NASL Questionnaire
   
39 votes total

 Highlights Of Your NASL Involvement:
 
 1. Youth soccer programs that were a result of the NASL.
 2. I loved going to games in the 70's. Not sure I can point to one specific moment.
 3. Front row KingDome (Seattle) seats. Watching the Sounders play Munchen Gladbach.
 4. YTR
 5. I was just a kid in the 70's but going to Tornado games in Texas Stadium was great.
 6. Seeing my brother as a Top American play with some unbelievable players
 7. Introduced Soccer to the USA. I always supported the League as a fan.
 8. Soccer Bowl 1975 and the 75 season with the Portland Timbers
 9. I joined the Chicago Sting as publicity director in 1975 in the franchise's first year of operation. The following year I was named general manager and remained with the franchise until 1980. I continued in soccer as general manager with Chicago Horizons (MISL), Oklahoma City Slickers (ASL), and Houston Dynamos (USL), so continued to have communication with NASL teams and executives until it folded.
 10. Playing against Pele' and playing with Pele' on Team America.
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 Low Points Of Your NASL Involvement:
 
 1. Watching it all just wither and die.
 2. None
 3. Losing the 30 minute "mini game" of the playoffs to the LA Aztecs (played immediately after the 90 min game). Mini game? pleez.
 4. YTRY
 5. I never liked the Tornados at Ownby. The marketing was great, but I felt the Tornado's playing at SMU was like playing at a neighborhood park. Not professional.
 6. Seeing the league fold
 7. I wanted to support Soccer in the US by suggesting Marketing/Promtion concepts vis letters etc. but never received a response
 8. Our second season 1976 was dreadfull
 9. After spending five years with the Baltimore Colts in pro football, it was frustrating at first trying to promote a league desperate to take its place among more popular, well-organized pro sports. In the NFL, the "work" was supplying information to an enthusiastic media; in the NASL, it was trying to find a reporter who would run a story. But it quickly became a challenge that I enjoyed. I found it most difficult to promote a sport out of its element---that is, playing the game on artificial surfaces, in oversized stadia bearing football lines, and dealing with the endless, and sometimes tasteless, promotions that we deemed necessary to lift soccer in America, rather than focusing on the nuts and bolts of the sport. Perhaps the low point for me was drafting a Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1976 to draw attention, which it did--Time magazine, Newsweek, the New York Times, etc. We had fun with the promotion, but I wasn't proud of it.
 10. Going through the growing pains of NASL when Americanizing the game called for 1 American to be on the field at any time, and then the ruling of 2 Americans on the field the following year. International coaches usually stuck to only those guidelines.
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 Why, In Your Opinion, Did The NASL Fail?
 
 1. Poor management, poor advertising and lack of corporate sponsorship.
 2. US not ready to support cost of league with superstars and not interested in seeing games without superstars.
 3. I have to assume the financial management. Also perhaps the non-nation wide appeal of the sport. Certainly not through lack of attendance in Seattle. It was rare to see a non-sell out or sub 20,000 attendance.
 4. RYRY
 5. After watching the cosmo's movie - the Cosmo's killed the NASL.
 6. Marketing and bad management
 7. Lack of promotion-local and Mational Media. Also lack of sponsorship. Lack of a good P.R. Campaign. Gave up very soon. It was restructured when it was to late. We needed more International playes on a consistent basis. More exposure was needed for the US National Team.
 8. The league did not build off the high attendences from the smaller market teams and without a TV contract games were only shown in the home team marker by local stations.
 9. Lack of proper stadium environments, too many weak franchises, not enough attention to the development of American players.
 10. Perhaps too many teams too early.
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 Was Bad Management The Cause Of The NASLís Failure?
 
  Yes (10) 71%
  No (4) 29%
 
 Comments:
 
