Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Exhibition Stadium’ tag

1979-1993 Toronto Blizzard

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1979 Toronto Blizzard Media GuideNorth American Soccer League (1979-1984)
Canadian Soccer League (1987-1992)
American Professional Soccer League (1993)

Founded: February 1979 – Re-branded from Toronto Metros-Croatia.
Folded: Postseason 1993


Arena: Maple Leaf Gardens (16,485)

Team Colors: Red, White & Reflex Blue


  • 1979-1981: Global Television Network
  • 1981-????: York-Hanover

NASL Soccer Bowl Championships: None
CSL Championships: None
APSL Championships: None


Text coming soon…


Toronto Blizzard Shop

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


Toronto Blizzard Memorabilia



North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

Canadian Soccer League Programs

American Professional Soccer League Programs


August 16, 1983 – Toronto Blizzard vs. New York Cosmos

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Roberto Bettega Toronto BlizzardToronto Blizzard vs. New York Cosmos
August 16, 1983
Exhibition Stadium
Attendance: 11,428

North American Soccer League Programs
16 pages


That’s 32-year old Italian striker Roberto Bettega on the cover of this August 1983 Toronto Blizzard match program.  Bettega was perhaps the last legitimate European star to sign with the league, joining Toronto in May 1983.  By that time, the North American Soccer League was on its last legs, halved from 24 members clubs in 1980 to only 12 survivors by the start of the 1983 campaign.

Bettega played fifteen seasons for Juventus (1969-1983), helping his hometown club to seven Serie A titles and the 1977 UEFA Cup.  He also played for Italy in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.  Just six nights before this match, Bettega’s former teammates traveled to Toronto for a friendly against the Blizzard at Exhibition Stadium.  Juventus brought seven veterans of Italy’s 1982 World Cup championship team to Toronto, including superstar Paolo Rossi.  (Bettega himself missed the 1982 World Cup due to injury).  The match drew 41,035 to Exhibition Stadium – the largest crowd ever to watch a soccer game in Toronto.  The Blizzard held the powerful Italian squad to a surprising 0-0 draw.


By contrast, the Blizzard’s return to NASL regular season action six nights later against the New York Cosmos was kind of a buzz kill.  The Cosmos were known for signing the biggest superstars in the world in the late 1970’s and they were accustomed to drawing large crowds wherever they traveled.  But by 1983, the Cosmos were deep into cost-cutting mode and it had been years since they imported a major international superstar.

A modest crowd of 11,428 showed up for a match that New York’s long-time beat writer Ike Kuhns described as “one of the dullest” of the 1983 season.  Toronto had trouble scoring all season and were playing without leading goal scorer David Byrne due to yellow card accumulation.  New York fared little better and the match went into overtime knotted at 0-0, before New York’s Steve Moyers put an apparently merciful end to the proceedings with a sudden death goal.

The notorious artificial turf surface at Exhibition Stadium was as poorly reviewed as the match itself.

“The field is just awful,” Cosmos midfielder Rick Davis told Ike Kuhns afterwards. “I still say the best thing they can do here is put up walls and play squash on it.”*



8-16-1983 Toronto Blizzard Game Notes

8-16-1983 New York Cosmos Game Notes


==*Additional Sources==

“Moyers’ OT Goal Boots Cosmos By Blizzard, 1-0”, Ike Kuhns, The Newark Star-Ledger, August 17, 1983.


Written by AC

May 10th, 2013 at 12:31 pm


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