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Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer by Ian Plenderleith

October 12, 2015


The North American Soccer League at its peak in the late 1970s presented soccer as a performance where players showcased their hair, flair and glamour.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer chronicles the rise of the North American Soccer League, the constant battle with FIFA over who could draw larger American crowds, and the league’s ultimate demise. Despite having an impressive roster composed of: Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Gerd Müller and George Best etc., the NASL was the victim of poor business decisions. Soccer writer and journalist Ian Plenderleith combines meticulous research, first-hand accounts, and irreverent prose to share how, despite its downfalls, how instrumental the NASL was in fostering soccer in American culture.

Ian Plenderleith has been covering soccer in Germany, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom for over 25 years. He published a collection of soccer fiction aimed at an adult audience in 2001 (“For Whom The Ball Rolls”). Plenderleith’s player profiles, commentaries, match reports, historical features, and satirical pieces have been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, When Saturday Comes, and Soccer America. After 16 years in Washington DC as a coach, referee, writer and slowly retiring player, he now lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany.

Praise for Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer:

“Scrupulously researched and sourced, with first-person accounts knitted together in an enthusiastic, irreverent narrative, this is a gift to fans of America’s richer-than-expected soccer history. “(Booklist)

“An important contribution to the understanding of the NASL, American soccer, and worldwide football as a whole. Soccer fans will gain a better appreciation of the much-derided league. Recommended for those interested in the game or in the intersection of sports and business.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“An entertaining but level-headed look back at a league that broke a lot of rules and a lot of barriers.” (Sports Myriad)

“Anyone with an interest in the sport, but especially fans of the Northwest’s own Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps, will want to read Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer to learn how this part of the world caught football fever.” (NW Book Lovers)

 Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local indie bookstore.

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