From Stamford Bridge to America – July 4 special

Once upon a time, the North American Soccer League – better known as the NASL – was home to some of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen, with Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff.

During this era in the 1970s, a number of Chelsea’s finest travelled Stateside to enjoy the ‘soccer’ experience as the beautiful game looked to impose itself on one of the world’s biggest, and potentially most lucrative, markets.

Although, ultimately, the NASL proved to be unsustainable, America’s hosting of the World Cup in 1994 was followed by the introduction of Major League Soccer, which remains the country’s leading domestic competition. MLS, and some of the lower tiers of the US game, have also been graced by several Blues.