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Apr 10, 2017

Legendary Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner (The Simplest Game: The Intelligent Fan's Guide to the World of Soccer; Soccer Talk: Paul Gardner on Soccer) joins Tim Hanlon to wax nostalgic on his unlikely journey from fledgling British pharmacist to America’s most persistently influential soccer commentator. Gardner recounts the chaotic formation of the modern professional game in the U.S. during the 1960s; recalls how ambitious sports entrepreneurs like the International Soccer League’s Bill Cox, and greedy corporate owners like the United Soccer Association’s Madison Square Garden were quickly chagrined by the machinations of soccer’s international governing body; describes how a complex Welsh-born, player-turned-NASL-commissioner curiously nudged him into national TV game commentating; remembers when he first recognized pro soccer had finally “arrived” in America (ironically, while out of the country); and suggests that a revised U.S. corporate tax code may have helped hasten the demise of an already-wobbly NASL as the 1980s beckoned