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"The Boston Astros and the Philadelphia spartans and and it ultimately fall on the shoulders of one man to keep it going and And hit the past he chose to take was finally Americanizing. Americanizing this league and providing a place where American kids could play our before we get into who that person was and that sort of next step back up F for one quick second and you mentioned the international soccer league. The bill Cox Sort of run a precursor to maybe arguably what is today things like like the The importation literally of full teams and having them sort of play an exhibition schedule and even competitively during the summer months It sounds like that was sort of an existential threat to the ASL's charter and it's a unique position to own if you will professionalism on the east coast host at that time but it's interesting to me. Why did they not? Maybe use that a challenge and having beaten off. I guess that challenge so to speak as the opportunity opportunity to maybe Kinda do what ultimately came after the sixty six World Cup and two or even three depending on your read history groups from the outside that said we want to big league with soccer. I mean it sounds to me naively that the ASL lost the opportunity and needed the fledgling ruling then NASA. Although it'll be flat itself floundering in nineteen seventy to kind of kick them in the butt to realize that. There is an opportunity to do that. I guess from if that's any any part of that is correct. Why was it so dormant and were not ambitious given some of those rumblings in those existential challenges just before this well? I think it's important to remember that the opportunity that the ASL was protecting when it played its card and forced is the US FFA initials missed whatever the US soccer to to step on the international soccer league was not because the American soccer. Doc was afraid that someone's going to step on our status as a professional league it was solely because the ISIL was cutting into profits in the world of foreign tours source of bringing those other teams over The ASL wasn't interested in in the opportunity of being a major league Because again and I don't want to overstate the point because I particularly given the tenor of the Times on the issue of immigration. But Again it must be remembered. The American Soccer League was really just a group of ethnic social clubs with teams playing for the pride of the motherland No they they would use whatever players they could to bring them that gory. I mean some of the later. Ukrainian national sides when he opened cups in the and Later sixties featured Brazilians. And and. What have you they play to play In the end what the real interests of the club owners. There's was glorifying the mother and it wasn't in growing the game. It wasn't in developing American talent and it certainly wasn't in You know just having a professional soccer league in their defense. They weren't equipped for it. They didn't have the money to actually you know throwing the money and In in in try to compete and get television contracts and things like that it just wasn't any ASL's DNA and again that's why you would think the way they fought the ISIL. You'd think they would have fought just as hard against those two or three competing professional groups popping up in late nineteen sixty six Reminding US US assay here. We all don't forget us. We're here we. We had the exclusive right now and they stepped out of the way historically the Aso don that on several occasions prior back in nineteen forty six for instance Again the wars the Second World War is over. American servicemen have been exposed to the game of soccer wild while fighting in Europe. This interest in it and there was Th The individuals are interested in in maybe sort of further the professional is in the game. And it's a group of teams in the Mid West Chicago and Detroit who approached the ASL and said hey we'd like the Bay Western division and he has no thanks to much trouble and so those those individuals instead for them. The North American Soccer Football League which lasted about a year and a half. I mean but again the opportunity to sort of expand beyond its backyard and be something more than just go five Sunday league and they they they took a pass on with no regrets because it just wasn't something that group of individuals at that time was interested in it all right so you hinted it added earlier before that question circuit. Let's get into like nine hundred seventy one right. So what's changing. Now in seventy one and I'll give our audience a bit of a sort of a framing a and a and a hint that you know this sort of North American Soccer League which had a couple of years under its belt after a relatively chaotic start in sixty sixty seven and then sixty eight has its own merged unit itself was not doing all that well they the proverbial top-tier if you will put that in quotes a professional soccer in this country was as history shows down to five teams and not looking very healthy itself but the state of this. Asl In one thousand nine hundred seventy one. You're mentioning this. Really itself was only down to two teams what happens in what transpires that To begin to change some of that. And why why I guess the the final nail in the ethnic the Sol's coffin was as you point out nineteen sixty eight utter collapse of the NSL. It's in the sixty nine flew the work of Philo losing them to Cajole five teams. Just sticking it out and nearing the end