Aug 29, 2022
The Athletic Major League Soccer staff writer Pablo Maurer steps into our vortex of what-used-to-be in professional sports this week, with a look back at some of the more confounding and overlooked stories of the not-so-distant past of US pro soccer.
It's our deepest dives yet into memorable North
American Soccer League gems like 1977's one-year wonder Team Hawaii; 1983's divisive US
Men's National Team-as-pro-franchise Team America; the curious
Stateside detours of world greats like Bayern Munich superstar
Gerd Müeller, Dutch legend Johan Cruyff and Manchester
United icon George Best - plus, of course,
the NASL's inventive ahead-of-its-time 35-yard-line Shootout
We also tackle some of the already forgotten early days of Major League Soccer - including its own version of the Shootout; LA's ill-fated "first" second franchise Chivas USA; and impossible-to-forget franchise monikers like Wiz, Burn, Clash, and MetroStars.
PLUS: the unheralded pre-MLS rules experiments of the mid-90s USISL minor league pyramid.
AND: the incomparable (if not incomprehensible) Socker Slam!