Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1975-1993 Tampa Bay Rowdies

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Tampa Bay Rowdies 1975North American Soccer League (1975-1984)
American Indoor Soccer Association (1986-1987)
American Soccer League (1988-1989)
American Professional Soccer League (1990-1993)

Born: 1974 – NASL expansion franchise.
Died: January 31, 1994 – The Rowdies cease operations.

Stadiums:

  • 1975-1990: Tampa Stadium (71,000)
  • 1991-1992: USF Soccer Stadium
  • 1993: Tampa Stadium

Arenas:

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

 

 

==Tampa Bay Rowdies Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1975 5/3/1975 vs. New York Cosmos W 1-0 Program
1975 8/24/1975 Portland Timbers W 2-0 Program
1976 5/7/1976 @ Chicago Sting W 1-0 (OT) Program
1976 5/19/1976 vs. Hartford Bicentennials W 5-2 Program
1977 4/30/1977 vs. Rochester Lancers W 3-1 Program
1977 7/27/1977 @ Portland Timbers L 4-1 Program
1977 8/10/1977 @ New York Cosmos L 3-0 Program
1978 2/3/1978 vs. Washington Diplomats ?? Program
1978 4/16/1978 @ Detroit Express W 2-1 Program
1979 8/12/1979 @ Detroit Express L 2-1 Program
1979 8/25/1979 vs. Philadelphia Fury W 1-0 Video
1979 8/30/1979 @ San Diego Sockers L 2-1 Program
1979 9/8/1979 Vancouver Whitecaps L 2-1 Program
1979-80 1/22/1980 @ Detroit Express ?? Program
1979-80 2/23/1980 vs. Atlanta Chiefs W 7-3 Program
1979-80 3/2/1980 vs. Memphis Rogues W 10-4 (W 1-0 MG) Program
1980 4/20/1980  @ New York Cosmos L 4-2 Program Game Notes
1980 5/17/1980 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps W 3-2 Video
1980 6/8/1980 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 2-1 (2 OT) Program Video
1980 6/14/1980 vs. New York Cosmos W 4-3 Program
1980 9/29/1980 @ Luton Town (UK) W 1-0 Program
1980 10/8/1980 @ St. Mirren F.C. (Scotland) L 4-2 Program
1980 10/11/1980 @ Hereford United (UK) T 1-1 Program
1980 10/13/1980 @ Nottingham Forest (UK) L 7-1 Program
1981 5/16/1981 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 1-0 (SO) Program
1981 7/11/1981 @ San Diego Sockers L 4-3 (OT) Program
1981 8/26/1981 @ Vancouver Whitecaps W 1-0 Program
1981-82 2/14/1982 @ Chicago Sting  L 10-9 (OT) Program
1982 6/16/1982 vs. New York Cosmos L 2-0 Program Game Notes
1982 8/4/1982 @ Chicago Sting  L 3-1 Program
1983 5/11/1983 @ Toronto Blizzard W 3-1 Program
1983 6/1/1983 vs. Team America W 3-1 Program
1983 7/16/1983 @ Chicago Sting  L 4-1 Program
1983 8/12/1983 @ San Diego Sockers L 9-1 Program
1983-84 11/26/1983 vs. Tulsa Roughnecks L 7-6 Program
1983-84 1/28/1984 @ Chicago Sting  L 14-6 Program
1983-84 2/18/1984 @ Chicago Sting  L 4-2 Program
1984 5/13/1984 @ New York Cosmos L 1-0 Program
1984 5/26/1984 vs. New York Cosmos  W 3-2 (SO) Game Notes
1984 6/22/1984 vs. Toronto Blizzard W 1-0 Full Ticket
1984 8/12/1984 @ San Diego Sockers L 5-1 Program
1989 5/7/1989 @ New Jersey Eagles L 1-0 Program Game Notes
1990 5/6/1990  @ New Jersey Eagles  W 1-0 Program Game Notes
1990 7/26/1990 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers ?? Program
1992 8/4/1992 vs. Miami Freedom W 4-2 Program
1992 8/16/1992 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers L 2-1 Program

 

==Key Players==

  • Oscar Fabbiani
  • Rodney Marsh
  • Derek Smethurst

 

 

 

==YouTube==

 

 

 

==In Memoriam==

 

 

 ==Links==

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

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1975 Portland Thunder

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1975 Portland Thunder Media GuideWorld Football League (1975)

Born: 1975
Died: October 22, 1975 – The WFL folds in midseason.

Stadium: Civic Stadium (33,000)

Team Colors: Royal Blue, Kelly Green & White

Owner: William Tatham Sr.

