Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Giorgio Chinaglia’ tag

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.



Team Colors:

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


  • 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.




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



North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

Major Indoor Soccer League Media Guides

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs



June 1, 1980 – Washington Diplomats vs. New York Cosmos

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Washington Diplomats vs. New York Cosmos
June 1, 1980
RFK Stadium
Attendance: 53,351

North American Soccer League Programs
90 pages


This 1980 North American Soccer League match had it all.  A collision of the league’s greatest international superstars: Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia of the New York Cosmos versus Dutch legend Johan Cruyff and his Washington Diplomats.  A national television audience on ABC Sports with Jim McKay handling the play-by-play and Verne Lundquist on the sidelines.  A showcase of the league’s unique “Shootout” tiebreaker procedure.  Physical assaults on match officials.  And a rabid crowd of 53,351 fans, which The Washington Post’s Dave Kindred claimed was the 2nd largest American soccer crowd of all time outside of New York City and its environs.

The Dips took a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of a Bob Iarusci penalty kick.  They looked to have a two-goal margin later in the half when Cruyff headed in a corner for his first goal in a Dips uniform, but the goal was disallowed for a foul.  Cruyff would leave at halftime with a muscle strain (though that wouldn’t keep the Dutchman from getting ejected in the second half, after arguing the Dips’ second nullified goal of the match).

Chinaglia tied things up at the 55:41 mark, scoring the 500th goal of his club career.  Washington’s Alan Green appeared to have the game winner with less than five minutes remaining, a but a controversial foul on Ken Mokgojoa wiped this goal out too.  A shirtless man charged onto the field and knocked down linesman Gordon Arrowsmith.  Some observers assumed it was a fan, but no, it was Washington’s Joe Horvath who’d subbed out just a few minutes earlier.  Just as Arrowsmith got back to his feet, a rock from the RFK stands clonked him above the eye and send him back to the turf, and then on to the medical tent.  Horvath was later suspended two games.

After  a scoreless 15-minute overtime period, the match went to a Shootout (see the second YouTube clip below).  Cosmos goalkeeper Hubert Birkenmeier was heroic, saving four shots despite a useless left arm that he’d injured during overtime.  The Cosmos, meanwhile, couldn’t pull the ball on frame, missing three shots, while Dips ‘keeper Bill Irwin saved a fourth.  Finally, Cosmos midfielder Vladislav Bogicevic sank the game winner on New York’s fifth and final attempt.  Birkenmeier then stonewalled Iarusci on Washington’s final attempt to close out the victory. 

The Dips took advantage of the historic crowd to promote ticket sales for Soccer Bowl ’80.  The NASL’s championship game was scheduled for RFK Stadium on September 21st.  That match drew another big crowd – 50,768 – despite the fact that the Dips didn’t make it to the final.

For the 1980 season, the Dips attendance increased 61% to a franchise-record 19,205 spectators per match, which was 6th best in the 24-team NASL.  The presence of Johan Cruyff was a huge boost.  But the growth wasn’t enough for Madison Square Garden Corp. and its Chairman Sonny Werblin who bought the team just two years earlier in October 1978.  MSG lost a rumored $5 million on the Dips in 1979 and 1980 and folded the club in November 1980.  The Dips were a revived a few months later when the NASL’s Detroit Express moved to the nation’s capital and took on the old Dips identity, but the Express owners didn’t have anything close to the resources of Madison Square Garden to bring in top talent or promote the team.  The “new” Dips lasted just one season and folded in the fall of 1981.

The day’s KICK Magazine game program (top right) pictured the NASL’s elite Goal Scorers: Chinaglia, Karl-Heinz Granitza of the Chicago Sting and Oscar Fabbiani of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.



Two video clips from the match, including the decisive shootout…





May 27, 1980 – “Diplomats to Face New York Cosmos in National TV Game This Sunday” press release

June 1, 1980 Washington Diplomats vs. New York Cosmos Game Notes

June 1, 1980 New York Cosmos at Washington Diplomats Game Notes

1980 Washington Diplomats “Arthur Treacher’s Soccer Teacher” Booklet

Washington Diplomats Soccer Bowl ’80 Ticket Order Form


==Additional Sources==

“Dips Won More Than They Lost”, Dave Kindred, The Washington Post, June 2, 1980


April 10, 1982 – Jacksonville Tea Men vs. New York Cosmos

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Jacksonville Tea Men vs. New York Cosmos
April 10, 1982
The Gator Bowl
Attendance: 4,537

North American Soccer League Programs
90 pages


The New York Cosmos flew south to the Gator Bowl for the 1982 regular season opener fending off questions about the “Jacksonville Jinx”.  The Lipton-owned Jacksonville Tea Men – a club of little distinction, formed out of the NASL’s expansion orgy of the late 1970’s – held an odd mastery over the four-time champion Cosmos.  The Teas came in with a seven-game winning streak against New York, including all four indoor match-ups the previous winter and three outdoor matches dating back to early in the 1980 season when the Teas still played in New England.

“It’s one of those crazy things that’s unique to sports,” Cosmos captain Giorgio Chinaglia explained in his club’s pre-game news release.  “We can’t seem to beat that team.  Every game against them goes right to the wire, but something strange always happens against us.  They just seem to have our number up until now.”

