Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘East Rutherford NJ’ tag

April 20, 1996 – New York-New Jersey MetroStars vs. New England Revolution

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Tony Meola MetroStarsNew York-New Jersey MetroStars vs. New England Revolution
April 20, 1996
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 46,826

Major League Soccer Programs
54 Pages (Tabloid newsprint)

 

Nice find at the bottom of a box sent over by a former New York sportswriter late last year.  This oversize tabloid-style program is from the inaugural home game of the old New York MetroStars of Major League Soccer back in April 1996.  (The MetroStars are the ancestors of today’s New York Red Bulls).  U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola shouts from the cover.

There was a big crowd on hand for the first pro soccer game at Giants Stadium since the demise of the New York Cosmos in 1985.  In fact, 62-year old Eddie Firmani, the man who coached the Cosmos to two Soccer Bowl titles in the 1970’s and helmed the club’s final NASL game at the Meadowlands in September 1984, was behind the bench for the Metros.

Firmani’s fleeting cameo – he would be the first MLS coach to resign/get fired, lasting just eight matches – was the closest any of the North Jersey old-timers would come to mistaking the Metros for the powerhouse Cosmos of old.  Twenty years on, the Metros-turned-Red Bulls have never won a game of any consequence.  And the club’s more mystically-inclined diehards apportion some of the blame for those decades of futility squarely back here on the night of April 20th, 1996. The evening that a 33-year old Italian defender brought the “Curse of Caricola” down upon the MetroStars/Red Bulls franchise in the very first home game.

I’d explain the doomed sequence here, but why bother when we have this video…

 

==YouTube==

The Curse of Caricola grabs hold of the MetroStars…

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Written by AC

January 31st, 2015 at 1:05 am

2001-2002 New Jersey Gladiators

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Arena Football League (2001-2002)New Jersey Gladiators

Born: 2001 – The New Jersey Red Dogs are re-branded as the Gladiators.
Moved: December 20, 2002 (Las Vegas Gladiators)

Arena: Continental Airlines Arena (19,040)

Team Colors: Black, Red & Gray

Owner: Jim Ferraro

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

A pretty much forgotten Arena Football League entry that briefly made its home at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford at the turn of the century.  The franchise was actually formed back in 1997 as the New Jersey Red Dogs, who took their name and logo from a title sponsorship with Miller Brewing’s briefly prominent Red Dog beer brand.

By the end of the 2000 season, the Red Dogs’ original ownership group (which included former Giants Carl Banks, Jim Burt, Harry Carson and Joe Morris) was ready to move on and the team passed into the hands of Miami attorney Jim Ferraro.  The beer sponsorship seemingly ended at this time as well, since Ferraro quickly re-branded the team as the “Gladiators” for the 2001 season.

The new-look Gladiators got off to a grim start when only 3,542 showed up for the first home game of the 2001 season, a listless 52-21 loss to the Carolina Cobras.  The team finished the 2001 season in last place with a 2-12 record and average attendance of 3,312, which was barely a third of the Arena Football League average of 9,188.

New head coach Frank Haege led a turn around on the carpet in 2002 (9-5 record and a playoff appearance). But the team’s improved play failed to translate at the box office and the Gladiators bolted town for Las Vegas in December 2002.

Ex-New York Jets quarterback Glenn Foley signed with the Gladiators in 2002 but failed to best journeyman minor leaguer Jay McDonagh for the starting job and spent the season on the bench.

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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August 8, 2004 – MetroStars vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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Eddie Gaven New York MetroStarsMetroStars vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
August 8, 2004
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 14,687

Major League Soccer Programs
72 Pages

 

Clash of Major League Soccer’s Eastern and Western Conference leaders at Giants Stadium in early August 2004.

It seemed like this might finally be the breakout year for the MetroStars, who had never won any type of hardware in MLS’ first decade.  Some supporters of MLS’ hapless New York club even believed the team was the victim of “The Curse of Caricola“, dating back to a crushing own-goal defeat in the Metros’ inaugural match back in 1996.

But the 2004 team had talent and carried a four-game undefeated streak into the All-Star Break at the end of July.  17-year old Eddie Gaven, pictured on the day’s FREEKICK match program (above right) became the youngest All-Star Game starter in MLS history a week earlier.  He was joined on the Eastern Conference squad by defender Eddie Pope and Honduran midfielder Amado Guevara.  All three would later be named to MLS’ Best XI for the 2004 season and Guevara would be selected as league MVP.  The Metros also owned the powerful Los Angeles Galaxy club that summer, outscoring the Angelenos 5-1 in two earlier victories in June.

Looking back, the Metros’ 2004 season crested on this match.  It was a violent engagement, with five yellow cards and a red (to L.A.’s Chris Albright in the 68th) and another one-sided MetroStars victory.  Guevara opened the scoring on a penalty in the 36th minute, and Gaven beat Galaxy keeper Kevin Hartman in the 61st to break the game open.  The Metros went on to win 3-0.

After this afternoon, the Metros returned to form.  They were winless for the remainder of August and 2-6-2 for the rest of the regular season en route to a 3rd place finish in the Eastern Conference.  Eventual MLS Cup champion D.C. United routed the Metros 4-0 on aggregate in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.

