I picked up a new hobby recently, colorizing old black and white photos. While only as useful as building a ship in a bottle, and only as skillful as coloring inside the lines in a coloring book; I love seeing the old photos pop to life as you dab them with color. Before this blog, my subject was baseball, but I thought I might take a stab at some old NASL photos. Anyhow, with a bit of free time yesterday, I came up with this.
That's the Los Angeles Aztecs taking on the Seattle Sounders in the LA Coliseum (you can see the track just off the pitch) in 1977. That's Phil Beal on the left. Beal had 333 appearances (and one goal) for Tottenham Hotspur, from 63-75, and after a turn at Brighton & Hove (the year after Brian Clough left the team to coach Leeds for 44 days) came to Los Angeles for a year, making 23 appearances and scoring three goals.
That's Jim McAlister on the right for the Sounders. The interesting thing is both players in this photo are defenders. Maybe it's after a set piece? Or perhaps the Aztecs used Beal in a midfield position, which would explain the increase in goals. McAlister did quite well for the Sounders, well enough to get picked up by the US National team. The '77 Sounders made it all the way to the championship only to lose to Pele's New York Cosmos.
While the Los Angeles Galaxy are unveiling their all-Punjab kit tonight, and the Seattle Sounders are a relatively new addition to MLS; there is a history of all-white clad Los Angeles soccer teams taking on a green shirted Seattle team. There's a history of Los Angeles bringing over former EPL stars, as the '77 Aztecs also featured George Best, formerly of Manchester United. David Beckham had his predecessors.
As if colorizing black and white photos wasn't nerdy enough, let me end with this: All of this has happened before, and it will happen again. And it will be sponsored by Adidas. Again.