Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Indoor Soccer’ Category

1996-2010 Philadelphia Kixx

leave a comment

National Professional Soccer League (1996-2001)
Major Indoor Soccer League (2001-2008)
National Indoor Soccer League (2008-2009)
Major Indoor Soccer League (2009-2010)

Born: 1995 – NPSL expansion franchise.
Died: 2010 – The Kixx cease operations.

Arenas:

Team Colors: Teal, Red & Black

Owners:

 

The Philadelphia Kixx were a long-running indoor soccer team that enjoyed strong popularity in the City of Brotherly Love for a few years during the late 1990′s.   The club was originally founded as a National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) expansion franchise in 1996 by local businessman Ed Tepper.

Tepper was one of the pioneers of the sport of indoor soccer.  He more or less stumbled across the sport during a brief stint as owner of the old Philadelphia Wings box lacrosse team that played at the Spectrum in 1974 and 1975.  Captivated by the potential of the indoor game, Tepper quickly sold off the Wings to focus on soccer.  He was a co-founder of the first pro indoor league, the Major Indoor Soccer League, in 1978.  But Tepper had been away from the sport for more than a decade when came back to form the Kixx in 1995.  Tepper kept the team until 2002, when he turned over primary ownership to local attorney Jeffrey Rotwitt.  Rotwitt would support the club until its demise in 2010.

The Kixx were the top box office draw in the NPSL for three straight years from 1998 to 2000, averaging over 8,000 fans per game.  But the team’s fortunes dipped in the 2000′s as Major League Soccer and the rapid growth of the outdoor game relegated a succession of indoor soccer leagues to irrelevance and disarray.  The Kixx were further marginalized in 2009 when the Spectrum, their home of 13 years, closed it doors and the team was exiled to the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.  The club went on a hiatus at the end of the 2009-10 season, which turned out to be just a euphemism for going out of business.

The Kixx won two league championships during their fourteen-year run, capturing Major Indoor Soccer League titles in 2002 and 2007.

 

 

==YouTube==

The Kixx host the Baltimore Blast at the Spectrum, March 24, 2007.

The Kixx claim their second and final MISL championship against the Detroit Ignition, April 2007.

 

 

==Links==

National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Media Guides

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Programs

##

1991-2003 Harrisburg Heat

leave a comment

National Professional Soccer League (1991-2003)
Major Indoor Soccer League (2001-2003)

Born: July 1991 – NPSL expansion franchise.
Died: July 9, 2003 - The Heat cease operations.

Arena: State Farm Show Arena (7,600)

Team Colors: Purple, Orange, Black & White

Owners:

 

The Harrisburg Heat were a long-running indoor soccer franchise in central Pennsylvania.  Technically an expansion franchise in the National Professional Soccer League in the fall of 1991, the club was in some ways a successor to the region’s previous NPSL entry, the Hershey Impact (1988-1991), which folded shortly before the Heat were organized in July 1991.  Heat founder Dr. Rex Herbert was a team doctor for the Impact and put together a new investor group to keep pro indoor soccer going in the area.  While the Impact played at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, the Heat moved into the State Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg.

Key players for the Heat included:

  • Trinidadian striker Richard Chinapoo (1992-2000)
  • Canadian midfielder Gino DiFlorio (1998-2002)
  • American defender Bob Lilley (1992-1997)
  • American forward Mark Pulisic (1991-1999)

The Heat’s finest season came in 1994-95.  The team advanced to the NPSL Championship Series, where they were swept in four games by the St. Louis Ambush.

After a slow start at the box office in their inaugural season (3,114 average attendance in 1991-92), the Heat became a popular draw in Harrisburg during the mid-to-late 1990′s, usually averaging 5,000 – 6,000 fans per game each season.   By the early 2000′s though, the entire sport of indoor soccer was in a state of decline.  From 15 member franchises in 1996-97, the NPSL had only six viable clubs by the summer of 2001.  The league re-branded itself as the Major Indoor Soccer League that summer.

The Heat played to declining crowds for two further seasons in the MISL, folding in the summer of 2003.

In 2012 the Harrisburg Heat brand name was re-booted for a new team in the obscure, low-budget Professional Arena Soccer League.  The “new” Heat play in a smaller building at the Farm Show Arena and former Heat star Richard Chinapoo signed on as Head Coach.

 

==In Memoriam==

Former Heat defender Todd Smith died of leukemia on December 31, 2003 at age 38.  Smith was General Manager of Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution when he was diagnosed in March 2002.

 

==Links==

National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Media Guides

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Programs

##

Written by andycrossley

March 21st, 2014 at 1:08 am

1991-2001 Kansas City Attack

leave a comment

National Professional Soccer League (1991-2001)

Born: September 1991 – The Atlanta Attack relocate to Kansas City, MO.
Died: 2001 – Re-branded as Kansas City Comets.

Arenas:

Team Colors:

  • 1998-99: Black, Green & Silver

Owners:

 

During the 1980′s Kansas City, Missouri was a hotspot for the growing sport of indoor soccer.  The local Major Indoor Soccer League franchise, the Kansas City Comets, was so popular in the early part of the decade that they helped to drive the NBA’s Kansas City Kings out of town in 1985.  The departure of the Kings and the lack of an NHL franchise made the Comets the only wintertime pro sports ticket in town starting in 1985, but the fortunes of the Major Indoor Soccer League started to fade by the late 1980′s.  The MISL nearly folded in 1988 and by 1991 Comets attendance had fallen more than 50% from its peak of nearly 16,000 fans per game in 1984.