 

The Portland Thunder were a doomed pro football franchise that took part in the abbreviated second season of the World Football League in the autumn of 1975.

The WFL’s debut season was an utter disaster, plagued by teams relocating and folding in midseason, bounced paychecks, epic PR blunders and an estimated $20 million in red ink.  It was somewhat surprising that a small cabal of surviving owners, led by Chris Hemmeter of The Hawaiians franchise, regrouped to stage a second season in 1975.  Even more surprising was the continued inclusion of Portland, Oregon where the WFL’s Portland Storm franchise had been one of the league’s more embarrassing efforts.  The Storm started 0-7-1 and managed to complete the season only because the players were willing to continue playing games without paychecks for the season’s final two months.  The IRS slapped a lien on the Storm and the discredited (literally) club was more or less out of business by December 1974.

World Football League Pocket SchedulesIn early 1975, Hemmeter and a few other holdovers reorganized the insolvent league as a new corporation and attempted to start over again.  A twelve-team league was put together for 1975, featuring eleven holdover cities from 1974 (plus San Antonio).  Most of the owners and investors were brand new.  Portland came back with a new identity and a new owner: Fresno-based William Tatham.   A handful of Storm players returned, despite the broken contracts and promises of the previous year.  This included 5′ 5″tailback Rufus Ferguson who led Portland in rushing during both seasons of the WFL.

But Portland had seen enough of the World Football League.  A meager 7,700 turned out at Civic Stadium for the Thunder’s regular season home opener in August 1975.  This was about half what the Storm averaged a year earlier.  In several ways, the Thunder just seemed like a chintzier knockoff of Harris’ discredited club.  Not only was the name similar, but the Thunder retained the old colors of blue and green and slapped new logo stickers on the Storm’s old helmets to save money on equipment.

By October 1975 – around the point in the season that the Storm ran into serious financial trouble the year before – the Thunder were on the verge of collapse.  The other ten WFL franchises had to take up a collection of $300,000 to keep Portland in business.  The rest of the league was in terrible shape as well and two weeks later the owners decided to cut their losses.  The World Football League shutdown on October 22, 1975 without managing to complete its second season of play.  The Thunder finished their only campaign with a 4-7 record.

Pro football returned to Portland and Civic Stadium a decade later with the arrival of the Portland Breakers of the United States Football League.  For local football fans, it was deja vu all over again.  The Head Coach of the Breakers was Dick Coury, the same man who coached the Storm in 1974.  And like Portland’s previous entries in the WFL, the Portland Breakers lasted only one season and left town owing unpaid wages to their players and debts to local businesses.

Portland Thunder owner William Tatham also got involved with the United States Football League in the 1980′s.  Tatham and his son owned the USFL’s Oklahoma/Arizona Outlaws in 1984 and 1985.

 

==1975 Portland Thunder Results==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
7/12/1975  @ Birmingham Vulcans (Exh.)  L 25-9
7/27/1975 vs. Philadelphia Bell (Exh.) L 30-21
8/3/1975 @ Southern California Sun L 21-15
8/9/1975 vs. The Hawaiians L 25-24
8/16/1975 @ Chicago Winds L 25-18 Program
8/23/1975 vs. Shreveport Steamer W 33-24
8/30/1975 @ San Antonio Wings L 22-0 Program Roster
9/6/1975 vs. Birmingham Vulcans  L 26-8
9/13/1975 @ Philadelphia Bell W 25-10
9/21/1975 vs. Memphis Southmen L 16-3
10/4/1975 @ Jacksonville Express L 32-29 Program
10/12/1975 vs. San Antonio Wings W 28-25
10/19/1975 vs. Jacksonville Express W 30-13 Program Roster

 

==Downloads==

1975 World Football League Standard Player Contract

 

==Links==

1975 Portland Thunder statistics on JustSportsStats.com

World Football League Media Guides

World Football League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

May 25th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

2007-2008 New England Surge

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New England SurgeContinental Indoor Football League (2007-2008)

Born: November 21, 2006 - CIFL expansion franchise.
Died:
Spring 2009 – The Surge cease operations.

Arena: The DCU Center

Team Colors:

Owner: Roy Lucas, Jr., et al.

 

The New England Surge was a quixotic indoor football venture in the ramshackle Continental Indoor Football League.  Team founder (and General Manager and Head Coach) Roy Lucas Jr. was a strength and conditioning trainer without any personal wealth or pro sports experience who started the franchise with the assistance of a Football For Dummies paperback.

Lucas set up shop in Worcester, Massachusetts at the DCU Center, formerly known as the Worcester Centrum.  The building was something of a graveyard for minor league sports going back to the mid 1980′s, with series of failed promotions in pro basketball, box lacrosse and ice hockey.  The casualties also included a previous indoor football attempt, the Massachusetts Marauders of the Arena Football League, in 1994.

