On 15 June 1975, Pelé debuted for the New York Cosmos, scoring one goal and assisting another in a 2-2 draw with the Dallas Tornado.
The Brazilian superstar had just retired from Santos the previous year, ending his 19-year official tenure with the club that had been his only professional home (though he continued to play for them on an occasional basis). The move opened the door for the Cosmos, who had long been pursuing him in an attempt to raise interest in the eight-year old North American Soccer League, and finally tempted him with a three-year deal worth $2.8 million.
His debut came at New York's Randall Island ground, which was unprepared for the attention. When CBS announced that they would broadcast the game, the club spray-painted the dirt patches green so they would not show up on television. But Pelé delivered, scoring with an assist from Mordechai Shpigler, then returning the favor as Shpigler added a second to earn the 2-2 draw.
The Cosmos ended the season with a disappointing record of 10 wins and 12 losses and missed the playoffs, but eventually won the title (their second overall) in 1977, Pelé's last season.