Born: 1967 – USA founding franchise
Folded: Postseason 1968
Team Colors: Forum Blue & Gold
Owner: Jack Kent Cooke
USA Champions: 1967
NASL Championships: None
The Los Angeles Wolves were a pro soccer club founded by Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke. The Wolves were one of twelve founding members of the United Soccer Association (USA) in 1967. The USA planned to launch in 1968, but accelerated its timetable when a rival league, the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL), announced plans to start play in 1967. The NPSL also had an L.A. franchise, the Los Angeles Toros.
Due to the hasty launch, the USA imported entire European and South American clubs to stock the rosters of its twelve franchises. The Wolves were actually Wolverhampton Wanderers of England in 1967.
The Wolves topped the USA’s Western Conference with a 5-5-2 record. On July 14th, 1967, the Wolves hosted the Washington Whips in the United Soccer Association championship game at Memorial Coliseum. A crowd of 17,824 watched the Wolves best the Whips 6-5 in sudden death overtime.
After the 1967 season, the USA merged with the rival NPSL to form the North American Soccer League (NASL). Jack Kent Cooke’s Wolves retained the Los Angeles market while their erstwhile rivals, the Toros, moved south to San Diego.
The NASL abandoned the imported team strategy, so the 1968 Wolves featured an entirely new roster and coaching staff from the previous year’s champs. The club also left the Memorial Coliseum for a new home at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The re-booted Wolves dropped to 11-13-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
The Wolves folded following the 1968 season. Pro soccer returned to Los Angeles six years later with the formation of the NASL’s Los Angeles Aztecs in 1974.
Los Angeles Wolves Memorabilia
Wolves founder Jack Kent Cooke died of cardiac arrest on April 6, 1997 at the age of 84.
1967 Wolves Manager Ronnie Allen passed away on June 9, 2001. He was 72.