The Comets went out of business in July of 1991.  Sensing an opportunity, a pair of novice sports investors from Rochester, New York, Chris Economides and Louis Gitsis, purchased the Atlanta Attack of the lower-budget National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and quickly shifted the team to Kansas City in September 1991, two months after the collapse of the Comets.   They retained the Attack name in Kansas City, but signed popular for Comets stars Gino Schiraldi and Jim Schwab to try and lure back disheartened Comets fans.

The Kansas City Attack spent their first season in the winter of 1991-92 at the smaller, cheaper Municipal Auditorium.  The team was strong (26-14) and made it to the playoff semi-finals, but attendance languished at 3,050 fans per game, which was a far cry from the Comets days, and beneath the NPSL’s modest league-wide average of 3,600.

In 1992-93 the Attack returned to Kemper Arena and saw a 50% surge in attendance, but still nothing like the Comets’ days of the 80′s.  Nevertheless, the team was terrific and advanced to 1993 NPSL Championship Series against the Cleveland Crunch.  Fairweather Kansas City fans jumped on the bandwagon and a crowd of 12,134 turned out at Kemper Arena on April 30, 1993 to watch Kansas City claim its first indoor soccer title with a 19-7 victory over Cleveland in Game 5 of the 1993 NPSL Championship Series.

The Attack won a second championship following the 1996-97 NPSL season.

In the summer of 2001, the National Professional Soccer League disbanded and the surviving teams re-organized under the nostalgic Major Indoor Soccer League brand name.   Attack owner Don Kincaid chose to play the 1980′s nostalgia card as well, dropping the Attack identity in favor of a revived Kansas City Comets name.   The former Attack franchise played four more seasons under the Comets name before folding in September 2005.  Kincaid lost a reported $15 million on the franchise between 1993 and 2005 according to The Kansas City Star.

 

==Attack Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
1994-95 11/27/1994 vs. Dayton Dynamo  W 19-5 Program
1994-95 1/22/1995 vs. St. Louis Ambush L 23-12 Program
1995-96 2/24/1996 @ Cleveland Crunch W 24-18 Program

 

==Links==

National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

###

April 28, 1985 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast

leave a comment

Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast
MISL Quarterfinal Playoffs, Game 3
April 28, 1985
The Forum
Attendance: 4,673

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
60 pages

 

This is yet another pull from the huge collection of Los Angeles Lazers indoor soccer programs we picked up from a California sports museum earlier this month.  The third and final match of a best-of-five Major Indoor Soccer League quarterfinal playoff series between the Lazers and the defending champion Baltimore Blast at the Fabulous Forum.

Dave MacWilliams of the Blast was pictured on the cover of the Missile Magazine game program for this game and the choice was prophetic.  MacWilliams was the MISL’s leading American-born scorer during the 194-85 season and he netted a hat trick against the Lazers here in Game 3 to spark Baltimore to 5-4 win and a sweep of the best-of-five series.

Another notable player in this game was ,the Lazers’ 23-year old rookie goalkeeper Tim Harris, who drew the start for this win-or-go-home elimination match.  Harris was born in nearby Torrance and played collegiately at UCLA.  He earned one cap for the U.S. National Team in 1985, but he had the misfortune to come into pro soccer during a particularly grim period for the American game, just as the outdoor North American Soccer League was drawing its final breaths.  Harris played for five seasons, including three with the Lazers from 1984 to 1987.  During that time there was no national outdoor league and American players were not in demand overseas.  Indoor soccer was basically the only professional option for American players born in the early 1960′s like Harris.

The Lazers went out of business in 1989.  Several years later the club’s former owner, the late Dr. Jerry Buss, hired Harris to work in the front office for his NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.  Today Harris is the Chief Operating Officer of the Lakers.

 

 

==Downloads==

April 28, 1985 Baltimore Blast Roster

April 28, 1985 Los Angeles Lazers Roster

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

###

 

Written by andycrossley

February 27th, 2014 at 12:26 am

November 5, 1982 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Phoenix Inferno

one comment

Los Angeles Lazers vs. Phoenix Inferno
November 5, 1982
The Forum
Attendance: 6,836

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
48 pages

 

The four-year old Major Indoor Soccer League debuted in Los Angeles on this night in early November 1982.  Dr. Jerry Buss’ expansion Los Angeles Lazers club shared the familiar Purple & Gold color scheme of his L.A. NBA and NHL franchises.  Unfortunately, the Lazers acquitted themselves much more like the Kings than the Showtime Lakers during their seven season run.

The Lazers raced out to a 4-0 lead over the visiting Phoenix Inferno on goals by Poli Garcia, Don Tobin and a brace from Emilio Romero.  Garcia went on to become the Lazers’ all-time leading scorer.  Tobin went on to have the most remarkable hair in the league.  It was a thrilling introduction to the fast-paced sport of indoor soccer for the 6,836 on hand at the Forum.

The Lazers’ early scoring flurry was also a dose of false advertising by a team that would turn out to be the MISL’s worst.  The Lazers went on to lose their first nine matches 1982 and finished their inaugural season with a grim 8-40 record.  Buss’ club would place last in its division four times in seven years of existence.

In typical Lazers fashion, the team gave away the lead in the second half.  Down 5-4, Phoenix pulled goalkeeper Blagoje Tamindzic for an extra attacker with 1:38 remaining in regulation.  (One of many strategies that indoor soccer lifted from ice hockey).  30 seconds later Damir Sutevski pumped a shot past the Lazers’ Gary Allison to knot the score at 5-5.  Eight minutes into sudden death overtime, Sutevski struck again to hand the Inferno a 6-5 victory.

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

Phoenix Inferno Home Page

###

 

 

Written by andycrossley

February 15th, 2014 at 1:42 pm