Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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May 29, 1976 – Dallas Tornado vs. Manchester United

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Dallas Tornado Manchester UnitedDallas Tornado vs. Manchester United (UK)
May 29, 1976
Ownby Stadium
Attendance: 15,255

North American Soccer League Programs


Rare 1976 program from a short Manchester United tour of North America., poached from Dave Morrison’s killer site.  Dave has compiled a massive list of North American Soccer League friendlies against international clubs from the late 1960′s through early 1980′s.  Definitely worth a look.

The attraction of playing against one of the best clubs in the world wasn’t quite enough for the management of the Lamar Hunt-owned Dallas Tornado, who hosted the match at Ownby Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University.  So it was also “Howard Hughes’ Will Night”.  Every fan received a facsimile copy of Hughes’ purported last will and testament at the front gate.  A lottery number on the back promised one lucky Texan a trip to the Bahamas where the billionaire hermit died in a penthouse suite at the Xanada Princess Resort a month earlier.

David McCreery 1978 ToppsThe 15,000 or so on hand got a decent game too.  United open the scoring in the 13th minute when 18-year old Northern Ireland international David McCreery beat Tornado goalkeeper Ken Cooper to a loose ball.  McCreery would come back to the U.S. to play for the NASL’s Tulsa Roughnecks in 1981 and 1982.  Jimmy Nicholl gave United a 2-0 lead in the 74th minute.  Nicholl, too, would pick up an offseason paycheck with the NASL in the early 80′s, playing for the Toronto Blizzard from 1982 until the league’s demise in 1984.

But the Tornado stormed back and made a match of it.  John Stremlau and Freddie Garcia both beat United ‘keeper Alex Stepney in a three-minute span late in the contest.  After 12 years and 539 appearances with United from 1966 to 1978, Stepney came back to Dallas to play two seasons for the Tornado in 1979 and 1980.



More NASL International Friendlies

Dallas Tornado Home Page


Written by andycrossley

July 31st, 2014 at 1:20 am

1975-1993 Tampa Bay Rowdies

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Tampa Bay Rowdies 1975North American Soccer League (1975-1984)
American Indoor Soccer Association (1986-1987)
American Soccer League (1988-1989)
American Professional Soccer League (1990-1993)

Born: 1974 – NASL expansion franchise.
Died: January 31, 1994 – The Rowdies cease operations.


  • 1975-1990: Tampa Stadium (71,000)
  • 1991-1992: USF Soccer Stadium
  • 1993: Tampa Stadium


Team Colors:





