Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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2001-2003 New York Power

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2001 New York Power Media GuideWomen’s United Soccer Association (2001-2003)

Born: April 2000 – WUSA founding franchise
Folded: September 15, 2003

Stadium: Mitchel Athletic Complex (10,102)

Team Colors: Violet, Gold & Black

Mascot: Zap

Investor-Operator: Time-Warner Cable

Founders Cup Championships: None

 

The Power were the New York entry in the Women’s United Soccer Association, the first attempt at a pro soccer league for women in the United States. The club played on Long Island at the Mitchell Athletic Complex in Uniondale.

The Power fared well in the WUSA’s debut season of 2001. U.S. National Team striker Tiffeny Milbrett led the league in scoring and took home MVP and Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors for the league. Her 16 goals established a league record that was never equalled. Other key players included Milbrett’s USWNT teammates Christie Pearce and Sara Whalen, Norwegian international defender Gro Espeseth and Chinese National Team keeper Gao Hong.  The Power finished in 3rd place with a 9-7-5 record. They lost to the eventual champion Bay Area CyberRays in the playoff semi-final.

The club fell apart during an cursed 2002 campaign. Espeseth retired. Hong and Pearce missed time with injuries. Worst of all, Whalen suffered a career-ending knee injury and nearly died from post-surgery complications. The Power crashed to a last place finish. Their 3-17-1 record was the worst in the three-year history of the WUSA. New York also finished last in the league in attendance with announced figures of 5,575 per game.

The Power hobbled into the WUSA’s third and final season in 2003. Behind the scenes, WUSA officials quietly asked senior management of the league’s Boston Breakers franchise to oversee operations of the Power front office. On the field, the club bounced back somewhat under new Head Coach Tom Sermanni, finishing 5th with a 7-9-5 record. Match attendance dipped further to a league-worst 4,249 per game.

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2003 WUSA season, the league’s cable company backers pulled their support. The Power and the rest of the WUSA went out of business on September 15, 2003.

 

New York Power Memorabilia

 

New York Power Video

2001 WUSA playoff semi-final. Power visit the Bay Area CyberRays at Spartan Stadium. August 18, 2001

 

Links

Women’s United Soccer Association Media Guides

Women’s United Soccer Association Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

March 11th, 2017 at 9:52 pm

August 10, 1980 – New York United vs. Ecuador

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Clodoaldo New York UnitedNew York United vs. Ecuador
International Friendly Match
August 10, 1980
Shea Stadium
Attendance: 11,332

American Soccer League Programs
4 Pages

 

A great find this week via longtime New York-area soccer promoter & journalist Charles Cuttone.  This packet of programs and press materials comes from an August 1980 challenge match between New York United of the American Soccer League and the National Team of Ecuador.

New York United in 1980 was a lower-division side with a new owner and grand aspirations.  Gas station operator Jim Sorentino bought the ASL’s New York Apollo in 1980 and moved the club from its long-time home on Long Island to Shea Stadium, cavernous home of the New York Jets and Mets.  United’s 15 appearances in the summer of 1980 marked the first time pro soccer was played inside the city limits since the New York Cosmos played one season at Yankee Stadium in 1976.

Sorrentino seemingly tried to rip a page from the playbook of the free-spending Cosmos.  The Cosmos famously signed Pele to an historic contract in 1975. Sorrentino signed Pele’s Santos teammate and fellow Brazilian World Cup hero Clodoaldo to play for United in 1980. United signed a big name coach in former Queens Park Rangers star Rodney Marsh (whom Sorrentino immediately alienated – Marsh had resigned by the time this late-season match came around). In October of 1980, United would undertake an extensive tour through Central America and the Carribbean. It was the kind of thing the Cosmos did every fall, but it was virtually unheard of for an American 2nd Division club at the time.

The difference was that the Cosmos still drew crowds of 40,000+ to Giants Stadium in the summer of 1980.  United were lucky to draw a couple thousand at Shea.

Charles Cuttone – United Director of Public Relations 1980

About a week out there had been very few tickets sold, and little buzz about the game. I convinced Jimmy Sorentino to give us an advertising budget. We spent 10K in a week in New York newspapers and I even bought time on the New York Cosmos radio broadcasts. The phones started ringing, tickets started moving and we drew that big crowd.

Press accounts put the crowd at 11,332 and claimed it was the 3rd largest crowd to ever watch a pro soccer match in New York City.  The Ecuadorians put United put under siege for much of the match, but the hosts managed to keep it close.  The lone goal was a 51st minute strike by Ecuador midfielder Jorge Valdez.

Charles Cuttone

I went in to the United offices on Tuesday after the game. The owner showed us the ledger sheet with a $10,000 loss on the game, said that was the money spent on advertising, and fired us. I came back a couple of months later as a favor to the GM to help with the Central American tour. I think <Sorrentino> ended up owning the team for less than a year.

United played one more season in 1981 and then folded quietly. The team is all but forgotten today, lacking even the most basic credential of the digital age – a Wikipedia page.

 

==Downloads==

August 10, 1980 New York United vs. National Team of Ecuador Program

August 10, 1980 New York United vs. National Team of Ecuador Game Notes

 

==Links==

New York United Home Page

More ASL International Friendlies

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Written by AC

November 25th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

2009 New York Sentinels

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New York SentinelsUnited Football League (2009)

Born: 2009 – UFL founding franchise
Moved: February 16, 2010 (Hartford Colonials)

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owner: Bill Mayer

UFL Champions: None

 

An especially flaccid entry in the ill-conceived United Football League (2009-2012).  The New York Sentinels went o-6 in their only season of competition and played only one contest in the state of New York during their brief lifespan.

