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ONCE IN A LIFETIME
aka ONCE IN A LIFETIME: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE NEW YORK COSMOS
USA: Miramax Films
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Matt Dillon (narrator), Pele, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Johan Cruyff, Steve Hunt, Rodney Marsh, Shep Messing, Steve Ross, Werner Roth, Bobby Smith, Clive Toye, Dennis Tuart
Directors: Paul Crowder, John Dower
US: 97 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for language and some nudity
UK Certificate: 15 contains still images of sexualised nudity
USA Release Date: 28 July 2006 (Limited Release - wider)
USA Release Date: 14 July 2006 (Limited Release - wider)
USA Release Date: 7 July 2006
UK Release Date: 19 May 2006 (Limited Release)
The Cosmos began as a rag-tag team, started on a whim by one of the most powerful men in the history of Entertainment. Steve Ross, founder of Warner Communications, had never even seen a soccer game before he helped finance a franchise. Within five years, Ross had convinced the greatest player in the history of the sport to leave his beloved Brazil for the nascent Cosmos (and become a Soccer missionary in America). Under Ross and Warner Communications, Pele became the richest professional athlete on the planet and the Cosmos became the most celebrated club of superstars ever assembled. In the summer of '77, with a serial killer on the loose and Manhattan descending into lawlessness and chaos, the Cosmos became the toast of Studio 54 and the darlings of millions of Americans; winning championships, touring the globe and igniting a soccer revolution in the land of Baseball, Basketball and the almighty Football.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME is the story of the American Dream colliding with the Global Game. It's the story of one man's obsession to spark a Soccer revolution in a country that had never even heard of the sport. But Steve Ross could not transform the North American Soccer League into an American Major League without the most powerful entertainment tool of persuasion: Television. When the game failed to gain a foothold on network TV, the media titan's dream, and his team, began to implode. And, as quickly as it had exploded onto the scene, the Cosmos, and the league, folded in a New York minute. Soccer in America disappeared overnight.
But the Cosmos did leave a legacy, not only were they the prototype for today's super clubs, likewise Pele's contract was the template for those of the Beckhams and Ronaldinhos. Perhaps most significantly of all, both the US men and women's soccer teams, players who grew up in the shadow of the Cosmos brilliant light, now rise through the World rankings, and the youth of America come out in their millions every weekend to play the World's sport. And with several new stadiums under construction across the country, the rapidly growing MLS is poised to achieve the Cosmos promise of soccer as a celebrated American sport.