==Tampa Bay Rowdies Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1975 5/3/1975 vs. New York Cosmos W 1-0 Program
1975 8/24/1975 Portland Timbers W 2-0 Program
1976 5/7/1976 @ Chicago Sting W 1-0 (OT) Program
1976 5/19/1976 vs. Hartford Bicentennials W 5-2 Program
1977 4/30/1977 vs. Rochester Lancers W 3-1 Program
1977 7/27/1977 @ Portland Timbers L 4-1 Program
1977 8/10/1977 @ New York Cosmos L 3-0 Program
1978 2/3/1978 vs. Washington Diplomats ?? Program
1978 4/16/1978 @ Detroit Express W 2-1 Program
1979 8/12/1979 @ Detroit Express L 2-1 Program
1979 8/25/1979 vs. Philadelphia Fury W 1-0 Video
1979 8/30/1979 @ San Diego Sockers L 2-1 Program
1979 9/8/1979 Vancouver Whitecaps L 2-1 Program
1979-80 1/22/1980 @ Detroit Express ?? Program
1979-80 2/23/1980 vs. Atlanta Chiefs W 7-3 Program
1979-80 3/2/1980 vs. Memphis Rogues W 10-4 (W 1-0 MG) Program
1980 4/20/1980  @ New York Cosmos L 4-2 Program Game Notes
1980 5/17/1980 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps W 3-2 Video
1980 6/8/1980 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 2-1 (2 OT) Program Video
1980 6/14/1980 vs. New York Cosmos W 4-3 Program
1980 9/29/1980 @ Luton Town (UK) W 1-0 Program
1980 10/8/1980 @ St. Mirren F.C. (Scotland) L 4-2 Program
1980 10/11/1980 @ Hereford United (UK) T 1-1 Program
1980 10/13/1980 @ Nottingham Forest (UK) L 7-1 Program
1981 5/16/1981 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 1-0 (SO) Program
1981 7/11/1981 @ San Diego Sockers L 4-3 (OT) Program
1981 8/26/1981 @ Vancouver Whitecaps W 1-0 Program
1981-82 2/14/1982 @ Chicago Sting  L 10-9 (OT) Program
1982 6/16/1982 vs. New York Cosmos L 2-0 Program Game Notes
1982 8/4/1982 @ Chicago Sting  L 3-1 Program
1983 5/11/1983 @ Toronto Blizzard W 3-1 Program
1983 6/1/1983 vs. Team America W 3-1 Program
1983 7/16/1983 @ Chicago Sting  L 4-1 Program
1983 8/12/1983 @ San Diego Sockers L 9-1 Program
1983-84 11/26/1983 vs. Tulsa Roughnecks L 7-6 Program
1983-84 1/28/1984 @ Chicago Sting  L 14-6 Program
1983-84 2/18/1984 @ Chicago Sting  L 4-2 Program
1984 5/13/1984 @ New York Cosmos L 1-0 Program
1984 5/26/1984 vs. New York Cosmos  W 3-2 (SO) Game Notes
1984 6/22/1984 vs. Toronto Blizzard W 1-0 Full Ticket
1984 8/12/1984 @ San Diego Sockers L 5-1 Program
1989 5/7/1989 @ New Jersey Eagles L 1-0 Program Game Notes
1990 5/6/1990  @ New Jersey Eagles  W 1-0 Program Game Notes
1990 7/26/1990 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers ?? Program
1992 8/4/1992 vs. Miami Freedom W 4-2 Program
1992 8/16/1992 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers L 2-1 Program


==Key Players==

  • Oscar Fabbiani
  • Rodney Marsh
  • Derek Smethurst





Rowdies versus Philadelphia Fury at Tampa Stadium. August 25, 1979


==In Memoriam==

Haitain defender Arsene Auguste (1975-1980) died of a heart attack on March 20th, 1993 at age 42.

Midfielder Glenn Myernick (1983-1984) suffered a heart attack while jogging.  Passed October 9, 2006 at 51 years old.

Defender Sandje Ivanchukov (1978-1980) passed away August 29, 2007 at the age of 47.

English mid Graham Paddon, who came over on loan from Norwich City in 1978, died November 19, 2007 at 57.

Defender Barry Kitchener, who played on loan from Millwall in 1979, died of cancer on March 30, 2012.  Kitchener was 64.

Pedro DeBrito, the 1982 NASL Rookie-of-the-Year with the Rowdies, died at 55 of injuries from a car accident. July 5th, 2014.



North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs


October 15, 1979 – Birmingham City F.C. vs. Los Angeles Aztecs

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Birmingham City Los Angeles AztecsBirmingham City F.C. vs. Los Angeles Aztecs
October 15, 1979
St. Andrew’s
Attendance: ?

North American Soccer League Programs
10 pages


This is one of my favorites from our batch of vintage international friendly programmes from the North American Soccer League (1968-1984).  Postseason tours of Western Europe were not uncommon for some of the league’s more ambitious and stable clubs, such as the Cosmos, Rowdies and Whitecaps, during the late 1970′s and early 1980′s.

Few seem to ever count the Los Angeles Aztecs among that fraternity of top American clubs, although they periodically reached for the brass ring with the splashy signing of a George Best or Johan Cruyff.  The Aztecs also sprang for arguably the top manager ever to join the NASL, when they imported Cruyff’s former Ajax and Dutch national team coach Rinus Michels in 1979.