The Surge’s home debut on April 14th, 2007 drew a respectable announced crowd of 4,724 (video below).  Nevertheless, the team’s expenses vastly outpaced weak revenues and by the end of the Surge’s second season in 2008, the club was nearly $600,000 in the red, according to The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and up to its eyeballs in liens and small claims cases.  The club folded before a third season could be launched, amidst squabbling between founder Roy Lucas and his minority shareholders, none of whom had any real money.

Notable Surge players included former New England Patriots running back Harold Shaw and Tyler Grogan, son of long-time Pats QB Steve Grogan.

The Surge’s mascot was a leopard named Surgeo, which was somewhat clever.

 

==YouTube==

Highlight’s of the Surge’s first home game, a 61-6 victory over the New York/New Jersey Revolution at the DCU Center on April 14, 2007.

 

==Links==

The Decline and Fall of the New England Surge“, Shaun Sutner and Dave Nordman, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 12, 2009

 

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Written by andycrossley

May 25th, 2014 at 2:12 pm

1984 New York Nationals

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United Soccer League (1984)

Born: 1984 – USL founding franchise.
Died: Postseason 1984 – The Nationals cease operations.

Stadium: Hofstra Stadium (10,000)

Team Colors: Red, White & Blue

Owner: Kostas Georgiadis

 

The New York Nationals were a very short-lived Long Island-based entry in the lower division United Soccer League (1984-1985).  The team existed for only one season in the summer of 1984.

The USL was a successor league to the hardscrabble American Soccer League (1933-1983).  Throughout the 1970′s and early 1980′s the ASL served as the de facto 2nd division of American pro soccer, while the North American Soccer League (1968-1984) represented the top tier of the sport.  After 50 years of play, the ASL finally fell apart in early 1984.  A quartet of ASL survivors joined five new franchises to form the nine-team USL in the spring of 1984.

The Nationals were one of the new clubs.  They set up shop at Hofstra University on Long Island, which was previously home to the early (pre-Pele) days of the NASL’s New York Cosmos in the early 1970′s and to the American Soccer League’s New York Apollo in the late 1970′s.

American soccer cultists would recognize a couple of young players on the squad who earned some prominence in the sport.  22-year old Long Island native Michael Collins was a veteran of the New York Arrows indoor team and went on to play nearly 20 seasons, mostly indoors.  23-year old forward Jim Gabarra also enjoyed a long indoor career and became a well-regarded women’s coach in the 2000′s with the WUSA and Women’s Professional Soccer.

The top executives of the Nationals were mostly Greek-Americans and so were many of the club’s players.  The Nationals started fast, racing out to a 5-0 record.   But one month into the season, Head Coach Jim McGeough resigned and top players like Collins and Gabarra disappeared from the roster.  The Nationals began carrying a smaller roster, which was populated largely by less experienced Greek-American players from New York.  The club slumped badly the rest of the way under McGeough’s former assistant Kyriakos Fitilis and finished 10-14 and out of the playoff hunt.

The Nationals folded shortly after the 1984 season.  The rest of the United Soccer League followed suit in 1985, failing to complete its second season of play.

 

==1984 New York Nationals Results==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
5/20/1984 @ Rochester Flash ??
???? Game Two
???? Game Three
6/8/1984 vs. Buffalo Storm ?? Program Roster
6/12/1984 vs. Rochester Flash W 3-1 Program Roster
6/15/1984 vs. Oklahoma City Stampede ?? Program Game Notes
6/17/1984 @ Houston Dynamos ??
6/22/1984 @ Oklahoma City Stampede ??
6/23/1984 @ Dallas Americans ??
6/26/1984 vs. Houston Dynamos ?? Program Roster
6/30/1984 @ Buffalo Storm ??
7/6/1984 vs. Rochester Flash ??
7/10/1984 vs. Dallas Americans ??
7/11/1984 @ Buffalo Storm ??
7/13/1984 vs. Charlotte Gold ??
7/14/1984 @ Fort Lauderdale Sun L 2-0
7/17/1984 @ Jacksonville Tea Men ??
7/20/1984 @ Charlotte Gold ??
7/21/1984 vs. Rochester Flash L 4-1
7/25/1984 @ Rochester Flash ??
8/7/1984 vs. Buffalo Storm ??
8/8/1984 @ Rochester Flash ??
8/12/1984 @ Buffalo Storm L 3-1
8/17/1984 vs. Buffalo Storm ??

 

==Links==

United Soccer League Media Guides

United Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

February 13th, 2014 at 1:55 am