234: "Big-Time Soccer" - With Rachel Viollet


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We take another crack at the history and mythology of the late, great North American Soccer League - this time through the eyes of sports filmmaker Rachel Viollet, whose new documentary "Big-Time Soccer: The Remarkable Rise & Fall of the NASL" makes its US debut at New York's Kicking + Screening film festival later this week. If that surname sounds familiar, it won't surprise you that Rachel is also the daughter of the late Dennis Viollet - one of the legendary Manchester United "Busby Babes" of the late 1940s & early 1950s - who later went on to become one of the pioneering coaches in the 1970s-era NASL. With managerial roles overseeing Washington, DC's Diplomats and two flavors of Tea Men in both New England and Jacksonville, the elder Viollet unwittingly provided his young daughter with a bird's-eye childhood purview into a vibrant and hugely entertaining pro soccer circuit, whose influence is still felt in today's MLS and beyond. Featuring dozens of first-person interviews, rare video footage, and a mountain of exhaustive research, "Big-Time Soccer" is a love letter to both the best and the worst of the NASL - and the legacy it left behind.