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December 3, 1985 – Wichita Wings vs. St. Louis Steamers

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Wichita Wings vs. St. Louis Steamers. December 3, 1985Wichita Wings vs. St. Louis Steamers
December 3, 1985
Kansas Coliseum
Attendance: ?

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

 

The early/mid 1980′s clashes between the Wichita Wings and the St. Louis Steamers made for one of the best rivalries during the golden era of indoor soccer.  Both teams were popular and drew large crowds at the time, which fueled the competition.

I chose to post this game because 1.) someone posted a great-looking 46-minute edit of the St. Louis local broadcast on YouTube and 2.) we had the game program here in the archives, courtesy of Wings historian and occasional FWiL contributor Michael Romalis.  That’s the late Slobo Ilijevski of the Steamers on the cover (above right), one of the all-time greats of the indoor game.

Oh yeah – this game also featured one of the greatest goals in MISL history.  A ludicrous, ill-conceived length-of-the-floor sprint by Wichita goalkeeper Jan Olesen.  The seldom-used Dane, who would play only 16 games in the Major Indoor Soccer League, beat three St. Louis defenders and nutmegged Slobo to open the scoring in the 2nd quarter and send the Kansas Coliseum crowd into a frenzy.   There’s a separate highlight clip of Olesen’s rampage in the video section below.

The Wings held on for a 4-3 victory.

 

==YouTube==

Jan Olesen’s end-to-end golazo…

 

St. Louis Steamers local broadcast.  46-minute edit:

 

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Written by andycrossley

July 5th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

November 23, 1985 – Wichita Wings vs. San Diego Sockers

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Steve Zungul San Diego SockersWichita Wings vs. San Diego Sockers
November 23, 1985
Kansas Coliseum
Attendance: 9,051

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
32 pages

 

This rare MISSILE Magazine program comes from the heyday of the old Major Indoor Soccer League (1978-1992).  Indoor soccer reigned supreme on the U.S. soccer scene in 1985.  There was no outdoor professional league in the entire country at the time.  And the greatest indoor player of them all was Steve Zungul, the “Lord of All Indoors”, pictured on the cover of the evening’s game program.

Zungul was the all-time leading scorer in the sport in 1985, and winner of the league’s MVP in five of the six seasons he had competed in.  Zungul was also the straw that stirred the drink for two different indoor dynasties.  The New York Arrows won four consecutive MISL titles with Zungul as their leader from 1978 to 1982.  When the cash-starved Arrows dealt Zungul away for financial relief in 1983, their hegemony came to an immediate end.

The San Diego Sockers had already captured three indoor titles in the MISL and its defunct rival the North American Soccer League when Zungul arrived in 1984.  He made the team even more dominant (a team-best 37-11 record in the 1984-85 campaign) and led them to a fourth title in 1985, picking up his 5th MISL MVP award along the way.

The Wichita Wings hosted Zungul and the Sockers for this early season clash in November 1985.  A near-sellout crowd of 9,051 packed the Kansas Coliseum for the Wings’ second home game of the year.  The Wings had never beaten San Diego in eight previous tries, which included losing a three-game sweep in the 1983 MISL playoffs.  That didn’t seem likely to change, as the Sockers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.

But the Wings defense managed to contain Zungul, holding him to just one goal on the night.  Wichita’s Danish striker Erik Rasmussen led the comeback, tying a team record with 5 goals and adding two more assists.  The two clubs combined for 20 goals – the most in a Wichita game all season – but the Wings got the best of it, beating the Sockers for the very first time 11-9.

Two months later, Sockers owner Bob Bell sold Zungul to the Tacoma Stars for $200,000 in midseason.  Zungul finished the 1985-86 season in Tacoma as the league leader in both assists (60) and total points (115) and won his sixth Most Valuable Player Award.  Erik Rasmussen of Wichita led the MISL in goals with 67.

