Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the NASL 50th Anniversary
It’s been half a century since the 1968-1984 NASL kicked off, and well over 150 ex-NASL Players, Coaches, Owners, Staff, Referees and their Families celebrated it to the full in Frisco, Texas, 10/19-21.
The practices and the Legends Game were more than enjoyable, the National Soccer Hall of Fame/Press Conference educational and productive, the feedback received from the NASLers said to be ‘overwhelmingly positive,’ the Luncheon ever to be remembered, the strolls down memory lane recounted and eagerly listened to; the camaraderie at every step uplifting.
Bobby Moffat on life in American pro soccer in the 1970s
In 1975, during Bobby Moffat’s fifth season with the Dallas Tornado, he played against Pele in the Brazilian great’s debut game for the New York Cosmos. It was something Moffat couldn’t have imagined during his early years in the old NASL after leaving England at age 24 for the Tornado’s 1970 season.
“ The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning. "
"People forget that the Cosmos sent so many American players to the national team.”
"For me, it will be a nostalgic celebration of a life in soccer for everyone that was involved."
"I learned quite a bit from him, it was the kind of soccer I preach one still love to follow."
“Looking back, I just think it was overwhelming, the number of great players in the league,”
“When you’re 19 you don’t think past the next week. I was thrilled to be with a professional team close to home."
"Back in the late 1960s Jan Book, a 19-year-old soccer player from Sweden, could have never conceived that the North American Soccer League was about to change his life."
“There were 17 teams, we were competitive and were successful against some international teams. It was a good year.”
“After 11 years in the NASL we had some damn good experience playing against international players.”
"It was a very liberating experience to come to the U.S. and attend college -- I met so many wonderful people, I played with excellent players from all over the world, I got an education."
"I was pretty cocky at the time, and thought I can compete in this league. So I went with it -- it was a good decision, a great decision."
“I always feel good to know I was part of the beginning of what I think has been a great influence on the development of soccer in America,”
“I’m not a guy who does things in half. They only wanted me to go for the summer. But if I was to commit, it had to be full on.”
“Like every other guy who played in the NASL, I take pride in the part we played in soccer in this country,”
"In the end, was the NASL a failure? Absolutely not. It laid the groundwork for where we are today."
"I told him that ‘if you go there you can win the European Cup, but if you come to America you can win a country.’"
“George got me started understanding the game, I had never played, and I never really liked the game,”
"I was on the same field and training every day with some great players. Eighteen years old and now it’s my livelihood.”
"We were expecting 5-7,000 people and they only have six gates open and are 20,000 people out there. It was a great start for soccer in the state of Minnesota."
“The NASL was the first to number jerseys beyond No. 11, to put names on shirts, do clinics, marketing, PR, outreach all those things the rest of world took for granted."
“Time passes so quickly it seems as we get older, and I think when we reflect back on those time in NASL, it was an extremely special time."
"It was crazy that we were able to get people of that caliber to show us how to play. In those days we were so naive. All we wanted to do was work hard, run and play.”