Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘New York Cosmos’ tag

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

one comment

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.

 

==Downloads-===

July 15, 1979 New York Cosmos Game Notes

##

Written by andycrossley

June 27th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

April 17, 1971 – St. Louis Stars vs. New York Cosmos

one comment

St. Louis Stars vs. New York Cosmos
April 17, 1971
Busch Stadium
Attendance: 3,701

North American Soccer League Programs
8 pages

 

This was a remarkable find earlier this month – a creased, somewhat frail paper program from the first match in the history of the famed New York Cosmos.  I inadvertently picked this up from a Missouri man cleaning out his closet of old St. Louis Stars (1967-1977) programs for $5 a piece.  A few hours after it arrived in my post office box earlier this week, a Cosmos collector from New Jersey plucked it away for $100.

The now historic contest was played at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium in peaceful anonymity in April 1971.  The Stars, owned by the stalwart Robert Hermann (for whom the NCAA’s Hermann Trophy is named), were one of the North American Soccer League’s more stable operations.  Nevertheless, fewer than 4,000 fans showed up to watch the Stars’ 5th season home debut.

The Cosmos earned a 2-1 road victory on this day.  Cosmos legend Randy Horton scored the first goal in team history while the game winner came from Ghanaian forward Wilberforce Mfum, a player who wasn’t even listed on the New York roster in the match program.  Inaccurate as it may have been, below is the Cosmos roster for the franchise’s first game, at least according to the Stars’ PR department.  You can grab the entire program in .PDF format in the Downloads section below.

No. Player Position
1 Conrad Kornek GK
2 Barry Mahay FB
3 Charles McCully HB
4 John Young CHB
5 Theodore Hasekidas CHB
6 Horst Meyer HB
7 Jaime Delgado OR
8 Ceyhan Yazar OR
9 Andy Mate CF
11 Jorge Siega OL
12 Radi Mitrovic CF
15 Siggy Stritzl HB
16 Randy Horton CF
19 Kilrakos Fitilas HB
20 Jan Steadman FB
21 Emanuel Kofie GK
24 Rudolph Pearce FB
Coach Gordon Bradley

 

One footnote for New York fans – that’s Dragan “Don” Popovic, player and assistant coach of the St. Louis Stars pictured on the cover and profiled inside.  Popovic later became a terrific indoor coach and led the New York Arrows to the first four championships of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

 

 

==Downloads==

April 17, 1971 St. Louis Stars vs. New York Cosmos Match Program

##

Written by andycrossley

April 20th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

August 26, 1981 – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

leave a comment

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
North American Soccer League Playoffs, Round 1, Game 2
August 26, 1981
Empire Stadium
Attendance: 28,896

North American Soccer League Programs

 

The Tampa Bay Rowdies really had no business in the North American Soccer League playoffs in 1981.  The Rowdies finished last in their division with a losing record of 15-17.  But they snuck into the NASL’s ultra generous playoff format, setting up a rematch of Soccer Bowl ’79  against the powerhouse Vancouver Whitecaps club in the first round.

The Whitecaps looked poised to make another strong Soccer Bowl run in 1981.  They had a prolific and democratic offense.  Vancouver ranked 3rd in the 21-team NASL in goals scored with 74 (trailing only eventual Soccer Bowl finalists Chicago & New York) despite the fact that their leading scorer Carl Valentine ranked just 20th in the league.  The defense, keyed by 2nd Team All-Star Pierce O’Leary, was even better.  The Whitecaps allowed a NASL-low 43 goals in 32 regular season matches.  Englishman Barry Siddall was among the league’s stingiest goalkeepers with a 1.30 goals against average and 6 clean sheets in 24 appearances.

So it was a shock when the Rowdies blitzed Vancouver for a 4-1 victory in Game 1 at Tampa Bay on August 23rd.  Vancouver actually got on the board first, courtesy of a volley from Valentine.  But the Rowdies tied the match late in the first half and stunned the visiting ‘Caps with a three goal barrage in the second.  The best-of-three series now headed back to Vancouver’s Empire Stadium for Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3.

“We’re a great team,” Siddall told The St. Petersburg Times resolutely after the Game 1 debacle.  “And I guarantee you, things will be different at our place.”

Siddall was right.  The Whitecaps couldn’t score at all three nights later in front of a near sellout at Empire Stadium.  Vancouver organized their defense and controlled the tempo in the first half, but it was the Rowdies that scored against he run of play.  English winger David Moss, playing his only season in America on a loan from Luton Town, beat the Vancouver defensive wall and Barry Siddall from 23 yards out on a free kick in the 28th minute.  Moss had also scored for Tampa in the Game 1 rout.

