Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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April 10, 1984 – Leeds United vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

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Leeds United vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies. April 10, 1984Leeds United (UK) vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
April 10, 1984
Elland Road

North American Soccer League Programs
6 Pages


This simple 6-page black-and-white match program arrived in the post from England today.  This April 1984 international friendly saw the Tampa Bay Rowdies take on Leeds United during a brief pre-season tune up tour of England.   It was one of the final overseason exhibition games played by a North American Soccer League club before the NASL (1968-1984) went out of business in early 1985.

Leeds was a 2nd Division English club at the time, but they dispatched coach Rodney Marsh’s young Rowdies squad with ease, 4-1.  Rowdies rookie striker Roy Wegerle scored the lone goal for the visitors.  Wegerle also turned out to be a bright spot in a grim last place campaign for the Rowdies in 1984.  He scored 9 goals and won the final NASL Rookie-of-the-Year award.

Leeds star Peter Barnes, who earned 22 caps for England between 1977 and 1982, is pictured on the cover of the match day program.  Barnes would leave England in the late 1980’s to wander the four corners of the world in search of football employment.  One of his stops was Tampa Bay, where played in a dozen or so games for the Rowdies in the summer of 1990.  By that point, the Rowdies were nearing the end, playing in the lower budget American Soccer League, which was a far cry from what the NASL had been during the Rowdies heyday.



April 10, 1984 Leeds United vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies Program




More NASL International Friendlies


Written by andycrossley

September 19th, 2014 at 1:59 am

October 11, 1981 – Nottingham Forest vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

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Nottingham Forest Vancouver WhitecapsNottingham Forest vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
October 11, 1981
City Ground
Attendance: 8,800

North American Soccer League Programs
20 pages


Love this Nottingham Forest program for an October 1981 friendly match against the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League.  That’s Forest defender Viv Anderson on the cover, who was the first black player to play for England’s national team, starting in 1978.

At the dawn of the 80’s, Forest was a European power under the direction of Brian Clough.  They were also a popular and frequent challenger of NASL teams for friendly matches on both sides of the Atlantic.  A July 1980 exhibition between these same two clubs at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium attracted 28,710 fans and resulted in a 1-1 draw.

This match at Nottingham’s City Ground fourteen months later resulted in another draw, this time 2-2.  Peter Lorimer scored both goals for the ‘Caps on penalty kicks.  John Hodge and Mark Proctor tallied for Forest.  This game was the 3rd stop on the Whitecaps’ 1981 postseason tour of Europe, which also saw the Canadians defeat Malmo of Sweden and lose to Ajax of Holland and Avellino and Napoli of Italy.

Weirdly, Nottingham Forest issued programs with two different covers for this match.  The more common one ( usually has a few available on any given day) is pictured below.  Not sure who the Forest player is on the cover?  Maybe Mark Proctor?  Leave a comment if you know.

Nottingham Forest Vancouver Whitecaps


October 11, 1981 Nottingham Forest vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Team Sheet



More NASL International Friendlies





Written by andycrossley

September 9th, 2014 at 3:11 am

June 22, 1984 – Chicago Sting vs. New York Cosmos

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Roberto Cabanas New York CosmosChicago Sting vs. New York Cosmos
June 22, 1984
Comiskey Park
Attendance: 11,458

North American Soccer League Programs


Sharp match program here from the final season of the North American Soccer League.  I’ve posted a bunch of programs on Fun While It Lasted from the NASL’s terrific rivalry between the Chicago Sting and the New York Cosmos.  Although the Cosmos are the proto-Super Club that everybody remembers today, the Sting typically got the better of the New Yorkers.  Especially in big games, including their only championship match meeting in Soccer Bowl ’81.

This was an exception.  Coming off a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to the Sting 13 days earlier at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, the Cosmos rebounded with a 2-1 victory on the road at Comiskey Park.  Stan Terlecki and Chico Borja scored for New York.  Pato Margetic potted the lone goal for the Sting.

That’s the Cosmos’ Roberto Cabanas on the cover of the day’s KICK Magazine program.  The lanky Paraguayan ran away with the NASL scoring title (25 goals, 16 assists) in 1983 and was named Most Valuable Player of the league.  But his production dropped off a cliff in 1984 and the Cosmos’ floundered along with him.  Perhaps the retirement of Giorgio Chinaglia following the 1983 season allowed opposing defenses to key their attention on Cabanas.  Indoor star Terlecki struggled to be a factor paired with Cabanas up top.  The Cabanas/Chinaglia tandem struck for 43 goals in 1983.  But Cabanas and Terlecki produced just 12 goals in 1984.

