Maintained and written by David Litterer firstname.lastname@example.org
The year 1997 saw developments along many fronts in the ever-growing world of American Soccer. Major League Soccer completed its sophomore year with some slumps and some consolidations. Meanwhile, the Men's National Team successfully completed the qualifying rounds for the 1998 World Cup, although not without a couple bumps along the way. The A-League and USISL reached a historic merger, completing the transition to a unified multi-divisional league structure for US soccer. Meanwhile, a new minor indoor league took to the field, and college soccer consolidated its gains as one of the top college varsity sports. In other words, a busy year, with many important developments preparing the way for the major world events to take place in 1998 and 1999.
Major League Soccer looked to consolidate its position after a debut season that exceeded all expectations. The league expanded marketing budgets, and the salary cap was increased from $1.19 million per team to $1.3 million. Teams were allowed to add a fifth allocated foreigner to their rosters, and a significantly larger number of games were scheduled on weekends, which drew better than weekday matches. Recognizing the league's successful launch, the Sports Business Daily named Major League Soccer its 1996 Sports Industrialist of the Year. Responding to fan complaints, the league changed Kansas City's nickname from the Wiz to the Wizards, and redesigned the uniforms for seven of the ten teams to more traditional designs. The league also established a point system to give weight for yellow cards depending on the severity of the infraction. Finally, with the merger of the A-League into the USISL, MLS was able to strengthen its farm system by establishing relationships with the six surviving A-League teams, and benefit from their stronger team infrastructure. MLS also announced it would expand to Chicago and Miami for the 1998 season.
Coaching changes were in order for the second season, with Carlos Alberto Parreira taking over the MetroStars. Meanwhile, Thomas Rongen switched from Tampa Bay to New England, while John Kowalski took over at Tampa Bay and Glenn Myernick was tapped for Colorado. There was an influx of new players from overseas, including former Italian National Team goalkeeper Walter Zenga who joined the New England Revolution, former Scottish National captain Richard Gough with the Wizards, and Guatemalan midfielder Martin Machon. This was offset somewhat by the temporary loss of Dallas star Leonel Alvarez to the Mexican 1st division. But most of the major players, particularly the Americans remained, including Roy Lassiter and Thomas Dooley who had joined during the previous season. Trades almost completely remade the Colorado Rapids roster, with the addition of Paul Bravo, Adrian Paz, Wilde Harris and Peter Vermes, but D. C. United adopted the credo "don't mess with success", although they would need to compensate for player losses during world cup qualification matches. The college draft was a bust this year with few drafted players establishing themselves. The drafts were important to fill the spaces left by over 40 players who were waived after the first season. Significantly, only four of those players were reclaimed during the waiver draft, indicating the teams had learned their mistakes in 1996, and found better sources of talent elsewhere. This was borne out by the significantly improved quality of play in 1997.
D. C. United continued their championship form this season, going undefeated until June 1, when the Kansas City Wizards defeated them 6-1 to end a 22 game unbeaten streak. They took top place in the East and never looked back. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay struggled on the field and at the gate, although they still finished in 2nd place, just one game above .500. New England was the major mystery. Substantial changes had led to uneven performances. When Walter Zenga was in goal they performed well, when he was injured they floundered, although they did manage to squeak into the playoffs. The MetroStars sank into a sea of futility, unable to win consistently despite rapid turnover of coaches.
In the West, the major success story was the Kansas City Wizards who won the conference title, on the strength of 1997 MVP Preki, who made an impressive performance in World Cup qualifying as well as on the MLS fields. Dallas was another surprise. They appeared on paper to be the best in the West, but the inability to match players up when they were hot left the team struggling under continual clashes of differing playing styles. Being forced to replace Leonel Alvarez with Swiss star Alain Sutter didn't help. Part of their struggle lay in the absence of an investor-operator, the Burn being one of three teams run directly by the league. A key to success this season was exemplified by D. C. United who had simply the best coaching in the league, which brought players up to peak performance.
The playoffs brought one major surprise, as the high flying Kansas City Wizards crashed to earth, losing to the lowly Colorado Rapids 3-0 and 3-2. Colorado then defeated Dallas 1-0, 2-1 to make a Cinderella appearance in the MLS Cup, where they played a remarkably effective game against the defending MLS champs D. C. United before succumbing 2-1 in front of a sold out RFK Stadium in the driving rain before an exuberant crowd of 57,000+ United fans.