 1. They did not market the game well
 2. NASL had a lot of potential but it needed support from strong partners
 3. There should have been a better committment to the american player earlier rather than later when most teams were failing because of over the hill super stars that came here and had no recognition with the american public.
 4. There were classy and shrewd management people involved, but also people without a clue. Certainly bad decisions helped bring the sport down, but mostly because folks were frantically looking for the keys to success and wanted it to grow too fast too soon. It was time to build a solid league of its own, not worry about competition with other bigtime sports. But these same people helped build a base for the sport that continues to grow. The sport is better because of North American Soccer League efforts.
 5. Don't really know why. America couldn't effectiviely get a TV contract that could turn the tide. Still see that today with the MLS.
 6. I do not believe bad management cursed the NASL. Bad management cursed the USFL. In the NASL, the marketing emphasis was weak, I believe. We had national sponsors who did little or nothing for the sport, other than channel some dollars our way. The sponsorship agreements apparently did not contain promotional clauses, because there were very few sponsors that went outside the boardroom to support the league or its individual teams. Where there was such support, I believe it was in areas where the consumer was already predisposed to the game, ie-soccer shops, sporting goods manufacturers, etc.
 7. Time and again either rigging the transfer fees from both sides of the transaction and pocketing lots of money or over paying for transfers and not being able to recoup the investment. The owners should have been able to make plenty of money on players like Beardsley, Grobelaar and several of the good young North Americans but the "soccer experts" advising them were more concerned with short term cash in their pocket.
 8. Maybe. No one really had the model to be profitable -- and nobody has really the model today either.
 9. They were taking bad advice from the wrong people. Trying to buy high profile players that came to the US to retire. They needed to be very selective on who they brought in to play.
 10. too many quick-buck sports execs thinking soccer was lightning in a bottle, when it really required more understanding of the sport, sophistication with international rules/governing bodies, long-term commitment
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 The Pele Years: Were They Positive Or Negative For The NASL?
 
  Positive (13) 93%
  Negative (1) 7%
 
 Comments:
 
 1. Generally positive.
 2. Exposure.
 3. RTY
 4. He brought interest to the game on American soil
 5. NASL was not consistent. Soccer is a sport that needs education from Governmenet to the private sector. It needed to be funded with the right Marketers that understand the Game and the BIG PICTURE for the future.
 6. I say positive only because the american public recognized his name. The Cosmo's were the down fall of the league. Smaller market teams only got crowds when the Cosmo's came to town.
 7. Positive. Of all the international superstars, he was the right one, carried himself well on and off the field, and even played well despite not being in his prime. He increased attendance and also interest in the sport across the country.
 8. Unquestionably positive.
 9. Absolutely productive. Look at the crowds that attended games in markets outside New York whenever the Cosmos played. Media attention was greater. Pele was a great ambassador, as were each and every player I met and worked with. He simply commanded greater attention.
 10. Impossible to answer yes or no to a question offering two choices. I think the Pele years were tremendously positive. The problem was the reaction of the other clubs to raise their payroll in order to compete with Cosmos, which ultimately was fiscally unsound. Clubs simply could not pay their expenses from smaller attendance and eventually they paid the price.
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 Was Pele Good For The Growth Of U.S. Soccer, But Not For The NASL?
 
  Yes (11) 85%
  No (2) 15%
 
 Comments:
 
 1. Hard to say, Pele was great for US Soccer, but for the NASL? Hard to say, probably not as good for NASL as he was in general for US Soccer.
 2. I believe he was good for both. US Soccer was taking first steps introducing a new game on a professional level.
 3. Hard to say, but it seems like the Cosmos got too big too fast. NASL could not support a Yankees-like dynasty.
 4. Pele had no impact on the growth of US soccer but was still good for the game.
 5. Everyone new Pele, and alot of people wanted to see him play
 6. Pele brought some interest to the sport in the US
 7. He was a great ambassador of Soccer in the US and got a lot of exposure.
 8. Yes, good for both. He generated excitement and attracted many fringe fans, and even people who never thought much of the sport. His gracious manner represented the sport well and he stayed involved in the sport even after the league folded. I can't think of anything negative he did for either the sport or the NASL
 9. No, Pele was great for US soccer.
 10. I believe that at the time Pele was playing in the U.S., the NASL was recognized as soccer in this country. I don't know how much growth Pele sparked, but I do believe he brought a higher level of attention and respect to the game.
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 What Could The NASL Have Done That Would Have Kept It Operating?
 
 1. Not sure there was anything. US was too young in their soccer knowledge to pay for top flite soccer.
 2. YTY
 3. Start out slow in the area of expansion and keep salaries at a minimum
 4. More money, new markets, Latin and European players. More promotion for the support on a local, National and International levels
 5. They should have allowed these aging foreign superstars to come here but should only have allowed to have two on each team along with the developement of the US player
 6. There were franchises not pulling their weight and they should have been eliminated. I admired Phil Woosnam and how hard he worked, but felt his intent to increase franchises so quickly was misplaced. Looking back, I believe teams should have invested in year-round training facilities that included a compact stadium and focused on the steady development of American players. This would have been hard work, but would have ensured a future.
 7. TV Contract
 8. Developed more American players and placed a greater emphasis on marketing partnerships inside and otuside the individual markets.
 9. I don't think there was much else that could be done regarding the business of the NASL. There was prominent business people with the desire and resources to be professional team owners. The economics of getting some of the best stars from throughout the world was reasonable (unlike today. We had local and national TV contracts and interest. Drastic measures like salary cuts or caps would not have passed or the pr consequences would been equally as negative as the NHL is gong through today.
 10. Regionalize the league and build local rivalries that soccer still needs to do today.
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 In What Area(s) Did The NASL Succeed?
 
