National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and three-time ABC-TV “Superstars” champion Kyle Rote, Jr. joins Tim Hanlon from his home in Memphis for an in-depth and wide-ranging conversation about his trailblazing journey as America’s first true native-born professional soccer star.
Along the way, Rote, Jr. reveals:
• How a fortuitous heart-to-heart with his famous football star-father helped convince him to choose soccer over football for his pro career;
• How a standout Rookie of the Year season with the 1973 Dallas Tornado helped thrust him into the North American Soccer League’s national marketing spotlight;
• The remarkable impact of winning a made-for-TV athletic competition against the biggest stars of the “traditional” sports world;
• The unique relationship he developed with the New York Cosmos’ international legend Pelé, and the public relations narrative the NASL built around them;
• How lucrative marketing endorsements made up for embarrassingly low-paying player contracts;
• The serendipitous story of how he helped rescue an MISL team from the “hell” of Hartford; and
• The unmistakable higher power that continually guided him through the ups and downs of professional athletics – both on the field and off.
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