HOUSTON, TX - About 150 people packed in the Angelic Theater on Thursday as Oliver Luck, President and GM of the Houston Dynamo, hosted a special screening of "Once In A Lifetime" --the extraordinary story of the New York Cosmos (NASL). The documentary, narrated by Matt Dillon, tells all about the rise and fall of the soccer team that brought the likes of Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgin Chinalgia, and Carlos Alberto to play the beautiful game in America.
The evening started with a brief "meet and greet" time. Players in attendance signed autographs, and guests were greeted by Oliver Luck himself. The celebrity guest list included Dynamo players Ryan Cochrane, Zach Wells, Kevin Goldthwaite, Stuart Holden, Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear, and Soccer Analyst Glenn Davis.
The movie started by showing the lack of soccer in America. It told how the men playing in the NASL really shouldn't be playing professional soccer at all. They referred to it as more of a semi-professional league. Soccer didn't flourish until the Cosmos made the move that would change American soccer forever --signing Brazilian international Pelé for a total of $4.5 million over three seasons.
The story continues with the signings of Giorgin Chinalgia, Franz Beckenbauer, and Carlos Alberto. The team was a success, and at the time, so was soccer in America. Pelé had won over the American citizens. He had done the impossible -he took a sport that wasn't respected, and he turned it into what was thought to be "The next American pastime"
The movie was amazing. It blended amazing cinematography with a unique story-- The one about the soccer team that started out playing on a run-down field in New York and ended up entertaining a crowd of 76,000 at Giants Stadium.
Glenn Davis said "If it wasn't for the Cosmos I don't know that I would be in soccer today." After the movie the Dynamo provided a special question and answer session with Davis and Kinnear. One of the questions asked was regarding how long it would take for Major League Soccer to flourish in the United States. Kinnear answered by saying that it would be hard to attract players of such caliber with a salary cap of only 1.9 million per team.