 1. Starting and growing youth soccer. To this day, soccer has not solved the problem in regards to retaining the best athletes at the high school level. Most move to the Big 3 Sports, football, basketball, and baseball, for recognition by peers.
 2. Exposure of the game. Precious little well played soccer in the US in the 70's
 3. TRYT
 4. As a Tornado fan, the one thing that must be called a sucess is the accesibility to the Tornado players. I remember seeing the players at my games and camps. Bobby Moffat had his "soccer locker" show on TV. Ken Cooper spoke to my youth group. Bobby Ridley, Ken Hall - you saw them frequently and they were great guys.
 5. Brought some top talent and exciting talent
 6. Introduced the sport to the Youth
 7. They were able to create a youth program that has brought the US to where it is now in World Soccer.
 8. The league increased interest in soccer nationwide; provided an opportunity for a few American players to gain exposure; brought a number of quality foreign players who remained to become coaches at all levels to speed development of the game.
 9. New York, Tampa, Seattle, Chicago, San Jose, LA
 10. The NASL provided outstanding entertainment at an affordable price. People who attended the games returned.
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 What Was The Best Promotion Or Marketing Idea Produced By The NASL Or By Individual Clubs?
 
 1. The one the got me to a game automatically was the 6 7-up bottle cap/liners for a rubber soccer ball (size 4?). Big enough to play with, but cheap enough not to care what happens to it. Still have it.
 2. YTRYT
 3. see above.
 4. Having the Trans Atlantic Challenge Cup
 5. Dallas Tornado and Dr. Pepper
 6. The free clinics that were given by the players on a daily basis.
 7. The best promotion was its players. Their willingness to share themselves with the public (without remuneration)was amazing. These players were walking billboards for the game and it made a special impact on the kids.
 8. Pele, Catchy themes like the Rowdies and the cheerleader Wowdies. A song to go with it all as well as a Marcu Nieman posters and uniform design
 9. Family plan ticket sales is about the only promotion I can recall. Again, why wasn't the NASL on Coke cartons, Bud cartons, loaves of bread? Why weren't NASAL tickets available at discounted prices at retail outlets, be it grocery, sporting goods, etc.
 10. Camps
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 Details:
 
 1. RYTRY
 2. Playing against top Euro and South American Teams
 3. More cross promotions with players, Schools, Cities. More International Tournaments
 4. Some clubs did a better job than others of getting these players into public places. The thousands of free clinics performed by NASL players across the country were priceless. These appearances were't limited to autographs (as in other sports) but to work with kids, show them new things, and in most every case, these players were wonderful role models. I still bump into people who remember players from the old days because they met them at a clinic and recall a player who showed them something beneficial or performed a kind deed.
 5. Brought soccer to the community.
 
 Innovations: The NASL Experimented With The 35 Yd. Line, Used A Nine Point Scoring System And Flirted With Other Areas Of The Game, E.G., Banning The Pass-Back. What Is Your Opinion Of The Above, Plus Were There Other Areas The NASL Experimented With Or Considered?
 
 1. I wasn not fond of any changes in the game that NASL proposed or implemented, except the shootout.
 2. I actuallly liked the 9 point scoring system. Made the math more interesting to follow than simply "games back". The shootout was OK, even though it took a few years to get right. The 35 yard line I don't think mattered too much.
 3. YTR
 4. 35 yd line was great the shoot out was fun but they should have used the 35 like a blue line in hockey. Once the ball croosses any player beyond that will not be offside.
 5. Terrible idea. This was mistake number One. You can not over rule FIFA.
 6. Out of all of these tactics to create scoring only the 9 point system was any good.
 7. Experimenting was fine, but the NASL often was arrogrant and presumptious in dealing with FIFA and probably would have helped itself long-range by negotiating in better faith with the world body. Even in dealing with the local soccer community, we were impatient with organizations that had been doing it their way for a long time.
 8. I believe that NASL should have stuck with FIFA's rules for the game so that it was played according to traditional world standards.
 9. I can't recall anything done along these lines that excited me.
 10. I felt all were positive. They were all done in attempt to make soccer more attractive with more attacking and goals. Without the history and passion of European or S American soccer, we needed to create excitement through promoting coaches and teams to play attractive soccer. Only in Italy do they feel good about a nil- nil draw.
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 Please Relate Your Favorite NASL Stories, Anecdotes, Memories Or Quotes:
 
