The spectacular rise and subsequent fall of the New York Cosmos soccer team will be the subject of drama TV series. The project, now in development, will track the brief existence of the North American Soccer League, which spanned 1968-1984, through the story of its most famous club, the New York Cosmos.
Set in the chaotic ’70s in a nearly bankrupt New York City of blackouts, riots, the Son of Sam serial killer case and the dawn of Studio 54, the drama centers on the world’s first soccer dream team. Orchestrated by Steve Ross, chairman of Warner Communications, which bought Cosmos in 1971, the team in 1975 signed a three-year deal with Pelé, the greatest player the game had ever known. More big name signings would follow: the German superstar Franz Beckenbauer, the charismatic Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning captain, Carlos Alberto. Overnight, a ragtag team of locals playing on dirt fields in front of a few hundred fans was transformed into a powerhouse of global talent, a Harlem Globetrotters-like road show breaking attendance records in massive stadiums around the country and the world and culminating in a dramatic quest to win the 1977 championship of the North American Soccer League. After its superstars left, Cosmos’ and NASL’s fortunes rapidly declined.
The drama project is done with the cooperation of the New York Cosmos, with former captain Werner Roth serving as an executive producer alongside Rohan Media’s Roy Houlette and Primary Wave’s Ben Press and producer Mark Ross. Search is underway for a writer.