226.5: Kyle Rote, Jr. (Archive Re-Release)


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[A re-release of a fan favorite episode from July 2017!] 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.