Unlike the Arrows dynasty, however, the Sockers did not collapse after selling off the greatest player in the sport.  The Sockers won their fourth straight indoor title in 1986 and would add another in 1988 before Zungul rejoined San Diego for the 1988-89 season.

 

==Links==

San Diego Sockers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

December 17th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

December 28, 1984 – Wichita Wings vs. New York Cosmos

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Wichita Wings vs. New York Cosmos
December 28, 1984
Kansas Coliseum
Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

FWil contributor Michael Romalis grew up in Wichita, Kansas cheering for the Wichita Wings, an indoor soccer team that regularly sold out the Kansas Coliseum in the early 1980′s.  This blog is re-printed with permission from Michael’s excellent Wichita Wings History website.

“When I came to Wichita, Kansas I never really dreamed we would ever talk about the Wichita Wings playing the New York Cosmos.  Such is the growth of soccer in Kansas that they are coming here and I think we’ve got a great chance of beating them.”

–Wings coach Roy Turner, as quoted in the game write-up of this program.  In 1975, Roy’s Dallas Tornado squad played the Cosmos in front of a worldwide television audience when Pele made his North American debut.

This December 28, 1984 home match was a historical game in retrospect.

After a week off since a home win against Pittsburgh, the well-rested Wings were ready for a match-up against another MISL newcomer, the New York Cosmos.  The Cosmos, of course, were a famous NASL team in the late 1970′s after having procured the services of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia.  By 1977 it could be argued that the Cosmos were as famous as the Reggie Jackson-led New York Yankees.

By 1984, though, the NASL was nearly out of business and the Cosmos franchise was a shell of its once great self.  Attempting to keep itself afloat, the Cosmos joined the Major Indoor Soccer League, which by then was the premiere professional soccer league in the country.  Though the Cosmos still boasted some respectable players (including Chinaglia , who officially occupied a roster spot despite only appearing in four games), they were no match for the MISL’s powerful clubs.  On this night, Coach Turner’s prediction came true as the Wings won 7-5 in front of 9,518 at the Kansas Coliseum.

Less than two months later, the Cosmos ceased operations at the MISL All-Star Break on February 22, 1985.  They left the MISL with an 11-22 record.  Still, Wichita hosting the world famous New York Cosmos for one night was a historical and proud moment for the city’s soccer community.

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Dave Mackenzie of the Pittsburgh Spirit and Gino Schiraldi of the Kansas City Comets are pictured on the cover of the evening’s program.

==Links==

Check out Michael Romalis’ Wichita Wings History site here.  Highly recommended for old school MISL fans.

 

 

Written by andycrossley

January 26th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

April 1, 1984 – Wichita Wings vs. Pittsburgh Spirit

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Wichita Wings vs. Pittsburgh Spirit
April 1, 1984
Kansas Coliseum
Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

FWil contributor Michael Romalis grew up in Wichita, Kansas cheering for the Wichita Wings, an indoor soccer team that regularly sold out the Kansas Coliseum in the early 1980′s.  This blog is re-printed with permission from Michael’s excellent Wichita Wings History website.

I have a special memory of this game. I had always been fascinated with the Kansas Coliseum’s scoreboard. It was big and colorful and hung precariously over the center of the pitch (or center ice if you ever went to a Wichita Wind hockey game). We arrived a little late to this afternoon match and the first thing I noticed was– no scoreboard. Instead, a large void existed where the electronic beast once hung. (It was resting dark and lifeless in the south tunnel.)

Prior to the pregame warm-ups the supporting cables gave way and it fell to the earth, er, astroturf. Public Address announcer J.B. Johnson and the referees forged a special bond that Sunday afternoon as J.B., receiving constant updates, had to announce the remaining time in the period about every minute.

Only the Wichita Wings could have celebrated April Fools Day in this fashion.

By the way, the Wings won 5-4.

In overtime.

- Michael Romalis
www.wichitawingshistory.com


Written by andycrossley

August 5th, 2012 at 5:24 pm