Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘United Soccer League 1984’ Category

1984 Oklahoma City Stampede

leave a comment

Oklahoma City StampedeUnited Soccer League (1984)

Born: 1984 – Re-branded from Oklahoma City Slickers
Moved: December 6, 1984 (Tulsa Tornados)

Stadium: Taft Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: David Fraser

USL Championships: None

 

The Oklahoma City Stampede were a 2nd vision pro soccer franchise that operated under a handful of names in Oklahoma during the mid-1980’s.  The club originated in 1982 as an expansion called the Oklahoma City Slickers in the American Soccer League. After the ASL folded in early 1984, Slickers owner David Fraser was one of several team owners and banded together to form the new United Soccer League. As part of the shift to the USL, Fraser changed the name of the team to the Stampede.

The Stampede retained head coach Brian Harvey from the Slickers era, along with a handful of players. NASL veterans Thompson Usiyan and David Kemp provided a new scoring punch, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the USL in total points.  Jamaican-born Delroy Allen handled the bulk of the goalkeeping duties. The Stampede finished the 1984 season tied for the best record in the 9-team USL at 15-9. The Houston Dynamos eliminated the Stampede in a two-leg semi-final playoff series in August 1984.

In December 1984 club owner David Fraser announce that the club would move to Tulsa for the 1985 season. Re-named once again, Fraser’s Tulsa Tornados went out of business along with the rest of the USL in the spring of 1985.

 

Oklahoma City Stampede Memorabilia

 

Links

United Soccer League Media Guides

United Soccer League Programs

##

Written by Drew Crossley

November 22nd, 2017 at 8:59 pm

1984 Charlotte Gold

leave a comment

1984 United Soccer League Media GuideUnited Soccer League (1984)

Born: April 1, 1984 – USL founding franchise
Folded: Postseason 1984

Stadium: American Legion Memorial Stadium (24,500)

Team Colors: Carolina Blue & Charlotte Gold

Owner: C. Richard Melvin

USL Championships: None

 

The Charlotte Gold played one season of lower-division men’s professional soccer in the summer of 1984. The franchise was a successor/replacement for the more popular Carolina Lightnin’ team that played in the 2nd Division American Soccer League from 1981 to 1983. The Lightnin’ folded along with the rest of the ASL during the winter of 1983-84.

The United Soccer League quickly rose from the ashes of the ASL and Charlotte was awarded the league’s ninth and final franchise on April Fools’ Day 1984. The Gold were formed just six weeks prior to their first match on May 19th, 1984.

Former U.S. National Team captain Dave D’Errico was the Gold’s head coach. Charlotte finished the 1984 USL season with an 11-13 record and narrowly missed the playoffs. Following the season, seven of the nine USL clubs folded, including the Charlotte Gold.  The league itself went out of business midway through the 1985 season.

Fun While It Lasted is looking to buy any and all memorabilia from the Charlotte Gold, or acquire photos or images of the team. Post to the comments if you can help.

 

Links

United Soccer League Media Guides

United Soccer League Programs

##

Written by Drew Crossley

August 30th, 2016 at 11:50 am

1983-1985 Dallas Americans

leave a comment

Dallas AmericansAmerican Soccer League (1983)
United Soccer League (1984-1985)

Born: 1983 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: June 26, 1985

Stadium: John Clark Stadium (14,224)

Team Colors: Red, White & Blue

Owners: Texas Professional Soccer, Inc. (Bill Spear, et al.)

ASL Championships: None
USL Championships: None

 

The Dallas Americans were a lower division U.S. pro soccer club active for parts of three seasons in the mid-1980’s. The Americans replaced the NASL’s Dallas Tornado (1967-1981) on the local soccer scene. The team played at John Clark Stadium in Plano.

Longtime Tornado star Bobby Moffatt was instrumental in founding the franchise and arranging its entry for its entry in the 2nd Division American Soccer League in February 1983. Ownership group Texas Professional Soccer, Inc. purchased the rights to the ASL’s long-dormant Golden Gate Gales franchise, which had last taken the field in 1980, and shifted it to northern Texas.

On the field, the Americans featured a number of former Tornado players on the roster, including Jeff Bourne, Neil Cohen, Billy Phillips and player-coach Wolfgang Rausch. After a hot start to the 1983 season, the American cooled off somewhat and finished with a 13-12 record. That was good enough for a semi-final playoff berth, where Dallas was eliminated by the Pennsylvania Stoners.

