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The MISL: A Look Back

The Major Indoor Soccer League, later to be known as the Major Soccer League, emerged in 1978, at the height of soccer's popularity in the United States. With the outdoor North American Soccer League making great strides to establish the game in America, an intrepid group of businessmen and arena owners formed an indoor circuit to take advantage of the surge. The new league outlasted the NASL and absorbed some of its teams, but after 14 seasons, a protracted salary war with a new indoor league ultimately spelled its demise.

My thanks to Dave Litterer, whose Year in American Soccer series forms the backbone of the history section, Tom Hefner and Doug Rawlinson, who helped locate logos, Downing Bethune, who contributed most of the photos and several supplemental materials, and Sydney Nusinov, who supplied statistical research.

The first MISL game, Cincinnati Kids vs. New York Arrows - 12/22/78