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The NASL used to be popular, failed miserably


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#16
Antonius Block

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The weird thing is that Cosmos attendance started declining rapidly beginning in the 1980s.  


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#17
Paul Nasta

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I know it's hip in some circles to bash the original NASL but the fact is that if it had never existed the entire history of the sport in this country changes, and for the worse. While that soccer boom eventually went bust it convinced people that it could be repeated and sustained if done correctly and led to both USA 94 and MLS (Don't forget that the boom led to the improvement in player quality that led to qualification to Italia 90 which sealed the deal for USA 94). Don't let certain obnoxious types who never shut up about shitting on MLS blind you to that fact.

The USA was selected to host the '94 World Cup well before we qualified for the '90 World Cup.  If anything, there was more pressure on us to qualify in '90 since we were going to host in '94, and there was quite a bit of criticism of FIFA for awarding the World Cup to a country that had no soccer pedigree.

 

If anything, our performance in the 1984 Olympics maybe made it easier for FIFA to give us the World Cup.  But like with most things involving FIFA, giving us the World Cup most likely came down to money.

 

The NASL made quite a few mistakes, but I don't know of anyone who doesn't recognize how important it was in the development of the sport at all levels in this country.



#18
JBigjake54

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commercial free during play didn't start until 1993


At some point Spanish stations ran commercials during live action, either split-screen or picture-in-picture.

We are good enough to beat the best teams, and bad enough to lose to the worst teams. 


#19
JBigjake54

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youd think tv viewership is up based on the deal with Apple. Is the total number of people (attendance + TV) watching a game up from the NASL days?


IDK. So many TV options nowadays.
I hope Apple knows what it is doing, and that the MLS all-eggs-in-one-basket gamble does not splatter.

We are good enough to beat the best teams, and bad enough to lose to the worst teams. 


#20
JBigjake54

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(If) the original NASL had never existed the entire history of the sport in this country changes

Some soccer league would have eventually started.

and for the worse.


Harder to say.
The collapse could have killed soccer for decades.
Fortunately, the void was only 11 years.

We are good enough to beat the best teams, and bad enough to lose to the worst teams. 


#21
JBigjake54

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The weird thing is that Cosmos attendance started declining rapidly beginning in the 1980s.  


IMO over-expansion hurt. 16 teams was enough.
When the big west coast teams (LA, POR, SEA, VAN) stopped coming to GS, interest waned.
When the Cosmos stopped going there, likewise.
https://www.nasljers.../Attendance.htm

We are good enough to beat the best teams, and bad enough to lose to the worst teams. 


#22
JBigjake54

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People forget that major league sports had far smaller footprints well into the 1960s.
MLB had 16 teams & the NFL 12 until 1960.
The NBA had 8 or 9 teams & the NHL 6 until 1967.

We are good enough to beat the best teams, and bad enough to lose to the worst teams. 


#23
bukie2k

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If anything, our performance in the 1984 Olympics maybe made it easier for FIFA to give us the World Cup.  But like with most things involving FIFA, giving us the World Cup most likely came down to money.

I don't think it was so much the performance of the US at the LA Olympics that impressed FIFA as it was the attendance at the games across the board in the soccer competition. Until then they more or less believed that any game without the USMNT or Mexico wouldn't draw much in the way of attendance. Your second point goes without saying, FIFA sooner or later was going to figure out a way to engineer a cash grab in the US. The Olympics just eased their conscience about doing so and they were rewarded with the most profitable World Cup to date.


When you are born, you get a ticket to the freak show. If you are born in the United States, you get a front row seat. - George Carlin

#24
bukie2k

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IMO over-expansion hurt. 

What hurt far worse was not developing home grown talent at a quicker pace. Once most of the big name European and South American players who drove the league during its '77 to '81 heyday moved on there wasn't much in the pipeline for the teams to market or to keep the fans interest. 


When you are born, you get a ticket to the freak show. If you are born in the United States, you get a front row seat. - George Carlin




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