A book like this has been over due for years. It charts the rise and fall of the world game in the USA in the mid 70s to early 80s and lays the foundations for its recovery in 94 with the World Cup and the creation of the MSL in 96.
In 1975/77/79 I was lucky enough to visit the US from the UK for the first times to visit family. It was a thrill a minute adventure to what seemed to be a technicolour land, compared to the relative drab of the UK at the time. The NASL reflected that vividness. Bright shirts, "uniforms", exotically named teams (Tulsa Roughnecks, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps) and some world class players (Cruyff, Pele, Best). The NASL really was a carnival like experience and where the quality of play was far higher than many people assumed it would be.
Sadly it all ended too soon with too many clubs ("franchises" in reality, not clubs in the European sense) over stretching themselves by paying too high wages to what, in many cases, were moderate players in cities with no historical roots or love of the game. But the NASL sowed a seed that helped lead to millions of Americans, of both sexes, playing the sport, a league in the shape of the MSL where profitability and having a core of local US players is a key factor and a national side that, in the 2002 World Cup in Japan, really was a quality side and a surprise package with significant major future potential.
This book is very well written and David Tossell clearly did his homework with extensive interviews with a great many of the players and coaches of the NASL years, both the big names and the unknowns. The result is an excellent read for anyone interested in the NASL and the growth of the game in the US.