“Women made 40% of the audience at NASL games which was remarkable at the time. It was a unique experience and marketers figured, wait a minute now, something special is happening here – women are going and what a better way to learn about the sport but to go to a game and enjoy the experience as well.”
Today I’m joined by journalist Michael Lewis. Michael is based in the state of New York and has over forty years experience as a soccer journalist. Michael has covered all levels of US soccer, which includes the World Cup, Olympics, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League, among other competitions. He writes about the beautiful game for Newsday, is the editor of frontrowsoccer.com, and has written eight books on the sport. I have long been fascinated with soccer in North America and was delighted to have Michael on the podcast to chat about its history, the success of the women’s game and the future of the sport there, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.
We kicked off (couldn’t resist the pun!) with Michael describing his early days in Rochester covering soccer games in the mid 1970s (04:18), before moving on to the origins of soccer in the US and Canada (07:20), and the difficulties of establishing the sport on the American continent (08:51). We then started to chat about the now legendary North American Soccer league, its spectacular rise and fall (11:10), and how the championship was marketed to US and Canadian fans (17:20) . Next up we discussed the formation of the current premiere league, known as Major League Soccer, in 1993, the rise of the women’s game in the US, and the World Cup which was hosted in the USA in 1994 and will return there in 2026. At the end of the podcast, we chatted about Michael’s latest book Alive and Kicking: The Incredible but True Story about the Rochester Lancers (50:04).
- Michael at Front Row Soccer
- Michael on Twitter
- Alive and Kicking: The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers
- Michael at The Guardian