This September-October 1979 jaunt through Holland and England was both the first and last foreign tour that the Aztecs would ever undertake.  The promotional hook for the expedition was the presence of Cruyff, the NASL’s reigning Most Valuable Player and one of the greatest players in the world.  Most of the games were in the Netherlands, where Cruyff was a national icon.  (So was Michels, but he did not accompany the Aztecs on this trip for some reason).   The Aztecs stopped off for two matches in the UK at the very end of the trip – this one against the Blues on a Monday evening at St. Andrew’s and a tour-closing date with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge two nights later.

This match ended up a 1-1 draw.  English journeyman Gerry Ingram netted to lone goal for the Aztecs – a club he never played for other than on this tour.  (Ingram played for the Anaheim-based California Surf of the NASL during the regular season).

These October 1980 English friendlies turned out to be the final matches that Cruyff ever played for the Aztecs.  Early in 1980 the club was sold to a Mexican syndicate who wanted to market the team more specifically to Los Angeles’ Hispanic market.  They had little interest in retaining Cruyff and his $700,000 annual salary.  The Aztecs sold his contract to the Washington Diplomats for a reported $1M transfer fee in February 1980.



More NASL International Friendlies


Written by andycrossley

July 27th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

1978-1980 Philadelphia Fury

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Philadelphia FuryNorth American Soccer League (1978-1980)

Born: 1978 – NASL expansion franchise.
Died: October 1980 – The Fury relocate to Montreal, Quebec.

Stadium: Veterans Stadium (56,000)

Team Colors: Burgundy, Gold & White

Owners: Frank Barsalona, Elliot Hoffman, Larry Levine, Peter Rudge, et al.


The Philadelphia Fury marked the second go round for the North American Soccer League in the City of Brotherly Love.  The Fury followed on the heels of the Philadelphia Atoms (1973-1976), who won the league championship as an expansion team in 1973 and became the first NASL team featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  The Fury brought back couple of popular players from the Atoms era, including goalkeeper Bob Rigby and defender Bobby Smith.

The Fury weren’t able to replicate the on-field success of the Atoms or anything close to it.  In their debut season of 1978, the club was managed by player-coach Alan Ball.  Thanks to the NASL’s forgiving playoff system, the Fury squeaked into the postseason despite a 12-18 last place record.  They were quickly dispatched by fellow expansioneers the Detroit Express in the opening round.

Philadelphia FuryIn 1979 the Fury were worse, dropping to 10-20 in the regular season.  Once again this was good enough for the playoffs though and, in the franchise’s finest hour, the Fury shocked the Houston Hurricane (22-8) in the first round.  The Philadelphians were eliminated by eventual Soccer Bowl ’79 finalists Tampa Bay Rowdies in the quarterfinals.  Scottish forward David Robb finished 5th in the NASL in scoring in 1979 with 16 goals and 20 assists, but he would not return to the club in 1980.

In 1980 the Fury hired Eddie Firmani to manage the club.  Firmani was one of the NASL’s most successful coaches, having won three of the previous five Soccer Bowls as manager at Tampa Bay and New York Cosmos.  But the club regressed again, finishing with a franchise worst 10-22 record and missing the playoffs for the first time.  Worse yet, the Fury had the worst home attendance in the 24-team NASL for the second season in a row, pulling fewer than 5,000 per match at Veterans Stadium.

In October 1980 the club was sold off to Molson Breweries and moved to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.  The former Fury franchise played three more seasons as the Montreal Manic before going out of business in November 1983.

With their mediocre performance on-field, the Fury were best known for their sprawling 15-man ownership group.  The syndicate was made up largely of rock music impresarios including Rolling Stones manager Peter Rudge, concert promoter Frank Barsalona and stars Paul Simon and Peter Frampton.