Following the 1983 season, the American Soccer League folded after more than a half century of operation. Several former ASL clubs, including the Americans, spearheaded the formation of a successor organization: the United Soccer League. The USL’s focus was on “Americanization” of the sport. League rules required that seven American players be on the field at all times. Dallas’ pre-season roster for the 1984 USL campaign included fourteen Americans and three foreign players.

The USL entered the spring/summer 1984 season with nine franchises and plans for a winter indoor season to follow. But the league began to collapse in the fall of 1984. The USL limped into the spring of 1985 with just four active teams: Dallas, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale and Tulsa. El Paso and Tulsa quickly ran out of  money and the USL shut its doors on June 26th, 1985, taking the Americans down with it.

 

Dallas Americans Shop

American Soccer League Logo T-Shirt by Ultras

 

Dallas Americans Memorabilia

 

In Memoriam

Striker Jeff Bourne (Americans ’83) died of ALS on July 31, 2014 at the age of 66.

 

Downloads

1983 Dallas Americans vs. U.S. Olympic Team exhibition game program

 

Links

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

United Soccer League Media Guides

United Soccer Leagues Programs

##

Written by Drew Crossley

August 27th, 2016 at 3:15 pm

1981-1984 Rochester Flash

leave a comment

Rochester Flash ProgramAmerican Soccer League (1981-1982)
United Soccer League (1984)

Born: 1981 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: Postseason 1984

Stadium: Holleder Stadium (20,000)

Team Colors: Orange and Black

Owners: Eugene Quatro, Jr., et al.

ASL Championships: None
USL Championships: None

 

The Rochester Flash soccer club – great moniker for a company town like Rochester where Kodak was king.  The Flash were formed in 1981 to fill the void left by the departed Rochester Lancers soccer team (1967-1980).  The Lancers played in the North American Soccer League, the top level of pro soccer in the U.S. at the time. After winning a league title in 1970, the Lancers settled into a long stretch of mediocrity but their membership in the NASL meant that legendary players such as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer visited the Holleder Stadium turf during the late 1970’s.

For all the NASL’s problems (that league would fold in 1984), it was a paragon of stability compared to the ramshackle 2nd Division American Soccer League that the Flash entered in 1981. Rochester’s opening match was in New Bedford, Massachusetts against the New England Sharks, another 1981 expansion franchise.  The Sharks would be out of business after 17 games, failing to complete their regular season schedule. This kind of midseason catastrophe was par for the course in the ASL.

Rochester Flash ProgramThe Sharks were also the Flash’s opponent when the team made its home debut at Holleder Stadium on June 7th, 1981. More than 5,000 fans turned out – a number not too far below what the Lancers typically attracted for much of the 1970’s. Under Head Coach Don Lalka, the Flash finished the 1981 season 11-12-5 and backed into a one-game playoff against the Carolina Lightnin’.  It was a Jekyll and Hyde campaign. The Flash were virtually unbeatable at home, the only blemish being a 2-1 loss to New York United at Holleder in July, but the team was hopeless on the road.  The playoff game was down in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Flash followed script by losing 2-0.  Ukrainian striker Mike Laschev, one of several Flash players who played indoor soccer during the winter months for the Buffalo Stallions of the MISL, led the team in scoring with 13 goals and 5 assists.

At the end of the 1981 season, the Flash courted controversy by sub-letting Holleder Stadium for a planned rugby match between an American team and the touring Springboks national team from South Africa. South Africa was deep in the grip of Apartheid and the divestment movement in the United States was just starting to gain traction in the early 1980’s. The Flash ultimately cancelled the match, but not before the episode gain the team the broadest national press coverage it would ever receive.

The 1982 season on the field was largely a repeat of the previous campaign. Laschev did not return, but another moonlighting Stallions player, Ernie Buriano, picked up the scoring slack with 9 goals and 6 assists.  The club again made the playoffs with a losing record (10-15-2) thanks in part to the ASL’s ever-dwindling membership, which was down to just seven clubs in 1982. Once again, the Flash ran into the Carolina Lightnin’ in the first round and were quickly dispatched.

The Flash went dark for the 1983 season, which turned out to be the last campaign for the 50-year old American Soccer League. But in February 1984, a handful of refugee clubs from the now-defunct ASL banded together to form the United Soccer League. Improbably, the Flash returned from oblivion to stage a third season in the USL in the spring of 1984.

The Flash finished the 1984 USL season with the worst record in the 9-team circuit (7-17) and quietly disbanded for good.

Pro soccer returned to Rochester twelve years later with the formation of the Rochester Raging Rhinos in 1996.  The Rhinos were so popular during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, that the city of Rochester was briefly considered a strong candidate for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. Those days are long gone and the Rhinos have since fallen on hard times, but they continue to play.

