Pelé invigorated US soccer, paved way for ’94 World Cup, MLS


              FILE - New York Cosmos' star Pele kisses a trophy held up by team captain Werner Roth at New York's Kennedy Airport on Aug. 29, 1977, as the team returned after winning the North American Soccer League Championship. Dozens of meetings over four years led to Pelé agreeing to sign with Cosmos in June 1975. His 2 1/2 seasons in New York elevated the sport, putting U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later.  (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE -   Pele of the New York Cosmos makes his professional debut with the team in an exhibition game against the Dallas Tornado in this June 15, 1975 photo at New York's Downing Stadium. Dozens of meetings over four years led to Pelé agreeing to sign with Cosmos in June 1975. His 2 1/2 seasons in New York elevated the sport, putting U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - New York Cosmo's soccer star, Pele, is seen during an interview at in New York on July 1, 1975. Dozens of meetings over four years led to Pelé agreeing to sign with Cosmos in June 1975. His 2 1/2 seasons in New York elevated the sport, putting U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)
            
              FILE- Pele of the New York Cosmos gestures during a press conference in New York on Sept. 29, 1977. Dozens of meetings over four years led to Pelé agreeing to sign with Cosmos in June 1975. His 2 1/2 seasons in New York elevated the sport, putting U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later.  (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz, File)
            
              FILE -  New York Cosmos' Pele stands with others at news conference in New York on June 10, 1975. Dozens of meetings over four years led to Pelé agreeing to sign with Cosmos in June 1975. His 2 1/2 seasons in New York elevated the sport, putting U.S. soccer on a path to hosting the World Cup in 1994 and launching Major League Soccer two years later. (AP Photo, File)
Pelé invigorated US soccer, paved way for ’94 World Cup, MLS