The MetroStars brand lasted one more season (ill-fated, of course) before Red Bull purchased and re-branded the club in 2006.  Gaven also stayed  just one more season in New York.  He was traded to Columbus before the 2006 season and enjoyed a long and solid career with the Crew (2006-2013), but never again was named to the MLS Best XI as he was in 2004 as a 17-year old teenager.

 

==Links==

Eddie Gaven, The Oddest Goalkeeper in MLS History, Retires“, Barry Petchesky, Deadspin, October 13, 2013

 

==Downloads==

August 8, 2004 MetroStars-Galaxy Roster Card

August 8, 2004 Los Angeles Galaxy Game Notes

August 8, 2004 MetroStars Game Notes

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Written by AC

January 8th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

July 6, 1983 – New York Cosmos vs. Team America

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Laurie Abrahams Tulsa RoughnecksNew York Cosmos vs. Team America
July 6, 1983
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 35,228

North American Soccer League Programs
88 Pages

 

A patriotic soccer double-header at the Meadowlands on this July evening in 1983.  A Pan American Games qualifier between the United States and Canada opened the show at 6:30 PM, followed by a North American Soccer League match between the New York Cosmos and Team America.  Team America was a new side in the NASL, the so-called “National Team in Training” of the United States, which was disastrously inserted as a privately-owned club team into the league’s 1983 schedule.

The amateurs took the field first with the sun still lingering over Giants Stadium.  This two-leg series against Canada was the final Pan-Am Games qualifier for Manfred Schellscheidt’s United States team.  Only one of the two CONCACAF members would advance to the Games in Venezuela at the end of August.  They fought to a draw on this night, with each side tallying early in the first half and then holding on for a 1-1 tie.  The U.S. would best Canada four nights later at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario to earn the qualification.

Julio Cesar Romero New York CosmosIn the nightcap, the Cosmos ran roughshod over Alkis Panagoulias’ ramshackle collection of young American pros and Green Card recipients.  Paraguayan midfield magician Julio Cesar Romero ran the show, scoring one goal and setting up three others.  The Cosmos won 4-0, despite losing the NASL’s all-time leading scorer, Giorgio Chinaglia, to a severe hamstring pull early in the 2nd half.

An interesting moment occurred late in the match when Team America’s 21-year old captain Jeff Durgan knocked down New York’s Rick Davis, drawing a yellow card.  Durgan was one of three players under contract to the Cosmos who were selected to play for Team America in 1983, along with Boris Bandov and Chico Borja.  Davis was also chosen for Team America, but refused the assignment, opting to remain with the Cosmos.  Team America’s demoralizing performance in the NASL was partially blamed on the refusal of a handful of the league’s young American stars, including Davis and Mark Peterson of the Seattle Sounders, to leave their clubs and join Team America.

The failure to procure the actual best American players to play for Team America ultimately helped to doom the team  After a grim 10-20 record and big financial losses playing out of a home base at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., the Team American experiment was euthanized a few days after the NASL regular season ended in September 1983.

Laurie Abrahams of the Tulsa Roughnecks was pictured on the cover of the evening’s KICK game program (above right).

 

==Cosmos vs. Team America Downloads==

July 6, 1983 New York Cosmos Game Notes

July 6, 1983 Team America Game Notes

 

==United States vs. Canada Downloads==

July 6, 1983 United States Soccer Federation USA vs. Canada Fact Sheet

July 6, 1983 United States Pan American Team Roster

July 6, 1983 Canada Pan American Team Roster

July 6, 1983 United States Player Bios

 

==Links==

New York Cosmos Home Page

Team America Home Page

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1971-1985 New York Cosmos

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New York Cosmos YearbookNorth American Soccer League (1971-1984)
Major Indoor Soccer League (1984-1985)

Born: December 10, 1970 – NASL expansion franchise.
Folded: Summer 1985.

Stadiums:

Arenas:

Team Colors:

  • 1974: Green, Yellow & Blue
  • 1977: Green & White

Owners:

  • 1971-1984: Warner Communications (Steve Ross, et al.)
  • 1984-1985: Giorgio Chinaglia, et al.

Soccer Bowl Champions: 1977, 1978, 1980 & 1982

 

Text coming soon…

 

 

New York Cosmos Memorabilia

 

 

New York Cosmos Video

Trailer for Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

 

 

In Memoriam

Former Cosmos head coach Hennes Weisweiler, who managed the club from 1980-1982, passed away on July 5, 1983.  He was 63.

Cosmos founder/owner & Warner Communications CEO Steve Ross passed away on December 20, 1992 from prostate cancer at 65.

Julio Mazzei, who helped bring Pele to America in 1975 and later coached the Cosmos in the 1980’s, died on May 10, 2009 at age 78.

Ex-Cosmos player/owner Giorgio Chinaglia, the NASL’s all-time leading scorer, died on April 1, 2012 at age 65.

 

 

==Downloads==

1973 New York Cosmos Season Ticket Brochure

June 1978 New York Cosmos Travel Itinerary – Minnesota

March 25, 1979 Cosmos vs. Estudiantes Tecos Game Program

June 11, 1979 – Cosmos Sign Dutch Star Johan Neeskens Press Release

August 31, 1980 – Pele to Don #10 Again in Beckenbauer Farewell Press Release

1982 New York Cosmos Soccer Bowl Press Kit

November 20, 1983 Cosmos Sign Dan Canter Press Release

 

Links

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

Major Indoor Soccer League Media Guides

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

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