Overall, it was a successful sophomore season, despite the drop in attendance, and flagging marketing efforts. The league lost $40,000,000 during the first two seasons, but that had been expected, and planned for in the initial budgeting. One item that was of some concern was the 16% drop in attendance, although that could be partly explained by the boost in 1996 from the debut games and a couple special matches which drew enormous crowds. Another problem for the future was a lawsuit filed by a group of players unhappy over low pay and the single entity system which did not allow them to bargain collectively. For the long term however, there were many good signs. The quality of play was noticeably better this year as teams stabilized, and overall, more talent arrived than left.
The league had survived continual losses of major players to World Cup qualifying. For the first time ever, a 1st division league in the USA had played two seasons without a single franchise change, and MLS had committed itself to not moving or folding teams. The multidivisional structure meshed well, with the USISL and A-League teams proving to be viable farm clubs, and high hopes for the new Project-40 teams to be established in 1998 in the A-League. There were major problems apparent in the inconsistent promotional and marketing efforts, and the lax performance of the league-owned teams. This led to some nervousness about how the new teams would perform next year. Finally, in October MLS signed a landmark five year television deal with ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 with substantially improved terms. No more would MLS buy air time, but would instead be paid a small, but not insubstantial rights fee.
Official 1997 MLS Season Stats
Official MLS History Archives
Dave Wilson's MLS Commentaries
Final 1997 MLS Standings GP W WS LS L GF GA Pts Eastern Conference DC United 32 17 4 4 7 70 53 55 Tampa Bay Mutiny 32 14 3 2 13 55 60 45 Columbus Crew 32 12 3 4 13 42 41 39 New England Revolution 32 11 4 4 13 40 53 37 NY/NJ MetroStars 32 11 2 2 17 43 53 35 Western Conference Kansas City Wizards 32 14 7 2 9 57 51 49 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 14 2 4 12 55 44 44 Dallas Burn 32 13 3 2 14 55 49 42 Colorado Rapids 32 12 2 3 15 50 59 38 San Jose Clash 32 9 3 6 14 55 59 30 Conference Semifinals: D. C. United defeated New England, 4-1, 2-1(SO) Columbus defeated Tampa Bay 2-1, 2-0 Colorado defeated Kansas City, 3-0, 3-2 Dallas defeated Los Angeles, 1-0(SO), 3-0 Conference Finals: D. C. United defeated Columbus, 3-2, 1-0 Colorado defeated Dallas, 1-0, 2-1 MLS CUP '97 D. C. United defeated Colorado, 2-1 LEADING SCORERS NAME TEAM(S) GAMES GOALS ASSISTS POINTS 1 Preki KC 27 12 17 41 2 Jaime Moreno DC 20 16 8 40 3 Raul Diaz Arce DC 22 15 6 36 4 Ronald Cerritos SJ 22 12 10 34 5 Giovanni Savarese MET 29 14 4 32 6 Dante Washington DAL 30 12 6 30 Lawrence Lozzano SJ 29 10 10 30 8 Damian DAL 19 11 7 29 9 Mark Chung KC 32 10 8 28 Chris Henderson COL 30 7 14 28 11 Antony De Avila MET 23 9 9 27 12 Welton LA 29 11 4 26 13 Carlos Valderrama TB 20 3 19 25 14 Mauricio Cienfuegos LA 22 6 12 24 GOALKEEPING LEADERS (Minimum 1,000 minutes) NAME TEAM(S) GP MIN SHTS SVS C/P GA GAA W L 1 Brad Friedel CLB 29 2609 168 131 104 35 1.21 14 15 2 Walter Zenga NE 22 1980 110 79 86 28 1.27 15 7 3 Jorge Campos LA 19 1584 85 60 54 23 1.31 12 5 4 Marcus Hahnemann COL 25 2157 144 111 97 37 1.54 13 11 5 Mike Ammann KC 29 2597 157 110 101 45 1.56 21 8 6 Mark Dodd DAL 30 2700 240 183 143 48 1.60 14 16 7 Tony Meola MET 30 2683 207 147 117 48 1.61 12 18 8 David Kramer SJ 21 1832 115 84 82 33 1.62 7 14 9 Dave Salzwedel SJ 20 1678 115 71 54 35 1.88 7 11 10 Mark Dougherty TB 25 2143 150 109 64 45 1.89 15 8 Honda Most Valuable Player: Preki, Kansas City MLS Coach of the Year: Bruce Arena, D.C. United Pepsi Goalkeeper of the Year: Brad Friedel, Columbus BIC Defender of the Year: Eddie Pope, D.C. United Bandai Rookie of the Year: Mike Duhaney, Tampa Bay Umbro Golden Whistle: Esse Baharmast MLS Cup '97 Most Valuable Player: Jaime Moreno, D.C. United AT&T Best 11: G - Brad Friedel, Columbus D - Eddie Pope, D.C. United D - Richard Gough, Kansas City D - Jeff Agoos, D.C. United D - Thomas Dooley, Columbus M - Marco Etcheverry, D.C. United M - Preki, Kansas City M - Mark Chung, Kansas City M - Carlos Valderrama, Tampa Bay F - Ronald Cerritos, San Jose F - Jaime Moreno, D.C. United
The United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues underwent a major reorganization following its merger with the A-League, and completed its vision of being an all-encompassing, unified developmental soccer organization for the United States. The USISL envisioned this structure as a pyramid of divisional soccer leagues, with youth soccer providing the base (to be realized by the envisioned Y-League scheduled for launch in 1999), followed by the Amateur league (renamed the Premier Developmental Soccer League, unofficially a "4th division", a professional 3rd division (The renamed D3-Pro League), and the upper professional division 2 league, created through the merger of the A-League and the USISL's select League. On the other plane of the pyramid were the other support structures, the national women's league (W-League), and indoor soccer (the I-League). At the pinnacle of this pyramid was the independent division 1 league, Major League Soccer.
