Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1979 Las Vegas Seagulls

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Las Vegas Seagulls ProgramAmerican Soccer League (1979)

Born: 1978 – ASL expansion franchise.
Folded: Postseason 1979

Stadium: Las Vegas Silver Bowl

Team Colors:

Owner:

ASL Championships: None

 

The Las Vegas Seagulls were a 2nd Division pro soccer club that lasted just one season in the American Soccer League in the summer of 1979.

The team was troubled from the start, firing head coach Orlando DiNitto just two games into the 1979 season. The Seagulls’ roster was heavy on Argentinean imports. One of the Argentines, midfielder Raul Carrizo, took over for DiNitto and guided the Gulls through the remainder of a grim campaign as player-coach.  The Seagulls finished in last place in the ASL’s Western Conference with a 7-18-3 record.

The Seagulls went the way of the passenger pigeon at the end of the 1979 season.  Other attempts to establish pro soccer in Vegas during this era met with equally swift deaths.  The Las Vegas Quicksilvers lasted but a single season in the North American Soccer League in 1977.  Like the Seagulls, the Quicksilvers played in the broiling hot Silver Bowl.  The Las Vegas Americans set up shop at the Thomas & Mack Center in the Major Indoor Soccer League in the winter of 1984-85 but went bankrupt after one season.

 

==Las Vegas Seagulls Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1979  7/21/1979 @ Los Angeles Skyhawks ?? Program

 

==In Memoriam==

Seagulls forward Victor Arbelaez remained in Las Vegas and coached at Bishop Gorman high school for 22 seasons. He collapsed and died during a Bishop Gorman practice in October 2007 at age 54. Las Vegas Sun obituary.

 

 ==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

July 15th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

1990-2001 Detroit Rockers

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Pato Margetic Detroit RockersNational Professional Soccer League (1990-2001)

Born: October 1989 – NPSL expansion franchise.
Folded: Postseason 2001

Arenas:

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

The Detroit Rockers were an indoor soccer team that earned a modest following in the Motor City during the 1990’s.  The Rockers won the championship of the National Professional Soccer League during their second season in the winter of 1991-92.  But for most part the Rockers were also-rans, failing to make the playoffs during their final six seasons of existence.

Key performers included forward Andy Chapman (1991-1994), player-coach Pato Margetic (1994-1999), forward Drago Dumbovic, and long-time goalkeeper Bryan Finnerty.

From 1993 until 1999 the Rockers were owned by Detroit Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian. During this same period, Detroit had a competing indoor team, the Detroit Neon, owned by Pistons owner William Davidson.  But by the late 1990’s, heavy hitter investors like Ilitch and Davidson soured on indoor soccer.  The Neon folded in 1997 and Ilitch sold off the Rockers in 1999.

In a cost-cutting move, the team moved to a small suburban arena in suburban Plymouth Township in 2000. The Rockers folded quietly the following year.

 

==Slideshow==

 

 

==Detroit Rockers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1993-94

1993-94 3/26/1994 @ Buffalo Blizzard L 12-8 Program

1995-96

1995-96 12/17/1995 vs. St. Louis Ambush W 22-13 Program

2000-01

2000-01 1/19/2001 vs. Baltimore Blast W 14-10 Program

 

==YouTube==

1999-00 Detroit Rockers promotional video.

 

==Links==

National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

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June 19, 1968 – Baltimore Bays vs. Atlanta Chiefs

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Baltimore Bays 5th DimensionBaltimore Bays vs. Atlanta Chiefs
Post-game concert: The 5th Dimension
June 19, 1968
Memorial Stadium
Attendance:

North American Soccer League Programs
28 Pages

 

This was a cool e-Bay find this week…

A Baltimore Bays program from the first season of the original North American Soccer League back in 1968.  The General Manager of the Bays at the time was the master soccer promoter Clive Toye, the man who would bring Pele to play in America in 1975. Toye was a journalist before becoming an front office exec and understood the value of a good promotion.

In this case, it was a post-game concert at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium by The 5th Dimension, a mellow pop/soul quintet best remembered for their 1969 smash “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” (i.e. the song covered by the cast during the closing credits of The 40-Year Old Virgin).   Toye and Co. seeded interest in the concert with a “Date Night” promotion at a Bays game two weeks earlier: Males paid full price, but their dates got 50-cent tickets and the first 500 couples received a 45 RPM record of The 5th Dimension’s late single “Stoned Soul Picnic”.