The other storyline of the match was Chinaglia’s quest to become the first 200-goal scorer in the history of the 15-year old NASL.  Chinaglia – appropriately, but coincidentally, featured on the cover of the evening’s match program (above right) – scored an incredible 29 goals in 32 games the previous summer, en route to 1981 NASL MVP honors.  Chinaglia put that drama to rest early, opening the scoring and notching his 200th in the 33rd minute off a cross from Chico Borja.

The Teas equalized early in the 2nd half on a penalty kick by Ricardo Alonso.  Alonzo banged the woodwork on his initial attempt, but referee Edward Bellion ruled that Cosmos goalkeeper Hubert Birkenmeier moved early.  Bellion had warned both teams before the match of a league directive to crack down on goalkeepers moving their feet before the ball was kicked on penalties.  Bellion awarded Alonso a second chance and the young Argentine converted to tie the match at 1-1 in the 50th minute.

The teams traded second half goals and arrived at the 80-minute mark knotted at 2-2.  In the 82nd minute, Bellion awarded a penalty to the Cosmos after Teas goalkeeper Arnie Mausser knocked over New York’s Rick Davis in the penalty area.  Chinaglia trudged across the sloppy, puddle-strewn pitch to the penalty mark.  His shot was low and hard, but Mausser guessed correctly and made a diving save.  Then referee Ed Bellion stepped forward and once again ruled that the keeper had moved early.  Chinaglia didn’t miss on the mulligan and his 201st career NASL goal proved to be the game winner.  Cosmos 3 Teas 2.

The Cosmos were typically a big draw wherever they travelled in the NASL.  But Jacksonville was a weak soccer town to begin with and the steady rains that held all day and all through the match wiped out the box office.  Only 4,537 turned up at the Gator Bowl, which was the smallest gathering of the 18 outdoor matches the Teas had played in Jacksonville to that point.  It was also likely one of the smallest crowds to watch the Cosmos anywhere since the club signed Pele seven years earlier.

The Jacksonville Jinx was officially over for the Cosmos and the teams went their separate ways.  The ‘Mos would win their fifth and final NASL championship in 1982.   The Tea Men finished tied for the worst record in the league.  After five years of red ink, Lipton dropped their support of the Teas at the end of the season and the club left the NASL to play a couple of anonymous seasons in lower division leagues.



April 10, 1982 Jacksonville Tea Men Game Notes

April 10, 1982 New York Cosmos Game Notes 



Jacksonville Tea Men Home Page

New York Cosmos Home Page



Written by AC

May 22nd, 2013 at 1:35 pm

June 3, 1979 – Rochester Lancers vs. California Surf


Rochester Lancers vs. California Surf
June 3, 1979
Holleder Stadium
Attendance: 6,054

North American Soccer League Programs


Another NASL program featuring the late Giorgio Chinaglia, who passed away today at age 65.  This edition of the league’s KICK Magazine game program was sold at a June 3, 1979 game between the Rochester Lancers and the California Surf in Rochester.

Chinaglia led the NASL in goal scoring in 1979, netting 26 goals in 27 games and finished second in total points to Oscar Fabbiani of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.  The Cosmos posted the best record in the NASL at 24-6, but in a keen disappointment the club failed to reach Soccer Bowl ’79 which was already scheduled for their home field of Giants Stadium in New Jersey.  Chinaglia and company lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champion Vancouver Whitecaps.






California Surf Home Page


Written by AC

April 2nd, 2012 at 2:11 am

June 1, 1977 – New York Cosmos vs. Lazio

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New York Cosmos vs. Lazio
June 1, 1977
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 25,803

North American Soccer League Programs


Giorgio Chinaglia, the flamboyant Italian star of the New York Cosmos in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, died today after reportedly suffering his second heart attack in a week. He was 65.

Chinaglia arrived in New York in 1976, one year after the arrival of international superstar Pele. He would play in Pele’s shadow to some degree for two seasons until the great Brazilian’s retirement in 1977. But it was Chinaglia who would become the North American Soccer League’s greatest scorer, scoring nearly one goal per game for the Cosmos in 254 matches between 1976 and his first retirement in 1983. In the summer of 1984, Chinaglia acquired ownership of a suddenly floundering Cosmos franchise from Time Warner. Over the next year he presided over the sad decline and final demise of the once proud super club, watching as the NASL folded, the Cosmos entered – and then withdrew from – the Major Indoor Soccer League, and a last gasp effort to stage an exhibition series at Giants Stadium in the summer of 1985 sputtered and died.

This program is from the glory days of the Cosmos in the summer of 1977 when the club packed 70,000 plus into Giants Stadium for several games. This June 1st match was an international friendly against Lazio of Italy, Chinaglia’s former club before coming to New York. The Cosmos triumphed 3-2 before 25,803 at the Meadowlands.

The 2006 documentary Once In A Lifetime told the story of the Cosmos and Chinaglia and introduced the controversial and charismatic star to a new, younger generation of American soccer fans. The film portrayed Chinaglia as a Svengali-like figure who wielded undue influence in the Cosmos front office during his playing days and a pet of Time Warner CEO Steve Ross, but also recognized his undeniable star power and single-minded determination as a competitor.





More NASL International Friendlies

New York Cosmos Home Page



Written by AC

April 1st, 2012 at 11:48 pm


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