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

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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1991-1992 New York/New Jersey Knights

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World League of American Football (1991-1992)

Born: 1990 – WLAF founding franchise
Folded: September 1992

Stadium: Giants Stadium (76,000)

Team Colors: Black, Silver & Gold

Owner: Robert F.X. Sillerman

 

The New York/New Jersey Knights were a short-lived franchise in the NFL’s early 1990’s developmental league, the World League of American Football.  Largely forgotten today, the Knights at least deserve some modest credit for their earnest-yet-ungainly attempt to resolve the cross-border identity crisis of Giants Stadium and the Meadowlands.

Run & Shoot offense innovator Mouse Davis was the Knights’ head coach for both seasons of play, although the offense – helmed variously by Jeff Graham, Doug Pederson and Reggie Slack – never put up the kind of record-shattering, pinball machine numbers that Davis’ Houston Gamblers and Denver Gold offenses did in the United States Football League.

The Knights went 5-5 in their first season and advanced to the 1991 WLAF playoffs, where they lost to the eventual champion London Monarchs.  The following season the Knights improved to 6-4, but missed the postseason.

In September 1992 the NFL pulled the plug to the World League after only two seasons of play.  Although the European teams proved popular, the weak television ratings and limited box office appeal of the American clubs hurt the league.  The Knights were the best draw among the American teams, averaging over 30,000 fans per game in 1991.

 

==New York-New Jersey Knights Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1991

1991 3/24/1991 @ Barcelona Dragons L 19-7 Video
1991 3/31/1991 @ London Monarchs L 22-18 Program
1991 4/6/1991 vs. Frankfurt Galaxy L 27-17 Program
1991 4/22/1991 vs. Sacramento Surge W 28-20 Program
1991 4/27/1991 vs. Orlando Thunder  W 42-6 Video
1991 5/20/1991 @ Birmingham Fire L 24-14 Program Video
1991 6/2/1991 vs. London Monarchs L 42-26 Program

1992

1992 4/4/1992 vs. San Antonio Riders L 9-3 Video
1992 4/12/1992 @ Orlando Thunder  L 39-21 Video
1992 5/3/1992 vs. London Monarchs W 41-13 Program
1992 5/16/1992 vs. Barcelona Dragons W 47-0 Video

 

 

==YouTube==

The Knights host the San Antonio Riders at Giants Stadium on April 4, 1992

 

==Links==

WLAF/NFL Europe Media Guides

WLAF/NFL Europe Programs

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