Sharp match program here from the final season of the North American Soccer League. I’ve posted a bunch of programs on Fun While It Lasted from the NASL’s terrific rivalry between the Chicago Sting and the New York Cosmos. Although the Cosmos are the proto-Super Club that everybody remembers today, the Sting typically got the better of the New Yorkers. Especially in big games, including their only championship match meeting in Soccer Bowl ’81.
This was an exception. Coming off a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to the Sting 13 days earlier at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, the Cosmos rebounded with a 2-1 victory on the road at Comiskey Park. Stan Terlecki and Chico Borja scored for New York. Pato Margetic potted the lone goal for the Sting.
That’s the Cosmos’ Roberto Cabanas on the cover of the day’s KICK Magazine program. The lanky Paraguayan ran away with the NASL scoring title (25 goals, 16 assists) in 1983 and was named Most Valuable Player of the league. But his production dropped off a cliff in 1984 and the Cosmos’ floundered along with him. Perhaps the retirement of Giorgio Chinaglia following the 1983 season allowed opposing defenses to key their attention on Cabanas. Indoor star Terlecki struggled to be a factor paired with Cabanas up top. The Cabanas/Chinaglia tandem struck for 43 goals in 1983. But Cabanas and Terlecki produced just 12 goals in 1984.
The Cosmos’ NASL era would end in three months later on September 15, 1984 with yet another huge match against the Sting. Back in Chicago and needing a win on the season’s final day to make the playoffs – an utterly alien scenario for the Cosmos – the Sting broke them yet again with a 1-0 victory. The Sting went on to win the NASL’s final title two weeks later.