April 03, 2012

NASL All-Time Leading Scorer Giorgio Chinaglia Dead at 65: Mostly known as a big fish who played in little ponds over his career and a legend in his own mind Giorgio Chinaglia lit up the North American Soccer League in the late 70s and early 80s, playing along side legends such as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, and scoring 242 goals in 252 NASL matches including playoffs.

posted by scully to soccer at 02:42 PM - 11 comments

Growing up in the 70s and loving soccer it was a challenge to see quality football played, short of the occasional "Soccer Made in Germany" episode on PBS. I played striker in youth leagues in the DC area, and I adored Chinaglia, and wouldn't listen to friends who insisted he was a cherry-picking tool who stood around and demanded the ball. He just scored goals, and that was something I appreciated. My father helped turn my attention to Pele and Beckenbauer and I was lucky enough to attend many Washington Diplomats' games — including their last season when they had Johan Cruyff. My father even drove us to Giants Stadium a few times, once to see the Soccer Bowl (ugh) and another time to see Pele's last professional match.

posted by scully at 02:53 PM on April 03, 2012

I went to a couple LA Aztecs games with my Dad at the Coliseum, but I wasn't even 10 at the time, so I barely remember it. Still have some stickers though!

posted by sbacharach at 03:18 PM on April 03, 2012

I think I went and saw a Toronto Blizzard game when I was a wee lad, but I'm not sure if I was actually at the stadium, or watched it on TV.

posted by grum@work at 03:35 PM on April 03, 2012

the occasional "Soccer Made in Germany"

Great stuff in general scully, but I can't decide if I'm amazed I never saw that show (we didn't have cable until well after it went off the air) or if there's a lone neuron in the back of my head saying I used to watch it. Weird.

posted by yerfatma at 03:40 PM on April 03, 2012

We didn't have cable either, yerfatma, the show was on PBS. But in DC it never seemed to have a standard schedule, which is why I said "occasional."

posted by scully at 03:49 PM on April 03, 2012

No, that's what I mean, given we didn't have cable and I was a sports & PBS nerd, I find it hard to believe I didn't see it. My dad claims a faint memory but says it was on at "odd times", though how it only being on half the hours of the day would make it obscure is beyond me.

posted by yerfatma at 07:36 PM on April 03, 2012

The Cosmos toured Australia in 1979, I seem to recall. I went to the old Sydney Showgrounds and saw Giorgio basically do what scully said.

Ciao, big fella.

posted by owlhouse at 10:45 PM on April 03, 2012

Has anyone contacted Eric Wynalda for a statement?

posted by Mookieproof at 11:53 PM on April 03, 2012

the occasional "Soccer Made in Germany"

Was that the same show that we got in Australia with the unique talents of Toby Charles behind the mike?

"And that one beats the keeper to the back of the net...it's a goal!"

Everyone in my school playground could do an impersonation of him.

posted by owlhouse at 01:22 AM on April 04, 2012

Yes, owlhouse. Toby Charles. On the brief Wiki page. Looks like he wasn't known for much else.

posted by scully at 08:43 AM on April 04, 2012

I worked for the food vendor at Giants Stadium a couple of summers in the late '70s and had a wonderful intro to La Joga Bonita via Chinaglia, Beckenbauer and the Cosmos. Later I worked for a travel/real estate company where Giorgio occasionally invested in some of the projects.


posted by billsaysthis at 12:09 PM on April 04, 2012

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