 

Rochester Flash Shop


American Soccer League Logo T-Shirt by Ultras

 

Rochester Flash Memorabilia

 

Links

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

###

 

 

Written by AC

November 28th, 2015 at 6:39 pm

1980-1984 Jacksonville Tea Men

leave a comment

1981-82 Jacksonville Tea Men Indoor Media GuideNorth American Soccer League (1980-1982)
American Soccer League (1983)
United Soccer League (1984)

Born: December 1980 – The New England Tea Men relocate to Jacksonville.
Folded: Postseason 1984

Stadium: The Gator Bowl (80,200)

Arena: Jacksonville Coliseum

Team Colors: White, Red & Gold

Owners:

  • 1980-1982: Thomas J. Lipton, Inc.
  • 1982: Earl Hadlow, et al.
  • 1982: Thomas J. Lipton, Inc.
  • 1983-1984: Ingo Krieg

Soccer Bowl Championships (NASL): None
ASL Champions: 1983
USL Championships: None

 

The Jacksonville Tea Men was a pro soccer outfit that played both outdoor and indoor soccer in north Florida during the early 1980’s.  The franchise originated in New England in 1978 as an expansion team in the North American Soccer League, which was the top flight league in America at the time.  In the Tea Men’s final years in Jacksonville, the club dropped down to lower division leagues in an effort to stem multi-million dollar financial losses.

The “Tea Men” identity was a tie-in to the franchise’s original owner, the Lipton Tea company.  And it was also a play on New England’s revolutionary war history with the Boston Tea Party.  The name made little sense following the club’s move to Florida, but was retained anyway.

Jacksonville interests lured the Tea Men south in November 1980 with a pledge of 14,000 season tickets for the 1981 outdoor season, but the promise never materialized.  The Associated Press reported that the Tea Men sold fewer than 4,500 season tickets after arriving in Florida.  By the end of 1981, Lipton’s patience with the NASL was nearly exhausted.  The league had blown its national television contract with ABC and was now shedding franchises at an alarming rate.  Lipton lost a reported $7M on the club between 1978 and 1981, including $1.7M  during the first ten months in Jacksonville.  In September 1981, the Tea Men were on the verge of folding before Lipton posted the required $150,000 bond with the league to stay in for the indoor season.

The Tea Men averaged a relatively strong 6,375 fans for indoor soccer at the Coliseum that winter.  A group of local businessmen led by attorney Earl Hadlow struck a deal to lease the club from Lipton and operate it for the 1982 outdoor season.  The momentum died when the team moved outdoors, however.  On the field, the Tea Men regressed from the 18-14 playoff club of 1981 to a last-place 11-21 finish in 1982.  Fan support dwindled as well.  The Tea Men drew only 7,160 fans on average to the 68,000-seat Gator Bowl in 1982, second worst in the 14-team NASL.  Hadlow’s group ran out of money during the season and returned the Tea Men to Lipton, who immediately began looking to unload the club once and for all.  Deals were announced to sell the club to investors in Milwaukee, then Detroit.  Both fell through.

Jacksonville Tea Men vs. Pennsylvania Stoners. July 8th, 1983In early 1983, local businessman Ingo Krieg rescued the Tea Men yet again and entered them in the lower level American Soccer League.  The nonsensical Tea Men name endured, despite the fact that Lipton had finally pulled out entirely.  The ASL had a long and rather weird history dating back to the Great Depression.  Similar to the NASL, the ASL had gone on an expansion spree in the mid-1970’s, convinced that soccer’s moment had arrived.  By the time Krieg and the Tea Men arrived on the scene in 1983, the ASL was in its death throes.  Rebounding from 1982’s on-field disappointment, the Tea Men won the final ASL championship in 1983.

Dissatisfied with his partners in the ASL, Krieg mounted an insurrection in early 1984, peeling away the Dallas and Detroit franchises to form the United Soccer League in the spring of 1984.  The Tea Men posted an 11-13 record and missed the playoffs.  After countless near death experiences, the Tea Men folded once and for all after the 1984 campaign.

Odds and ends…

The Tea Men’s Jacksonville cheerleader squad was known as the Cu-Teas.  Several of their former members have created a Facebook tribute page.

 

Jacksonville Tea Men Shop


Tea Men Retro T-Shirt by Ultras

Ian Plenderleith’s Definitive Account of “The Short Life & Fast Times of the North American Soccer League

 

Jacksonville Tea Men Memorabilia

 

Downloads

April 10, 1982 Jacksonville Tea Men vs. New York Cosmos Game Notes Packet

 

Links

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

###

 

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: