Generation Zero

Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories
and the Making of Soccer in America

Generation Zero

Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories
and the Making of Soccer in America

NASL

June 20, 1975: The Night They Came for O Rei

By |2023-01-06T14:56:32-05:00January 6th, 2023|GZ blog|

1. Hotbeds: When they came for Pelé that brisk June night, the locals ripped the shirt from his back. They absconded with one of his shoes, too, and tore his vintage Seventies-era short shorts. Global sporting icons deserve far more solicitous treatment, we can agree. But those American soccer fans of pitch-invasion age (let’s call it 18 to 25) didn’t know from matters of soccer etiquette, not back then, not halfway through the ever-so-brief Ford administration, not so early [...]

Seventies Soccer and the Superstars Effect

By |2022-08-14T12:03:26-04:00August 11th, 2022|GZ blog|

When my friends and I gathered in the Bates School gymnasium for our first-ever soccer tryouts in the spring of 1974, we were stunned to observe that coaches had failed to set up an obstacle course. As 9-year-olds in the mid-1970s, our pre-adolescent understanding was simple: Any athletic activity worth a damn required an obstacle course. Without one, we reasoned, how exactly could the nascent Wellesley United Soccer Club hope to parse the athletic attributes of all these kids? We [...]

By |2022-08-01T20:11:56-04:00June 25th, 2022|GZ blog|

The North American Soccer League breathed its last in October 1984. Earlier that year, during the Super Bowl, Apple ushered in the age of personal computing with its famously Orwellian commercial spot. Thirty-eight years down the road, these two streams — one sporting, the other technical — have crossed once again. On June 14, 2022, Major League Soccer — the spawn of NASL — announced it will exclusively stream every MLS match live, via a dedicated app on the Apple [...]

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