The Cosmos’ NASL era would end in three months later on September 15, 1984 with yet another huge match against the Sting.  Back in Chicago and needing a win on the season’s final day to make the playoffs – an utterly alien scenario for the Cosmos – the Sting broke them yet again with a 1-0 victory.  The Sting went on to win the NASL’s final title two weeks later.



June 22, 1984 Chicago Sting Game Notes

June 22, 1984 New York Cosmos Game Notes



Chicago Sting Home Page


Written by andycrossley

September 2nd, 2014 at 2:08 am

1967-1968 Detroit Cougars

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Detroit CougarsUnited Soccer Association (1967)
North American Soccer League (1968)

Born: 1967 – USA founding franchise.
Died: September 23, 1968 – The Cougars cease operations.


Team Colors:

Owners: William Clay Ford, John Fetzer, Ozzie Olson, Max Fischer, John Anderson & Wendell Anderson


The Detroit Cougars were a well-financed but short-lived effort to bring pro soccer to Detroit in the late 1960’s.  The club was backed by Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford, grandson of Henry Ford and largest single stockholder in the Ford Motor Co., and Detroit Tigers owner John Fetzer, among others.

The Cougars formed in 1967 as one of twelve founding members of the United Soccer Association (USA).  The USA was one of two U.S. pro leagues formed in 1967, the other being the rival National Professional Soccer League (NPSL).  In order to keep pace with the NPSL’s 1967 launch date, the USA elected to import entire European and South American clubs to compete under stage names during the 1967 season.  (The USA’s spring/summer schedule conveniently coincided with the offseason for Continental and South American leagues).

The 1967 Detroit Cougars were actually Glentoran F.C. of Northern Ireland.  The Cougars/Glentoran finished out of contention at 3-6-3.

Ian Thomson over at The Soccer Observer blog has a great piece on a 1967 riot at the University of Detroit Stadium between the Cougars and the visiting Houston Stars (actually Bangu of Brazil).

After the 1967 season, the USA and NPSL ended their competition and merged to form the 17-club North American Soccer League.  For the 1968 season, each franchise would assembled a roster in the conventional manner and the USA’s practice of importing foreign clubs was abandoned.

34-year old English forward Len Julians was tabbed as player-coach of the Cougars for the 1968 campaign.  The season was a disaster for the Cougars and Julians would resign in mid-August with the club mired in last place in the NASL’s Lakes Division.  Andre Nagy was hired to manage the final meaningless games as the Cougars finished 6-21-4.  Only the hapless Dallas Tornado (an historically awful 2-26-4 mark) were worse in the 17-team circuit.

At the box office the situation was just as grim.  Although the American Soccer History Archives has the Cougars average attendance at 4,266 in 1968, the Associated Press reported in September 1968 that Cougars fans numbered fewer than 1,500 per game.  Either way, it was a bad scene and the Cougar’s well-heeled backers pulled the plug on September 23, 1968.  Detroit was the first NASL club to fold after the 1968 and it began an exodus that saw the league shrink down to just five active clubs in 1969.

Pro soccer would return to Detroit a decade later with the formation of the NASL’s Detroit Express in 1978.


==Detroit Cougars Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1968 7/20/1968 @ Baltimore Bays  L 3-1 Program Roster



The Infamous 1967 Detroit Riot … On The Soccer Field“, Ian Thomson, The Soccer Observer, June 14, 2013

United Soccer Association Programs

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs



March 30, 1968 – Dallas Tornado vs. Houston Stars

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Odd Lindberg Dallas TornadoDallas Tornado vs. Houston Stars
March 30, 1968
Turnpike Stadium
Attendance: 1,472

North American Soccer League Programs


Season opener for the 1968 North American Soccer League schedule, featuring the circuit two Texas-based clubs.  Lamar Hunt’s Dallas Tornado was just back from one of the looniest foreign tours in history, a preposterous six-month trek that took the club from Morocco to Vietnam (!) to New Zealand to Fiji among more than a dozen other locales.

All the travelling and international scouting didn’t help.  The Tornado were historically awful in 1968 (or maybe just exhausted).  Head Coach Bob Kap’s club won only 2 NASL regular season matches against 26 losses and 4 draws.  The 1968 Tornado were outscored 109-28.

The ass-kickings commenced straight away with the home opener.  The visiting Houston Stars trounced the Tornado 6-0, fueled by a hat trick from Brazilian striker Luiz Juracy.  (Juracy would go on to play five season for the Tornado from 1969-1974 after the Stars folded).  The teams met again three weeks later at the Houston Astrodome.  The Stars stomped Dallas again 5-0 in the rematch.

Dallas’ shell-shocked goalkeeper was the delightfully named Odd Lindberg, a 19-year old Norwegian playing his lone season in America.  That’s him on the front cover of the season-opening match program, making a rare save.



Dallas Tornado Home Page


Written by andycrossley

August 8th, 2014 at 2:16 am