of nineteen sixty nine season. The baltimore-based say we can't do it anymore. the Orioles Baseball team. We're pulling funding. We can't do this anymore and wisdom's kind of in a panic. He knows he can't run a fourteen week. So what did he go he reached down to the ASL. To in sixty eight had Had recently expanded expanded a little bit beyond their traditional New York northern New Jersey Philadelphia in Baltimore The territory and put things in in Washington. DC and Rochester the Rochester Lancers and the and the Washington Darts And in nineteen sixty nine. The Lancers beat the darts to win the title and Nineteen Seventy Losing Lords and succumbing to the North American Soccer League. Yes there we say. Two teams promoted from the I so to the show but with that I mean the afl kind of I think the the the old guard Again the the ethnic here the ASL saw the writing on the wall basically anyone who has ambition to really promote soccer and the a soccer team and no answers weren't a social club the darts weren't you know an ethnic club as opposed to New York intern. Somebody other things over there. They they kind of realized. We can't keep this going. Why bother so you get to nineteen seventy-one Ukrainian nationals one of the ISL's most story story teams and and with a lineage? Goes all the way back to thirty three if you count you know. Philadelphia Germans and Philadelphia nationals. The franchises develop jumped on amateur league. You know Newark Stitch couldn't find a field anymore. You only had the Boston Astros and the Philadelphia spartans and everyone kind of had enough and and then up steps We mentioned Walter Chisel wits Well he also. He had a brother Eugene his wits who was also good player. Good coach and he stepped in took over as lead president. Nineteen seventy one and just started hustling His first big coup was to convince the New York Greeks who were the three-time Open Cup winners from sixty seven sixty nine got them to join the League and then because at that point he needed teams. I was pretty much willing to place a team anywhere willing to host. The team manages the place teams in Syracuse and Virginia And the only play so so nineteen seventy-one on you know He. He managed to cobble together. Five Teen League only played ten gangs but separately going and more to the point he had to play started telling anyone who would listen that. And this was his phrase he was GonNa make the American Soccer League quote the American League for the American boy and and at that moment you know at least conceptually. The American Soccer League was no longer just a loose confederation of ethnic social because it was now going to be a truly professional league and again no different than ESL. Just how professional as far as you still work day jobs and things like that is is open to question but at least now is going to hold itself out as a soccer league as far as professional soccer league and and Walnut Challenge. NSL At least initially certainly provide an alternative Again primarily focusing on as opposed Dan. ESL We are going to. Americans plan. I mean in fact just the first thing Jean Shirt which did was he announced that All teams in the NFL would be required to Kylie four Americans on the roster with two in the starting lineup and while that may not sound like much it's It's you know it's four and two more than the. NFL was requiring at that time. So that sounds like a little bit of opportunism but also a bit of of vision right. I mean and I guess it takes a little of both right because you look at nineteen seventy one I mean the. NFL's just starting to maybe regained a little bit of its footing after some very dark years and some gigantic ambitions just a few years prior I mean it almost is feels like on some level. He's thinking that the NFL will continue and continue to gain some strength but but with a sort of a more. I don't know a splash. Year kind of approach and and the ASL could differentiate itself albeit maybe in a smaller kind of manner accordingly. So is that a fair assessment assessment. Or is he just trying to survive and just do a do soccer a different way that he thought was more sustainable It's probably a little both. I mean he certainly saw an opportunity in that again. Game as a nineteen seventy-one unless you're on the Saint Louis Stars. As an American you would virtually zero chance of playing this league. I if you were a native born American can less than zero Again unless you were on the stars So I think he saw both a business opportunity again providing a an alternative You know Sorta like we'll give you playground basketball's opposed stodgy you know Jim Style the NBA was playing very structured structured. But it was but I do think you know changes which was a believer any American player. He wanted to see the Game Americanized. So the it was a it was both vision and an opportunity But it's interesting to point out 'cause as you know the NFL survive sixty nine survive seventy and seventy one. The New York cosmo's which is important not not only because they're back in New York? But because Warner brothers. Communications owns the team. And while they weren't pumping humping cash into it right away. It's it was. It was a high profile owner. It certainly helps attract other owners. I seventy two. Meanwhile the the ASL oh one year after barely surviving itself in keeping with gene with goal to Americanized League. The first thing he does is the press. Call that a merger but it really wasn't. Here's -ffiliated with New Jersey Schaefer..