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Pelé invigorated US soccer, paved way for ’94 World Cup, MLS


AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Clive Toye started his pursuit of Pelé with a trip to Jamaica and a cold call in 1971. Pelé signed with the New York Cosmos four years later. It put U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later. The Cosmos averaged 3,578 fans in 1974. Pelé joined in June 1975 and that season’s average nearly tripled to 10,450. Pelé was 34 when he joined the Cosmos and scored 37 goals in 64 matches. He agreed to countless interviews and promotional appearances as part of a mission to make soccer mainstream.

Article Topic Follows: AP National Sports

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