Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘MISL 1978-1992’ tag

April 28, 1985 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast

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Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast
MISL Quarterfinal Playoffs, Game 3
April 28, 1985
The Forum
Attendance: 4,673

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
60 pages

 

This is yet another pull from the huge collection of Los Angeles Lazers indoor soccer programs we picked up from a California sports museum earlier this month.  The third and final match of a best-of-five Major Indoor Soccer League quarterfinal playoff series between the Lazers and the defending champion Baltimore Blast at the Fabulous Forum.

Dave MacWilliams of the Blast was pictured on the cover of the Missile Magazine game program for this game and the choice was prophetic.  MacWilliams was the MISL’s leading American-born scorer during the 194-85 season and he netted a hat trick against the Lazers here in Game 3 to spark Baltimore to 5-4 win and a sweep of the best-of-five series.

Another notable player in this game was ,the Lazers’ 23-year old rookie goalkeeper Tim Harris, who drew the start for this win-or-go-home elimination match.  Harris was born in nearby Torrance and played collegiately at UCLA.  He earned one cap for the U.S. National Team in 1985, but he had the misfortune to come into pro soccer during a particularly grim period for the American game, just as the outdoor North American Soccer League was drawing its final breaths.  Harris played for five seasons, including three with the Lazers from 1984 to 1987.  During that time there was no national outdoor league and American players were not in demand overseas.  Indoor soccer was basically the only professional option for American players born in the early 1960′s like Harris.

The Lazers went out of business in 1989.  Several years later the club’s former owner, the late Dr. Jerry Buss, hired Harris to work in the front office for his NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.  Today Harris is the Chief Operating Officer of the Lakers.

 

 

==Downloads==

April 28, 1985 Baltimore Blast Roster

April 28, 1985 Los Angeles Lazers Roster

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

February 27th, 2014 at 12:26 am

November 20, 1983 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Buffalo Stallions

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Los Angeles Lazers vs. Buffalo Stallions
November 20, 1983
The Forum
Attendance: 4,122

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
52 pages

 

This 1983 MISSILE Magazine match program showed up in a large archive of pro soccer material we acquired last week from a down-sizing Los Angeles museum.  Right around the same time a woman named Elizabeth posted a fond reminiscence of the late Argentinean forward Carlos Salguero (1955-2006) on our Calgary Boomers home page.

Salguero played for Boca Juniors in the late 1970′s and then for a string of North American indoor and outdoor clubs from 1981 to 1992.  His greatest success came with the Buffalo Stallions of the Major Indoor Soccer League, where he scored 101 goals from 1981 to 1984.  He was the club’s all-time leading scorer.

In the late 1990′s Salguero returned to coach the Buffalo Blizzard of the indoor National Professional Soccer League for a single season.  He passed away from cancer at age 51 in December 2006.

I hope you enjoy this picture Elizabeth…

 

==Links==

Buffalo Stallions Home Page

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

February 19th, 2014 at 12:31 am

November 5, 1982 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Phoenix Inferno

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Los Angeles Lazers vs. Phoenix Inferno
November 5, 1982
The Forum
Attendance: 6,836

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
48 pages

 

The four-year old Major Indoor Soccer League debuted in Los Angeles on this night in early November 1982.  Dr. Jerry Buss’ expansion Los Angeles Lazers club shared the familiar Purple & Gold color scheme of his L.A. NBA and NHL franchises.  Unfortunately, the Lazers acquitted themselves much more like the Kings than the Showtime Lakers during their seven season run.

The Lazers raced out to a 4-0 lead over the visiting Phoenix Inferno on goals by Poli Garcia, Don Tobin and a brace from Emilio Romero.  Garcia went on to become the Lazers’ all-time leading scorer.  Tobin went on to have the most remarkable hair in the league.  It was a thrilling introduction to the fast-paced sport of indoor soccer for the 6,836 on hand at the Forum.

The Lazers’ early scoring flurry was also a dose of false advertising by a team that would turn out to be the MISL’s worst.  The Lazers went on to lose their first nine matches 1982 and finished their inaugural season with a grim 8-40 record.  Buss’ club would place last in its division four times in seven years of existence.

In typical Lazers fashion, the team gave away the lead in the second half.  Down 5-4, Phoenix pulled goalkeeper Blagoje Tamindzic for an extra attacker with 1:38 remaining in regulation.  (One of many strategies that indoor soccer lifted from ice hockey).  30 seconds later Damir Sutevski pumped a shot past the Lazers’ Gary Allison to knot the score at 5-5.  Eight minutes into sudden death overtime, Sutevski struck again to hand the Inferno a 6-5 victory.

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

Phoenix Inferno Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

February 15th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

February 14, 1987 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. New York Express

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Los Angeles Express vs. New York Express
February 14, 1987
The Forum
Attendance: 3,293

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
52 pages

 

Valentine’s Day 1987.  The end of the line for the Major Indoor Soccer League’s bankrupt New York Express expansion franchise.