==Philadelphia Fury Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1979 6/16/1979  @ Chicago Sting L 3-1 Program
1979 8/25/1979 @ Tampa Bay Rowdies L 1-0   Video
1980 7/16/1980 vs. New York Cosmos W 2-1  Program
1980 7/30/1980 @ California Surf L 3-1  Program



Grim times for the Fury in 1980 in a near-empty Veterans Stadium:


The Fury on the road at Tampa Bay in the 1979 NASL quarterfinals. August 25, 1979



North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs


July 15, 1979 – New York Cosmos vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

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Gerd Muller Fort Lauderdale StrikersNew York Cosmos vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
July 15, 1979
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 48,753

North American Soccer League Programs
112 pages


This was a wild one at the Meadowlands in the summer of ’79.  The 48,753 soccer fans witnessed one of the most violent, out of control matches in the history of the North American Soccer League.  The occasion was a meeting between two of the league’s elite – the New York Cosmos (16-5) and the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps (13-8).  The previous season the two clubs finished the regular season with identical 24-6 records, tying each other for the best record in the history of the league.  The Cosmos won the Soccer Bowl championship in 1978, but it was the Whitecaps who had the best of the club’s head-to-head series, winning four of five contests dating back to Vancouver’s formation in 1974

The Cosmos seemed to come into the match in a nasty temperament.  Just a week earlier, the club made headlines for fighting with their own custodial workers during a practice session at Giants Stadium.  The match got physical from the get go, and the Whitecaps were willing adversaries.  Referee Keith Styles blew 48 fouls in the match, including 29 on the Whitecaps.   But at the first intermission, the only scoring action was an own goal by New York’s Carlos Alberto six minutes in, which gave the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead.

The scoring broke open early in the second half.  Vancouver’s Kevin Hector beat Cosmos goalkeeper Erol Yasin in the 48th minute.  New York halved the deficit in the 60th minute on a free kick that saw Franz Beckenbauer set up Dutch international Johan Neeskens.  But the Whitecaps extended their lead to 3-1 less than three minutes later on a goal from English midfielder Ray Lewington.  In the 70th minute Giorgio Chinaglia scored his 23rd goal of the season on a tap in from Dennis Tueart to make it 3-2.

The lid came off the match just over a minute later, when Vancouver’s Willie Johnston collided with New York’s Andranik Eskandarian in the Cosmos’ box.  The two ended up trading punches on the artificial turf.  Chinaglia rushed into fray and was clocked in the eye by the Whitecaps’ John Craven who had entered the match as a sub just a minute earlier.  Both benches poured onto the field.  The brawl appeared to catch Giants Stadium security off guard and continued for fourteen minutes, spilling from one end of the field to the other.  Retired Cosmos legend Pele, of all people, charged the field looking to get a piece of Vancouver keeper Phil Parkes.  A fan vaulted from the grandstand to go after referee Keith Styles.  When order was finally restored, Vancouver’s Craven and Johnston were ejected, along with Chinaglia and Eskandarian for the Cosmos.  The club’s finished the final 18 minutes of the match in a rare 9-on-9 format.  The ‘Caps added an insurance goal for a final score of 4-2 – the Cosmos worst home defeat since moving to Giants Stadium in 1977.

Afterwards, Cosmos officials were apoplectic.  Warner Communications exec Jay Emmett charged the official’s locker after the match.  Executive Vice President Rafael de la Sierra painted conspiraced theories.  The bad feelings would continue two months later when the Cosmos and the ‘Caps met in the NASL’s semi-final playoff series to determine a berth in Soccer Bowl ’79.  In the first game of the series, Eskandarian got a red card with eight seconds remaining in the match and Carlos Alberto was banned for the remained of the season by NASL Commissioner Phil Woosnam for spitting at an official.  The Cosmos threatened a lawsuit, while the ‘Caps focused on soccer and beat the Cosmos in a thrilling three-game set.

On September 8, 1979, the Whitecaps returned to Giants Stadium and defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 in Soccer Bowl ’79 to win their first and only NASL crown.  The Cosmos, who once again had the league’s best regular season mark of 24-6, watched from home.



July 15, 1979 New York Cosmos Game Notes


Written by andycrossley

June 27th, 2014 at 1:34 pm