There was a price to see Pele, George Best, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia and the others play. First, Rochester was increasingly unable to compete with the big spending clubs. The playoff semi-final against the Cosmos in 1977 and a late surge at the end of the 1979 season (missing the playoffs by one goal) were about all the glory would see for our upstate NY team in the latter half of that decade. Four years after the Lancers folded (1980) the league went bankrupt (1984).
With the arrival of David Beckham in the US, I guess I can now add the LA Galaxy to my list of teams to dislike. The Yankees and Cowboys still top that list, though.
Will those folks in soccer ownership/sponsorship spend American pro soccer into oblivion? ESPN doesn’t think so. Jen Chang said this was a good idea months ago and she outlines the real deal money-wise.
Rochester was one of the few old NASL teams to rely on homegrown American and Canadian players. When their management wasn’t melting down, they competed well enough, even against the aging Euro stars brought in by New York or Chicago. I hope US pro soccer doesn’t go belly up because every team will want its Beckham.