Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘ASL 1933-1983’ tag

1975 Pittsburgh Miners

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American Soccer League (1975)

Born: January 16, 1975 – ASL expansion franchise.
Folded: Postseason 1975.

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owner: William Renton

 

The Pittsburgh Miners were a 2nd Division soccer club that competed in the American Soccer League in the summer of 1975.  The club had a miserable season, winning just one of 20 matches (1-16-3).  Coal executive William Renton of Cleveland owned the Miners.

The Miners’ roster was composed entirely of American players.  Among the best was Pennsylvania native and Pitt grad Joe Luxbacher, the Miners’ leading scorer with six goals.  He would later play for the Pittsburgh Spirit of the Major Indoor Soccer League, before becoming head coach at his alma mater in 1984.  As of 2014, Luxbacher has coached the University of Pittsburgh soccer team for 31 seasons.

Miners home games were originally scheduled at Martorelli Stadium at North Hills High School.  Midway through the season, the club shifted to a field in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  The team folded quietly at the end of the 1975 season.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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1982 Georgia Generals

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American Soccer League (1982)

Born: 1982 – The Cleveland Cobras relocate to Atlanta, Georgia.
Folded: Postseason 1982.

Stadium: DeKalb Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Walt Russell

 

The Georgia Generals were a One-Year Wonder in the 2nd Division American Soccer League, playing just one season in the summer of 1982.   The Generals played in the Atlanta suburb of DeKalb.  Prior to arriving in Georgia, the franchise operated in Ohio as the Cleveland Cobras (1974-1981).

The Generals were a decidedly minor league operation which sought to fill the pro soccer void in the market after the big budget, Ted Turner-owned Atlanta Chiefs (1979-1981) of the North American Soccer League went out of business in September 1981.  Former Chiefs manager David Chadwick hired on as head coach of the Generals and the roster featured several other Chiefs’ refugees, including starting goalkeeper Graham Tutt.

Brazilian minor league warhorse Jose Neto was the club’s leading scorer with 15 goals.

The Generals finished with a respectable 12-9-4 record, good for third place in the seven-team ASL.  They received a bye in the first round of the playoffs when their schedule opponents, the Pennsylvania Stoners, were too financially unstable to take part in the postseason.  In the semi-finals, the eventual champion Detroit Express eliminated the Generals in a two-game series.

Owner Walt Russell ran out of money near the end of the season, making the Generals continued existence a week-to-week proposition.  The club folded quietly after the 1982 season.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

February 28th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

July 17, 1982 – Detroit Express vs. Rochester Flash

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Detroit Express vs. Rochester Flash
July 17, 1982
The Pontiac Silverdome
Attendance: ?

American Soccer League Programs
28 pages

 

The Detroit Express were the finest club in the shaky 2nd Division American Soccer League (1933-1983) in the summer of 1982.   The ASL was on the verge of collapse in 1982, with just seven clubs scattered around the country, including two poorly organized Deep South expansion teams in Nashville and suburban Atlanta.

The Express were kind of an anomaly in the league – a club whose ownership had split into two groups, one of which more or less self-relegated from the higher cost, equally troubled North American Soccer League in the spring of 1981.  But in a league where many teams played at high school and small college football stadiums, the ASL Express still retained a few trappings of the club’s late 1970’s 1st Division glory days in the NASL.  Most notably, playing home games in the gigantic 80,000 seat Pontiac Silverdome, which hosted America’s greatest sporting spectacle, Super Bowl XVI, just seven months before this match was played.

The Express had the best record in the ASL in 1982, with a 19-5-4 record.  Goalkeeper Tad Delorm, a mainstay for the Express from 1981 to 1983, was the top goalkeeper in the league, playing 27 of 28 matches and posting a league-best 1.24 goals against average.  Delorm is pictured on the cover of the evening’s tabloid newspaper-style match program (above right).

At the end of the season, the Express won the league championship over the Oklahoma City Slickers.  More than 30,000 fans showed up for the deciding match, fueled by a ticket giveaway at local auto dealers.

 

==Downloads==

July 17, 1982 Detroit Express Roster

July 17, 1982 Rochester Flash Roster

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Written by andycrossley

September 29th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

1973-1979 New York Apollo

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American Soccer League (1973-1979)

Born: 1973 – The New York Greeks re-brand as New York Apollo.
Died: 1980 – Re-branded as New York United.

Stadium: Hofstra Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

New York Apollo were a 2nd Division pro soccer club in the American Soccer League that languished in the shadow of the far more popular New York Cosmos of the NASL during the mid-to-late 1970’s.  Apollo played at Hofstra Stadium on Long Island, where the Cosmos had their own modest beginnings earlier in the decade, before signing Pele and moving on to grander venues like Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium.

Apollo was a powerhouse within the obscure ranks of the 2nd division.  The club appeared in five American Soccer League championship games between 1973 and 1979.  They won league titles outright in 1973 and 1978 and were declared co-champions with the Boston/Worcester Astros in 1975, after their championship match remained unresolved through nine overtime periods.

Prior to the 1980 season, the club re-branded itself as New York United and tried to go big time, moving to Shea Stadium in Queens and signing English star Rodney Marsh as Head Coach.  The move failed, with crowds at Shea often numbering less than 1,000 spectators and the club formerly known as New York Apollo folded for good after the 1981 season.

Long-time NBC, USA Network and MSG Network broadcaster Al Trautwig got his start calling Apollo games on the radio on WBAU 640 AM.

Thank you to former Apollo broadcaster and PR manager Howard Freshman for contributing the memorabilia and images for this entry.

 

==Downloads==

1979 American Soccer League All-Star Game Program @ Hofstra Stadium

 

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

July 3rd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

1981 New England Sharks

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American Soccer League (1981)

Born: 1981 – ASL expansion franchise.
Died: August 4, 1981 – The Sharks fold in midseason.

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owners: George Patrick Duffy & Charles Tapalian

 

The New England Sharks were an obscure American Soccer League (1933-1983) club that folded midway through their only season of existence in the summer of 1981.  The Sharks started out in New Bedford, Massachusetts but moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island in midseason in a cost-saving move.

Sharks co-owner George Patrick Duffy was a long-time youth sports organized in Pawtucket and was previously involved in the ASL as operator of the Rhode Island Oceaneers franchise in the mid-1970’s.  Co-owner Charles Tapalian was a Providence-area property developer.

The Sharks ran out of money and shutdown after seventeen matches at the beginning of August.  The club’s record was 4-13 at the time.  The ASL decided to award 1-0 forfeit victories to the remaining seven opponents on the Sharks’ schedule, so their final record appears as 4-24 in the league’s final standings for the 1981 season.

The Sharks averaged 1,440 fans per match during their abbreviated season, according toThe Associated Press.

 

==1981 New England Sharks Game Results==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
7/3/1981 @ Cleveland Cobras W 3-2

 

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

 

==Additional Sources==

“NE Sharks soccer team disbands”, The Associated Press via The North Adams (MA) Transcript, August 5, 1981

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