Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Sparta Rotterdam (Holland)
July 15, 1981
I love the look of this match day program from a July 15, 1981 international friendly between the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL and visiting Sparta Rotterdam of Holland. The Whitecaps were one of a handful of NASL clubs – along with the Chicago Sting, New York Cosmos and Seattle Sounders – that supplemented their regular season calendars with intriguing international exhibitions in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
During this summer of 1981, Whitecaps fans enjoyed an attractive line-up of international opponents who came to visit old Empire Stadium, including England’s West Bromwich Albion (May 11th), and Manchester City (June 3rd), Italy’s F.C. Napoli (June 29th) and then this match against Holland’s oldest club.
The Whitecaps won this one easily, besting Sparta Rotterdam 4-0. Among the players for the Dutch side on this evening was 30-year defender Louis Van Gaal who ascended to the position of Dutch National Team coach in 2012.