Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘New Jersey Eagles’ tag

1988-1990 New Jersey Eagles

leave a comment

American Soccer League (1988-1990)
American Professional Soccer League (1990)

Born: May 1987 – ASL founding franchise
Folded: Postseason 1990

Stadiums:

Team Colors: Red, White & Blue

Owners: Ray Jacobs, et al.

 

The New Jersey Eagles soccer club played in the East Coast-based American Soccer League (ASL) from 1988-1990.  During the 1990 season, the ASL also served as the Eastern Conference of a tentative nationwide league known as the American Professional Soccer League (APSL).  At the times, these low-budget leagues represented the highest level of professional soccer in the United States, at least of the outdoor variety.

The Eagles were somewhat of a New York Cosmos alumni society.  Club owner Ray Jacobs was a former Cosmos’ season ticket holders and long-time Cosmos execs Clive Toye and Dominick Flora reprised their front office roles.  Ex-Cosmos Hubert Birkenmeier, Fernando DeMatthaeis and Andranik Eskandarian played for the club.

However, the Eagles were not able to recapture any of the Cosmos’ former allure.  The Eagles played their first two seasons at Hinchcliffe Stadium in Paterson, often to crowds of fewer than 1,000 fans.  The team moved to Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City for their final season in 1990, but that didn’t help the club’s poor box office.

The Eagles’ best season was their first.  With a roster hastily assembled in just three weeks, the Eagles posted the best record in the American Soccer League in 1988 with a 15-5 mark.  Jorge Acosta, a Paterson resident and former Long Island University star, led the league in scoring with 14 goals and 5 assists.  The Eagles lost in the 1988 playoff semi-finals to the eventual champion Washington Diplomats.

The following two seasons, however, the Eagles finished last in the division with 6-14 records in both 1989 and 1990.  The club folded after the 1990 campaign.

 

==New Jersey Eagles Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1988

1988 5/1/1988 vs. Miami Sharks W 4-0 Program Game Notes
1988 5/28/1988 vs. Maryland Bays L 2-1 Program
1988 8/6/1988 @ Boston Bolts W 2-1 Program

1989

1989 4/16/1989 vs. Boston Bolts L 5-2 Program Game Notes
1989 4/23/1989 vs. Washington Stars L 1-0 (PK) Program Game Notes
1989 5/7/1989 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies W 1-0 Program Game Notes
1989 5/14/1989 vs. Albany Capitals L 2-1 Program Game Notes
1989 5/21/1989 vs. Maryland Bays L 1-0 (PK) Program Game Notes
1989 6/11/1989 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers L 1-0 Program Game Notes
1989 6/18/1989 vs. Orlando Lions W 1-0 (PK) Program Game Notes
1989 7/9/1989 vs. Albany Capitals L 5-1 Program Game Notes
1989 7/15/1989 vs. Ruch Chorzow (Poland) ?? Program
1989 7/23/1989 vs. Boston Bolts L 3-2 (PK)  Program Game Notes
1989 8/6/1989 vs. Washington Diplomats W 3-2 Program Game Notes

1990

1990 4/22/1990 vs. Orlando Lions W 3-1 Program Game Notes
1990 5/6/1990 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies L 1-0 Program Game Notes
1990 5/20/1990 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers L 2-1 Program Game Notes
1990 6/3/1990 vs. Miami Freedom W 4-1 Program Game Notes
1990 6/10/1990 vs. Albany Capitals L 3-1 Program Game Notes
1990 6/17/1990 vs. Washington Diplomats L 2-1 Program
1990 7/6/1990 vs. Penn-Jersey Spirit L 3-0 Program Game Notes
1990 7/13/1990 vs. Washington Stars L 3-0 Program Game Notes
1990 7/27/1990 vs. Boston Bolts W 1-0 (PK) Program Game Notes
1990 8/3/1990 vs. Maryland Bays L 2-0 Program Game Notes

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

###

May 6, 1990 New Jersey Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

leave a comment

New Jersey Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
May 6, 1990
Cochrane Stadium
Attendance: 754

American Professional Soccer League Programs
22 pages

 

A decade earlier it could have been a North American Soccer League match at Giants Stadium in front of 50,000 fans.  Hubert Birkenmeier was in goal with Andranik Eskandarian and Nelsi Morais patrolling in front him, defending against the likes of English playmaker Ray Hudson and dangerous South African striker Steve WegerleHeck, even Clive Toye was on hand, as President of the home team.