 1. YTRY
 2. For some reason, I remember Bobby Moffat showing up to a soccer practice for a bunch of 12 year olds and he was driving a vintage black Thunderbird.
 3. Training with the New York Cosmos as a high school kid. Playing along side of Beckenbauer and Chanaglia in training. Watching Americans develop into some fine players. Moyers, Davis , Durgan, Brcic, Peterson, Kapp, Crow, Pesa, to name a few. My opinion still these guys would have been bigger and better than the current MLS players. They played with heart and determination and held there own in a league dominated by Foriegn Studs
 4. I personally met PELE at a game at OWNBY STADIUM in Dallas. That day he missed a penalty shot.
 5. The greatest thing about the NASL was meeting players you had read about and the many friendships that were created.
 6. "This is a soccer ball." Dick Walsh's opening statement at the 1966 press conference announcing his appointment as commissioner of the United Soccer Association, forerunner of the NASL. Many, many more memories. My favorite is the 1979 exhibition tour of the Sting to Sweden, Germany, Holland, and Saudi Arabia. Which I believe is the first time a American team went unbeaten on such a tour. Standing in an empty Berlin Stadium next to Arno Steffenhagen, who said, "I played in front of 100,000 here."; visiting the headquarters of Ajax with Arno and Horst Blankenburg, and touring the bars with Horst, who was known to one and all; having our teammate, Wim van Hanegan, play in his much-celebrated final Dutch national game, then joining us a few nights later in a match against his hometown team Culemborg; attending a Ajax match with Wim and having the thousands of fans treat him as a celebrity. When he was with us in Chicago, nobody noticed him.
 7. It was all a great experience. Meeting and playing with the likes of Pele, Rodney Marsh, Steve Wegerle, Bobby Moore. Playing in some national and international competition. The travel and glamour. Got to taste it for six years. Just all great memories.
 8. I can remember our team trainer carring a three-game, nine-day per diem in his briefcase, using the briefcase to prop open his hotel room door while he went back and forth to the lobby to grab equipment. Within an hour's time, the money was gone. I can also remember the day the Quakes were to announce the team would play an outdoor schedule in the NASL and an indoor schedule in the MISL. I had just about every media outlet in the Bay area (S.F., Oakland, Livermore, San Jose) on hand at our office for the announcement. At the same timne, our GM and owner were locked in an office with FBI agents listening to a kidnapper who had the owner's wife and daughter relay that if the police or media were notified of the kidnapping, he'd kill 'em both. Needless to say, I got the media out of our offices fairly quickly.
 9. I was playing for Edmonton against the Cosmos in Giant Stadium. We played a 1-2 on top of the box and I tried to chip the ball past the couple of defenders and break through the line to be free for a shot. I stubbed my toe in the turf and fell flat on my face across Beckenbaur's leg. He started screaming and yelling and calling me all kinds of names thinking that I had taken a dive. I quickly ran back, too embarassed to let him know what had really happened.
 10. Rinus Michels was asked by Sports Illustrated how long he thought it would take to produce a great american soccer player. He responded "10 years because that is how long naturalization takes." It bothered me however it proved true.
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 Name The Outstanding Players And Other Personalities In The NASL, e.g., Coaches, Owners, Fans:
 