The Bays beat the Atlanta Chiefs 2-0. The announced gathering of 10,000 for the game & concert was the Bays’ largest home crowd of the season, according to soccerstats.us.

 

==YouTube==

==Downloads==

June 19, 1968 Atlanta Chiefs Roster

 

==Links==

Baltimore Bays Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

July 14th, 2015 at 10:08 pm

1990 Oklahoma City Twisters

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Oklahoma City Twisters Program Minor League Football System (1990)

Born: May 1990 – The St. Louis Gamblers relocate to Oklahoma City.
Folded: 1991

Stadium: Robert Kalsu Stadium (5,500)

Team Colors:

Owner: Ed Watkins

 

The Oklahoma City Twisters were a one-year entry in the Minor League Football System (1989-1990), an ambitious if rather ramshackle attempt to form a nationwide feeder league for the NFL.  Twisters owner Ed Watkins was one of the league’s founders.

The Twisters hired former Detroit Lions head coach (1985-1988) Darryl Rogers as Head Coach and General Manager.  (Rogers would leave midway through the 1990 season). Rogers used his connections to put together an intriguing roster for what amounted to a semi-pro football team.  Former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions quarterback Rusty Hilger started the Twisters’ first game before returning to the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.  Defensive lineman Ben Rudolph played five seasons with the New York Jets from 1981 to 1986.  Former OU running back Rod Pegues, a backfield mate of Herschel Walker with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, was in camp with Twisters, although it’s not cleared if he made the team.

The Twisters finished their only season with a 7-2 record. The Minor League Football System folded up shop following the 1990 season.

The Twisters played their home games at Robert Kalsu Stadium in Del City.  The 5,500-seat high school field was named in honor of Oklahoma City native Bob Kalsu, who died in action in South Vietnam in 1970. Kalsu, who played one season with the Buffalo Bills in 1968, was one of two NFL/AFL to perish in the Vietnam War.

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Written by andycrossley

July 12th, 2015 at 3:26 am

2002-2005 Cleveland Force

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Cleveland Force ProgramMajor Indoor Soccer League (2002-2005)

Born: August 2002 – Re-branded from Cleveland Crunch.
Folded: Postseason 2005

Arena: CSU Convocation Center

Team Colors:

Owners: Richard Dietrich, Michael Gibbons & Paul Garofalo

 

Cleveland was long a hotbed of professional indoor soccer.  The city’s original Cleveland Force (1978-1988) was the model franchise of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), attracting huge crowds to the Richfield Coliseum in the mid-80’s.  The Force folded in 1988, but were quickly replaced by the Cleveland Crunch (1989-2002) indoor squad.

By the early 2000’s, the fortunes indoor game were in sharp decline.  The premier indoor league at the time was the National Professional Soccer League, whose membership included the Crunch.  In 2001, the NPSL re-branded itself as the Major Indoor Soccer League, in the hopes of scaring up some nostalgia for the long-defunct indoor brand of the 1980’s.

Crunch management followed suit in August 2002. The franchise dropped the Crunch identity after 13 seasons in favor of reviving the Force name and colors. Team President Paul Garofalo, a former executive with the original Force franchise of the 80’s, predicted the name change alone would increase team revenues by one million dollars annually.

Garofalo’s optimism was misplaced.  Force attendance muddled along at the 4,000 – 5,000 per game level – basically unchanged from the later years of the Crunch.  Majority owner Richard Dietrich gave up hope during the third season of the Force re-boot, announcing the club was for sale in March 2005.  With no takers, the team folded following the 2004-05 MISL season.

As far as the team on the carpet, Force 2.0 were decent.  Indoor soccer’s all-time leading scorer, Hector Marinaro, played for the Force from 2002-2004.  Marinaro was a holdover from the great Crunch indoor teams that won three championships during the 1990’s. But the Force let Marinaro go in the MISL expansion draft in the summer of 2004.

The Force made the MISL playoffs in each of their three seasons.  The final Force team made it to the 2005 MISL Championship Series where they lost in a two-game sweep to the Milwaukee Wave.  The club never played another game.

 

==YouTube==

The Force in their retro Reflex Blue & Yellow unis, on the road against the Chicago Storm. March 19th, 2005

 

==Links==

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Media Guides

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Programs

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