The Rowdies defense and goalkeeper Kevin “Cat” Keelan blanked Vancouver the rest of the way and Moss’ goal held up in the 1-0 victory.  The stunned Whitecaps went home in the first round for the second straight year.  Tampa’s lack of talent caught up with them in the next round, and they lost to the NASL’s top regular season team, the New York Cosmos in the quarterfinals.

Collector’s note: Angelo DiBernardo of the Cosmos was pictured on the cover of the evening’s KICK Magazine match program (above right).  This was the cover used for all NASL 1st round playoff matches in 1981.

##

 

 

 

Written by andycrossley

February 9th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

December 26, 1983 – Chicago Sting vs. New York Cosmos

leave a comment

Chicago Sting vs. New York Cosmos
December 26, 1983
Chicago Stadium
Attendance: 11,722

North American Soccer League Programs
48 pages

 

“Season Greetings From Your Chicago Sting“…

Great KICK Magazine match day from 30 years ago today, when the Chicago Sting took on their North American Soccer League arch rivals in an indoor soccer matinee at the old Chicago Stadium downtown.  The crowd of 11,722 was the Sting’s largest of the indoor season so far, thanks to the holiday and the box office appeal of the hated New York Cosmos.

Cosmos’ striker Steve Moyers graces the program cover, but it was New York’s Polish indoor specialist Stan Terlecki who carried the afternoon for the visitors, scoring all four of the Cosmos’ goals, including the game winner with under three minutes to play.  The Cosmos won 4-3.  Charlie Fajkus (2 goals) and Ingo Peter scored for the Sting in a losing effort.

 

==Links==

Chicago Sting Home Page

###

Written by andycrossley

December 27th, 2013 at 12:15 am

March 25, 1979 – New York Cosmos vs. Estudiantes Tecos

one comment

New York Cosmos vs. Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
March 25, 1979
Kezar Stadium
Attendance: 9,000 (estimated)

North American Soccer League Programs
4 pages

 

Over the past six months or so I’ve pumped an absurd amount of money that should have gone into retirement savings or my baby girl’s college fund into acquiring large chunks of the remarkable estate collection of the late Newark Star-Ledger sportswriter Ike Kuhns.  Kuhns covered all sorts of events, but I’ve been focusing on his meticulous New York Cosmos soccer archives, which probably should have been sent to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, except that the Hall is currently out of business and its collection is currently gathering dust in a storage facility somewhere in North Carolina.

Anyway.  If you’ve been annoyed with the heavy soccer coverage on Fun While It Lasted during the past year – especially the Cosmos – you can blame it almost solely on Ike and his awesome, once-in-a-lifetime collection.  Or you can blame me.  It makes no difference to either of us at this point.

This is one of the cooler finds from Kuhns’ files.  A four-age tabloid newspaper style match program for a March 1979 pre-season exhibition between the Cosmos and Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (colloquially known as “Tecos”) at San Franscisco’s Kezar Stadium.  I can’t imagine many of these broadsheets survived the walk home from Golden Gate Park that day, let alone 35 years moldering away in somebody’s attic.  Maybe this is the only one – you can download the whole thing at the bottom of the page.

Tecos traces its history back to 1935, but the club only became fully professional in 1971.  Nevertheless, by 1979 they were a competitive team in the Mexican First Division and worthy of facing the Cosmos in this 1979 pre-season tune-up, played before 9,000 or so mostly Mexican-American fans in San Francisco.  And the Tecos held their own on this day, drawing the Cosmos 2-2.  Giorgio Chinaglia scored two in the first half to give the New Yorkers a 2-0 advantage at intermission.  But the Tecos clawed their way back in the second half to earn the tie courtesy of goals by Eladio Vera and David Salas.

In fairness, Cosmos manager Eddie Firmani was without two of his best players – Carlos Alberto and Dennis Tueart – and he started Trinidadian Earl “Spiderman” Carter in goal.  Carter had an awesome nickname but he was also a 9th stringer who literally never played in a North American Soccer League regular season game when it counted.

One last (ultra geeky) curiosity about this match.  The NASL had two Bay Area franchises in 1978.  The San Jose Earthquakes played at Spartan Stadium and the Oakland Stompers lasted just a single season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.  A month prior to this match the Stompers were sold to Canadian interests and moved to Edmonton, Alberta.  So I was surprised to see the Tecos Game Notes (download them below) printed on Stompers letterhead.  Either the Stompers were due to be the organizational “hosts” of this exhibition before their abrupt move to the Great White North, or else some lone Stompers PR flack was left behind with a few leftover piles of Stompers stationary and he offered to help out with the event promotion.

 

==Downloads==

March 25, 1979 New York Cosmos vs. Tecos Game Program

March 25, 1979 New York Cosmos Game Notes

March 25, 1979 Tecos Roster & Game Notes

March 25, 1979 New York Cosmos vs. Tecos Official Scorer’s Sheet

###

Written by andycrossley

October 13th, 2013 at 4:10 am