In the seventies, a new force emerged in the city of Memphis. A force that not only represented the city on the field, but also captured the hearts of the people of Memphis and the entire nation. That force was the Memphis Rogues.
The Memphis Rogues were a professional soccer team in the former North American Soccer League. They operated in the late seventies and early eighties seasons and played their home games in Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. They also played indoor soccer at the Mid-South Coliseum during the 1979–80 season.
The team was founded by Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. and Beau Rogers, who wanted to establish a new North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise. They searched for a city to serve as home for their new team, looking at several locations in the southern U.S. – including New Orleans, Houston, Nashville and Atlanta – before settling on Memphis, Tennessee. They named the team the “Rogues” in part as an allusion to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, as well as for a desire to have an elephant mascot (a “Rogue” elephant).
There was also a special connection between the Rogues and English club Chelsea due to players like Eddie McCreadie, Charlie Cooke, Alan Birchenall, and a few others playing for both clubs.
The Memphis Rogues represented not just a team, but a symbol of the city’s passion for soccer and the determination to succeed. They were a shining example of what can be achieved when a group of individuals come together and work towards a common goal. And as we continue to strive for greatness in the world of football, let us remember the lessons of the Memphis Rogues and the legends that played for them.
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