The Sentinels were coached by former New York Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cotrell. The team’s biggest name was 4-time NFL All-Pro defensive end Simeon Rice.  The team’s best name was leading receiver Craphonso Thorpe.

The UFL played a short 6-game schedule during their 2009 debut season. For whatever reason, the league and the Sentinels chose/were forced to schedule each of the team’s games in a different state. The Sentinel’s debut at Giants Stadium on October 29, 2009 drew announced crowd of 10,818 in 76,000-seat Giants Stadium.  Game #2 on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island drew 4,392.  The Sentinels’ final “home” game was at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut before 5,201.

The Sentinels moved permanently to Hartford for the UFL’s second season in 2010 and were re-branded as the Hartford Colonials. The Colonials lasted one season before the franchise folded for good in July 2011. The UFL ran out of money a year later and closed its doors midway through the 2012 season.

 

==New York Sentinels Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

2009

2009 10/10/2009 @ Florida Tuskers L 35-13 Program

 

==YouTube==

The Sentinels vs. California Redwoods in the team’s lone Giants Stadium appearance. October 29, 2009.

 

==Links==

United Football League Programs

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April 20, 1996 – New York-New Jersey MetroStars vs. New England Revolution

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Tony Meola MetroStarsNew York-New Jersey MetroStars vs. New England Revolution
April 20, 1996
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 46,826

Major League Soccer Programs
54 Pages (Tabloid newsprint)

 

Nice find at the bottom of a box sent over by a former New York sportswriter late last year.  This oversize tabloid-style program is from the inaugural home game of the old New York MetroStars of Major League Soccer back in April 1996.  (The MetroStars are the ancestors of today’s New York Red Bulls).  U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola shouts from the cover.

There was a big crowd on hand for the first pro soccer game at Giants Stadium since the demise of the New York Cosmos in 1985.  In fact, 62-year old Eddie Firmani, the man who coached the Cosmos to two Soccer Bowl titles in the 1970’s and helmed the club’s final NASL game at the Meadowlands in September 1984, was behind the bench for the Metros.

Firmani’s fleeting cameo – he would be the first MLS coach to resign/get fired, lasting just eight matches – was the closest any of the North Jersey old-timers would come to mistaking the Metros for the powerhouse Cosmos of old.  Twenty years on, the Metros-turned-Red Bulls have never won a game of any consequence.  And the club’s more mystically-inclined diehards apportion some of the blame for those decades of futility squarely back here on the night of April 20th, 1996. The evening that a 33-year old Italian defender brought the “Curse of Caricola” down upon the MetroStars/Red Bulls franchise in the very first home game.

I’d explain the doomed sequence here, but why bother when we have this video…

 

==YouTube==

The Curse of Caricola grabs hold of the MetroStars…

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Written by AC

January 31st, 2015 at 1:05 am

August 8, 2004 – MetroStars vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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Eddie Gaven New York MetroStarsMetroStars vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
August 8, 2004
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 14,687

Major League Soccer Programs
72 Pages

 

Clash of Major League Soccer’s Eastern and Western Conference leaders at Giants Stadium in early August 2004.

It seemed like this might finally be the breakout year for the MetroStars, who had never won any type of hardware in MLS’ first decade.  Some supporters of MLS’ hapless New York club even believed the team was the victim of “The Curse of Caricola“, dating back to a crushing own-goal defeat in the Metros’ inaugural match back in 1996.

But the 2004 team had talent and carried a four-game undefeated streak into the All-Star Break at the end of July.  17-year old Eddie Gaven, pictured on the day’s FREEKICK match program (above right) became the youngest All-Star Game starter in MLS history a week earlier.  He was joined on the Eastern Conference squad by defender Eddie Pope and Honduran midfielder Amado Guevara.  All three would later be named to MLS’ Best XI for the 2004 season and Guevara would be selected as league MVP.  The Metros also owned the powerful Los Angeles Galaxy club that summer, outscoring the Angelenos 5-1 in two earlier victories in June.

Looking back, the Metros’ 2004 season crested on this match.  It was a violent engagement, with five yellow cards and a red (to L.A.’s Chris Albright in the 68th) and another one-sided MetroStars victory.  Guevara opened the scoring on a penalty in the 36th minute, and Gaven beat Galaxy keeper Kevin Hartman in the 61st to break the game open.  The Metros went on to win 3-0.

After this afternoon, the Metros returned to form.  They were winless for the remainder of August and 2-6-2 for the rest of the regular season en route to a 3rd place finish in the Eastern Conference.  Eventual MLS Cup champion D.C. United routed the Metros 4-0 on aggregate in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.

The MetroStars brand lasted one more season (ill-fated, of course) before Red Bull purchased and re-branded the club in 2006.  Gaven also stayed  just one more season in New York.  He was traded to Columbus before the 2006 season and enjoyed a long and solid career with the Crew (2006-2013), but never again was named to the MLS Best XI as he was in 2004 as a 17-year old teenager.

 

==Links==

Eddie Gaven, The Oddest Goalkeeper in MLS History, Retires“, Barry Petchesky, Deadspin, October 13, 2013

 

==Downloads==

August 8, 2004 MetroStars-Galaxy Roster Card

August 8, 2004 Los Angeles Galaxy Game Notes

August 8, 2004 MetroStars Game Notes

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Written by AC

January 8th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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