The NASL in Maps
In the year that I've been blogging about American soccer, I haven't posted anything about the NASL. That's probably because I was born in 1982. But after the fun I had doing yesterday's map, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the NASL and how it changed from year to year. No other major American league has ever had nearly as many franchises expanding, moving and folding all at once, and you can see it all on the maps below.
For information on the year to year struggles/successes of the league, I highly recommend reading the American Soccer History Archives.
I also think it would really cool to have an animated map, where you can see the changes happen right in front of your eyes. You could have each one happen only for a few seconds. I tried uploading my photos to flickr, so you can also check it out in slideshow form, which sort of accomplishes that (it might work better without all the team names in the way). I'll have to work on making sure every photo is from the same spot, so it looks better from picture to picture. Once I get a little more familiar with Google Earth I'm sure I can handle that. I'd also like to do this for all other major leagues. Who knows, it would be cool to do for the Premiership, and all the big leagues in Europe. Lots of potential here. If anyone's done something like this before, please let me know before I waste my time.
And we begin:
1968: Two leagues, the NPSL and the USA started up a year earlier, and merged to form the NASL.
1969: Barely survived.
1974: Western expansion.
1975: The year Pele joined the Cosmos.
1978: 24 teams, the peak.
1979-80: The only time every team stayed in the same city for consecutive years. Toronto became the Blizzard, but I forgot to change it until the next map. Also, Atlanta is there, just hard to see.
1981: You can see the decline start to happen, and it only gets worse.
1984: The final year, down to only 9 teams.