON, Switzerland – This village high in the Alps is home to the highest football pitch in all of Europe, and the only place on the continent where the boys chasing the balls must be at least as fit as the men kicking... more »