 1. Jimmy McAlister, Jeff Stock, Dave Butler, John Best, Dave Gillete, Jim Gabriel, Tony Chursky, (ok all the Sounders). Kyle Rote, the usual Cosmos (Chinaglia, Pele, Beckenbauer, Messing, etc), Cruyff. NY seems to have had all the memorable names, but I frankly enjoyed watching the other teams better. Watching Chinaglia was pretty boring actually. He'd stand around most of the game, do one sprint, score, then go back to standing around. Effective, but boring.
 2. RTYTR
 3. I think the man for soccer in Dallas has to be Bobby Moffat. Just always a fixture. Bobby Ridley, Ken Cooper, Glen Myrnick, Ilja Mitic. I was never a fan of Kyle Rote Jr., but he was big in Dallas and still a "name" today. KR was very good for soccer in Dallas.
 4. Bogie, Davis , Moyers Rausch, Chanaglia, Beckenbauer, Tatu, Marsh, Wall , Evans and even Moffat I could go on. Coaching Julio Mazzei, Jago, Lamar Hunt, Warner Bros.
 5. Kenny Cooper was a great promter of the sport here in Dallas. We need more amabassodors in each City to promote the game of Soccer.- Correct name is Foot Ball.
 6. Phil Woosnam, Lamar Hunt, Clive Toye, Gordon Jago, Kyle Rote, Jr., Gordon Bradley.
 7. Owner - George Strawbridge (? Tampa) Players listed above Coach - Manfred Schellscheidt (really tried to Americanize the game)
 8. Coaches: Gabbo Gavric, Terry Fisher, Ron Newman. Players: Too man. The obvious superstars -- Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia, Mueller, Best, Marsh, Trevor Francis, Granitza, etc. But, guys like Paul Child, Laurie Calloway, Mike Hewitt, the Demling brothers, etc., wer also classics who made the work at hand so much more enjoyable.
 9. We all remember the famous ones but some characters who really made the experience enjoyable. Frans Thijssen, Tommy Hutchinson, Peter Ward, Hugo Sanchez, Johan Neeskins, Tino Lettieri, Peter Beardsley, Ray Hudson. Don Popovic was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
 10. Best, Cubillas, Chinaglia -- all the Cosmos -- Alan Willey, Coutinho, My personal best memory was scoring two goals v the Cosmos when I played for the Manic and we beat them 4-2 at Giants stadium. Beckanbauer played. The atmosphere was fun and very competitive. You really did not have 'buddies' on the other teams. I liked that aspect.
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 Please Relate Other Areas You Wish To Note, Reference The NASL:
 
 1. YTRY
 2. The NASL in my opinion were better players than todays MLS. However the MLS is selling the game better.
 3. In my opinion the Soccer season for NASL was very short.
 4. It was guys like you, Bobby, quality professional players who remained in this country and promoted (you're still doing it!)the sport. If the NASL did nothing else, it created an environment for the greatest development of soccer this country has ever seen.
 5. Great time, great league, great memories.
 6. Players treated well. Good union. John Kerr.
 
 Can You Recommend Other NASL Sources, e.g., Publications?
 
 1. YTRY
 2. The Internet, Soccer America, Soccer Digest
 3. Not a single one come to mine. That means that we did have many I guess.
 4. The official Chicago Sting Book by Basil Kane, 1983, Contemporary Books
 5. Dave Wasser and his video library is an invaluable resource. Timo Liekoski also has an extensive library.
 6. ?
 
 Did The NASL Sow The Seeds For Major League Soccer?
 
  Yes (11) 73%
  No (4) 27%
 
 Do You Feel Professional Soccer Will Ever Take Itís Place In The Mainstream Of U.S. Sports?
 
  Yes (7) 47%
  No (3) 20%
  Unsure (5) 33%
 
 Please State Why.
 
 1. The vendor contracts at the venue's where MSL is played are charging fans the same costs as if soccer was an established sport in the US. Few families can make more than 1 game per season when food/beverage costs are as much or more than ticket prices.
 2. Must win the high school struggle before it will become a top tier sport in US.
 3. I doubt it will be more popular than hockey ultimately. It's more fun to play than to watch for the most part. In many ways, I've had more fun going to Sounders USL games with 4,000 people in a small stadium where you can walk right behind the goal, or hang out with the guys with the drums and the megaphones.
 4. YTRY
 5. The reality is that soccer won't beat out High school football for popularity. Its a minor league sport and frankly I think there's nothing wrong with that. Let it be what it is.
 6. Unfortunately I do not feel that it would up stage any of the major sports but would probably get consider as being a top sport and would be added as the 5th major sport in the US
 7. It is the Sport that is played just about from every young boy and Girl in the US. However needs to be promoted more at all school levels.
 8. The calibur of play here in the MLS needs to be higher. Right now it looks like just a step up from college soccer.
 9. I have always said it would, but not in my lifetime. I still believe that.
 10. Many people are turned on to this game in their youth and want to see this happen and watch it on TV in their later years.
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Posted By: MARIE RODRIGUEZ

Posted On: Apr 20, 2012
Views: 504
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Posted By: Nick Nicolas

Posted On: Nov 8, 2005
Views: 1505
Re-union Game

The photos showed that you had a great time. I believe a NASL Alumni association should be formed.


Posted By: Dave Shelton

Posted On: Oct 3, 2005
Views: 1564
I appreciate Dave's loyalty to NAS

Just wanted to comment how much I appreciated Dave putting on the reunion. I could not attend however looking at the pictures it appeared that people had a great time.