With last year's Cosmos chalking up attendance figures of 75,000 for a single game, soccer now seems likely to outdistance even skateboards and marathon running as America's new sports frenzy. Rote, who plays for the Dallas Tornado team, has put together--along with Kane--a nice historical introduction for newly-minted American fans. From early days when Fatty Faulkes and A. M. and P. M. Walker dominated play and the British thought that only they knew how, to the beginnings of the quadrennial World's Cup tournament in 1930 and some of the titanic matches. Rote gives a vivid sense of the formations used for ""open"" or ""defensive"" styles of play (he finds the latter to be a bore) and of various superstars from Scotland, Brazil, Italy, etc.--many, like PelÃ‰, now high-priced commodities bought and sold between rival nations. Some enigmas remain unexplained--why sleepy Fall River, Mass., or St. Louis should have produced so many US soccer stars while interest in the rest of the country was dormant. Though the wild excitement of the game can't be conveyed in print alone, over 60 photographs of games in progress and crowds that go berserk may help spread the fever.