The Long Island-based club was loaded with over-the-hill former New York Cosmos outdoor soccer stars such as Shep Messing (also club President and part-owner), Mark Liveric, Rick Davis and Hubert Birkenmeier.  The Express sputtered into L.A. with a record of 2-23 – the worst winning percentage in league history.  The team’s dubious business plan was even worse – it depended largely on the outcome a public stock offering.  The Express couldn’t interest people in buying tickets, let alone stock shares.

Three days before this match, the Los Angeles Lazers hosted the league All-Star Game at the Forum.  During the All-Star Break the Express revealed that they were on the verge of collapse and tapping emergency credit lines to make the player payroll.  The team’s staff weren’t so lucky - those that were left hadn’t been paid in a month.  You can read the full account of the club’s collapse here.

But on the carpet, this Valentine’s Day match has to be considered the Express’ finest hour.  They at least had a fighting chance against the Los Angeles Lazers.  At 6-18 and riding an eight-game losing skid, the Lazers were nearly as inept as the visiting New Yorkers.  The Angelenos were working under the direction of a new Head Coach, Keith Tozer, who replaced the fired Peter Wall a week earlier.  Tozer was early in his coaching career on this night, but he would go on to become the winningest coach in the history of the indoor game.

The hosts got out to a 4-1 lead, courtesy of a pair of goals from Zizinho and Stuart Lee.  But they blew it in the second half.  33-year old war horse Mark Liveric, playing for his 11th team in a vagabond career that included three separate stints with the Cosmos, scored two goals to spark the comeback.  Alex Tarnoczi got the late equalizer for New York to knot the score at 5-5 and send the match to overtime.  One minute into the sudden death period, Liveric beat another former Cosmos – Lazers goalkeeper David Brcic – to complete his hat trick and win the game for the Express.   It was the third (and last) win in franchise history and the only road victory.

The following day the Express drove three hours south to play their final match against the powerhouse San Diego Sockers.  You can watch it here.  They lost and dropped to 3-23.  It was the last game of Liveric’s pro career.  Two days later the league pulled the plug on the Express and the club folded without completing its debut season.

 

==Downloads==

2011 Fun While It Lasted interview with New York Express PR Director Micah Buchdahl.

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

New York Express Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

February 12th, 2014 at 3:45 am

November 23, 1985 – Wichita Wings vs. San Diego Sockers

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Wichita Wings vs. San Diego Sockers
November 23, 1985
Kansas Coliseum
Attendance: 9,051

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
32 pages

 

This rare MISSILE Magazine program comes from the heyday of the old Major Indoor Soccer League (1978-1992).  Indoor soccer reigned supreme on the U.S. soccer scene in 1985.  There was no outdoor professional league in the entire country at the time.  And the greatest indoor player of them all was Steve Zungul, the “Lord of All Indoors”, pictured on the cover of the evening’s game program.

Zungul was the all-time leading scorer in the sport in 1985, and winner of the league’s MVP in five of the six seasons he had competed in.  Zungul was also the straw that stirred the drink for two different indoor dynasties.  The New York Arrows won four consecutive MISL titles with Zungul as their leader from 1978 to 1982.  When the cash-starved Arrows dealt Zungul away for financial relief in 1983, their hegemony came to an immediate end.

The San Diego Sockers had already captured three indoor titles in the MISL and its defunct rival the North American Soccer League when Zungul arrived in 1984.  He made the team even more dominant (a team-best 37-11 record in the 1984-85 campaign) and led them to a fourth title in 1985, picking up his 5th MISL MVP award along the way.

The Wichita Wings hosted Zungul and the Sockers for this early season clash in November 1985.  A near-sellout crowd of 9,051 packed the Kansas Coliseum for the Wings’ second home game of the year.  The Wings had never beaten San Diego in eight previous tries, which included losing a three-game sweep in the 1983 MISL playoffs.  That didn’t seem likely to change, as the Sockers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.

But the Wings defense managed to contain Zungul, holding him to just one goal on the night.  Wichita’s Danish striker Erik Rasmussen led the comeback, tying a team record with 5 goals and adding two more assists.  The two clubs combined for 20 goals – the most in a Wichita game all season – but the Wings got the best of it, beating the Sockers for the very first time 11-9.

Two months later, Sockers owner Bob Bell sold Zungul to the Tacoma Stars for $200,000 in midseason.  Zungul finished the 1985-86 season in Tacoma as the league leader in both assists (60) and total points (115) and won his sixth Most Valuable Player Award.  Erik Rasmussen of Wichita led the MISL in goals with 67.

Unlike the Arrows dynasty, however, the Sockers did not collapse after selling off the greatest player in the sport.  The Sockers won their fourth straight indoor title in 1986 and would add another in 1988 before Zungul rejoined San Diego for the 1988-89 season.

 

==Links==

San Diego Sockers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

December 17th, 2013 at 8:24 pm