The “compelling . . . detailed and thoughtful account” of the rise and fall of the Cosmos, New York’s first superstar soccer team (Kirkus Reviews).
In the summer of 1977, soccer was poised to finally conquer America and the New York Cosmos were the premier sports team of the city. They boasted the greatest roster of the world’s best players—notably, Brazil’s international sensation Pelé—ever assembled for any sport. For a time, they were the darlings of the press. Their first game was televised in twenty-two different countries. They were favorites at Studio 54. They partied behind the velvet ropes with Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. Less a growing sports phenom than a pop-culture happening, the hottest ticket in town drew the likes of Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Henry Kissinger, and Robert Redford. Warner Brothers chairman and Cosmos owner Steve Ross may not have known a goalkeeper from a zookeeper, but in a city awash in celebrity and decadence, Ross knew spectacle. He also knew how to make a dollar, and stars.
But as the Cosmos players soon became enmeshed in a world of millionaires, gangsters, groupies, glamour, power struggles, alcoholic excess, drugs, disco and very public fistfights, they were set for a heartbreaking and inevitable fall. “Colorful and keen . . . [and] detail-rich, this unlikely drama of a quintessentially American flirtation” (Publishers Weekly), “is a gripping evocation of a glorious but brief moment when the beautiful game had the US entranced” (Time Out London).