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Vancouver Whitecaps v Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1979: Video

In our latest flashback to the history of soccer in North America, we’ve uncovered another NASL video for you. This time it’s from the 1979 Soccerbowl featuring Vancouver Whitecaps versus Tampa Bay Rowdies, live from Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Be sure to watch the video to see the cheesy opening graphics from ABC and the late Jim McKay hosting the game for American viewers who was joined by Paul Gardner.

Some of the other highlights of the video include an interview with Rodney Marsh before his final competitive game.

What are your impressions of the coverage and the game itself? Click the comments link below to share your opinions.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

12 Responses to Vancouver Whitecaps v Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1979: Video

  1. CoconutMonkey says:

    That was AWESOME! That stadium was packed!

    That pitch! Those uniforms! That commentary! CLASSIC! If the new NASL starts painting logos in the middle of of the field like that, consider my season tickets bought!

  2. Charles says:

    Bring back the NASL ball !!

  3. Jeff C. says:

    I was at the 1979 Soccer Bowl and, like many of those present at Giants Stadium, was heartbroken that the Cosmos weren’t there. I rooted hard for Vancouver because, as a Cosmos fan, I could not possibly support the Rowdies in any way.

  4. Cavan says:

    The skill level is really high. It’s slower, too. I’m guessing it’s because there’s a lot of past-their-prime-but-still-skillful stars out there, like a Schelloto or a Beckham would be now or like Valderamma and Etcheverry were in the early years. It’s just weird to see a whole league filled with them rather than as specialists.

    I also noticed a few cynical fouls like when the keeper cleaned out the forward at the end of the video that would be yellow cards now were just plain fouls. On the upside, the players didn’t mob the referee. That could have just been because it was early in the game.

  5. dan says:

    St.Louis team Has a name. AC St. Loius.

  6. OleGunnar20 says:

    what’s a ‘soccer bowl’? seriously this was whack. i am kind of glad the mls went with the build a strong solid long term league and not an NASL circus.

  7. Haha, bring back that intro.

  8. Scott says:

    Considering the rock hard surface they were playing on, the level of technical skills kicks the ass of MLS. The ball stays on the ground, as opposed to turning into the “head-fest” we see in MLS games…throw in the fact that each team is actually trying to slowly build from the back instead of just wildly sending the ball long and it’s sad to see how far MLS has yet to go.

    And, to be clear, I don’t think it’s necessarily the talent of the players that is causing this difference, I think it’s the way the game is taught and coached in the US that’s the problem. Our National team does the same crap as we see in MLS; there seems to be no empahsis on ball control, build-up, or touch, instead it’s run like hell, tackle hard, and play longball and headball.

    The flow of play in that video was better than 90% of all MLS games. Sad but true.

  9. Davidge Partelwarl says:

    I know it’s oh so popular to hate on MLS on thus site but come on dude, you’re delusional. The ball stays on the ground because the players don’t close down space and everyone has eons of time on the ball.

    No one in the world plays this sort of game anymore. most the play is at walking pace. If MLS teams were populated by aging world stars instead of the few thr league currently has you would see the same style of play.

    It’s a sweet memory and nothing more.

  10. diz says:

    haha, looks like heavy blue screen for the opening talk :D

  11. Rob says:

    This brings back memories — I was at the game. Travelled all the way from Vancouver to see our Whitecaps win the championship. It was a once in a lifetime experience to be there — Giants Stadium is massive, and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Great to see Hector, Johnson, Valentine, Parks, etc. again. Thanks, boys!

  12. Jesse Sant says:

    i like the “F**k Off” that phil parkes gives at 9:25

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