But this was wasn’t 1980 and the Meadowlands.  It was 1990 and Jersey City, during the Dark Ages of American pro soccer between the demise of the NASL in 1985 and the formation of Major League Soccer in 1996.  This is what passed for the top level of American soccer at the time, with Toye’s New Jersey Eagles and their small contingent of New York Cosmos’ old-timers playing the last surviving NASL refugee, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, in front of 754 fans on a Sunday afternoon in a  high school football stadium.

The game itself was uninspired.  Tampa’s Alan Anderson scored the game’s only goal, beating Birkenmeier in the 88th minute after New Jersey blew an offside trap for the second time in the match.

“I don’t like offside traps and we never practice them,” noted Eagles coach Terry Garbett, another ex-Cosmos, to Bob Kurland of The Bergen Record afterwards. “Yet the players decided to do it on their own and they were beaten twice.”

One interesting footnote to the match.  The goalkeeper for the Rowdies was a former University of New Haven player named Nick Sakiewicz who hadn’t played professional soccer in six years.  He recorded an easy shutout on four saves.  Sakiewicz’s playing career would come to a quiet end at the end of the 1990 season, but he went on to become a very prominent executive in Major League Soccer and is today the CEO of the Philadelphia Union club.

 

==Downloads==

5-6-1990 New Jersey Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies Scorecard

5-6-1990 New Jersey Eagles Game Notes

 

==Additional Sources==

“Eagles coach seeks spark for offense”, Bob Kurland, The Bergen Record, May 7, 1990

###

 

 

 

 

August 6, 1988 – Boston Bolts vs. New Jersey Eagles

leave a comment

Boston Bolts ProgramBoston Bolts vs. New Jersey Eagles
August 6, 1988
Nickerson Field
Attendance:

American Soccer League Programs
24 pages + insert

 

The Boston Bolts played at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University.  The 10,000-seat stadium was a 15-minute bus ride from my home on the #57 bus, the same one that went to Fenway Park about ten minutes further down Commonwealth Avenue.  I went to a half dozen or so games, mostly during the summer of ’89 when the Bolts made a serious run at the American Soccer League championship, losing at home in the final game. When I couldn’t go, I could sometimes find the Bolts games on SportsChannel New England, although I usually lost interest after watching a few minutes of low level soccer on television.  Although I would later become a true fan of the sport, my primary concern at most Bolts games was the outcome of the nightly halftime raffle drawing for a team-autographed soccer ball.

This program is from the Bolts first season, and the first season of the American Soccer League.  The ASL was an effort to start a fiscally conservative pro league, with regionalized travel on the Eastern seaboard.  The ASL’s eight founding franchises included Boston and Albany in the Northeast, a trio of clubs clustered around Washington, D.C., and four franchises in Florida, including revived versions of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies of the defunct, big-budget North American Soccer League.

Boston Bolts American Soccer LeagueThere were a handful of NASL refugees playing for peanuts in the ASL, particularly on the Florida teams.  In this August 6th, 1988 match between the Bolts and the New Jersey Eagles at Nickerson Field, the Bolts had longtime NASL/MISL vet Chris Hellenkamp and the young U.S. National Team goalkeeper Jeff Duback.  The Eagles had NASL vet Juan Carlos Michia.

But the especially compelling players on this night were the two New Jersey native rookies for the Eagles, getting their first taste of pro soccer in the summer of 1988: midfielder Tab Ramos and defender Peter Vermes.  Both would go on to represent the United States in the 1990 World Cup and enjoy long careers with the U.S. National Team.  Ramos and Vermes were also two of the early stars of Major League Soccer, which launched in 1996 and gave the United States a proper 1st Division league for the first time since the demise of the NASL in 1984.

 

==Links==

New Jersey Eagles Home Page

##

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: