A rare, rare visual treat. Franz Beckenbauer’s debut for the New York Cosmos at Tampa Bay Rowdies in its entirety, May 29, 1977.
via Andy Smith, who writes:
"I was at this game and still remember it quite vividly. Even at age 8, I was well aware of what legends both Pele and Beckenbauer were, though my hero was the Rowdies’ Rodney Marsh. This is NASL soccer in its prime with the 35 yard-line for offsides, classic ’70s hairstyles, no shinguards and priceless uniform flair including sock tassels and even a white scarf on the Rowdies’ Ian Anderson.
As a side note, the announcer is Jon Miller, who has been a mainstay of ESPN’s Major League Baseball broadcasts for years. The on-screen graphics are hilariously bad (i.e. the misspellings and missing names of players in the lineups) and the commercials are vintage mid-70s advertising.”
Update: Elated to receive this from GFOP and Cosmos great, goalkeeper Shep Messing who sent us this memory:
"I hadn’t seen this game but I remember it well. The only time in my life that I saw Franz confused. We started out with four in the back but we morphed into Franz ending up as a right back with 3 in the back! The first cross that came to me I yelled “keeper” and he said "Don’t speak. I will make the ball come to you!" To which I said "yes sir."
Later in the game I got kicked in the face and had to come out of the game with my eyelid split open gushing blood. There was a penalty kick call on the play (goalkeepers love when their backup has to come into the game to face a penalty kick immediately, because of what it does to his goals against average) but it all ended well because we went to a great party in Tampa that night hosted by Rodney Marsh and the Tampa Bay cheerleaders.”