NYC’s AC Milan fanatics show the changing face of US soccer

Apr 03, 2024 818

BY: William Gittins

“There weren’t many kids at school that used to follow soccer the way I did. I’d wear the jerseys to school and people didn’t even know what it was. I would wear my AC Milan jersey and they would be like ‘What’s OPEL?’” Life-long AC Milan fan Franco was born in 1982, in the dying days of the United States’ first national soccer league, NASL.

Soccer in America was floundering but Franco and his Italian-born father were transfixed by a new super-team rising to dominant Europe. The AC Milan side of the late 1980s and early 1990s is often cited as one of the game’s finest and the success of those glory years was a formative experience for Franco.

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