The league clarified and strengthened its qualifications for membership in the three divisions and this led to some changes. With the increased club affiliations between MLS and the USISL, including the new A-League teams, the introduction of promotion (automatic promotion to the A-League for the D3-Pro League champion), and cooperation between MLS and the NPSL, there was cooperation for the first time between all of the professional outdoor soccer leagues in the United States. The USISL adhered to FIFA standard rules except for three approved modifications: A shootout to decide draws, an optional kick-in for out of bounds balls, and a 15 yard wall for penalty kicks. Following the successful conclusion of the season, the USISL established separate offices for the individual leagues which led to more efficient administration and public relations. The USISL continued its successful television contract with Prime Sportschannel and sponsorship arrangement with Umbro.
Final 1996-97 USISL standings and playoff results
Less than a month after the conclusion of the 1996 season, the A-League reached a merger agreement with the USISL, bringing all outdoor lower divisions into one corporate entity. What actually happened is the original A-League folded, and five of the six remaining teams joined the USISL Select League which adopted the "A-League" name. Also joining were the two expansion A-League teams, Toronto and Hershey. The old A-league's New York Fever sat out the year, eventually joining the USISL D3Pro League as the Staten Island Vipers. This new league provided a stronger training ground for up and coming MLS players.
To facilitate this, the A-League laid plans to establish an elite team consisting of promising newcomers culled from the top ranks of the NCAA college ranks. Dubbed "US Project 40", this team, starting in 1998, would practice full time, and play a full schedule against the other A-League teams. All players would be signed with MLS clubs and be subject for promotion to the MLS for varying lengths of service. This was intended to bypass the shortcomings of college soccer as a training ground for future professionals and give the amount of playing/practice time and quality of competition required to develop players to their fullest potential and ensure a steady flow of new talent to MLS, and ultimately the National Team.
The reconfigured A-League consisted of 24 teams in four divisions. The new teams from the old A-League immediate made their impact felt, as they immediately assumed commanding positions within the league standings. Montreal and Rochester finished 1-2 in the Northeast Division while expansion Toronto finished a respectable 4th. The fledgling Hershey Wildcats won the Atlantic, while Seattle, Vancouver and Colorado finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Pacific. Only the struggling Atlanta Ruckus failed to make an impact. Making their first impact this season were future MLS stars Stern John and Dominic Mobilio.
The old A-League teams generally were top performers at the box office, with the notable exception of Colorado who were feeling the competition from the MLS Rapids; they would move to San Diego after the season. The Rochester Rhinos averaged an incredible 10,677 per game, better than a couple MLS teams, leading to a push for them to apply for the MLS. Total league attendance was 1,085,777 (2,828 per game).
To make the different leagues more consistent, the round robin tournaments were eliminated in favor of straight divisional playoffs followed by a final four. Surprisingly, the A-League teams, who performed so well during the regular season, fell short when it really counted, as only Vancouver made it to the Conference Finals where they bowed to the Milwaukee Rampage 3-1, 0-1, after a mini-game and shootout. Carolina defeated the Long Island Rough Riders, leading to the first unified Championship, where Milwaukee won their first league title, defeating Carolina 1-1 in the shootout. Thus capped an amazing surge by a team that had not qualified for the playoffs until the final week of the season.
Final A-League Standings, 1997 The USISL Select League changed its name to the A-League. It then absorbed Montreal, Rochester, Toronto, Hershey, Atlanta, Colorado, Seattle and Vancouver from the old A-League which then folded. Orlando and Orange County were added, and South Carolina dropped to the D3Pro League. PD W SW SL L F A Pts Northeast Division Montreal Impact 28 20 1 1 6 58 19 61 Rochester Raging Rhinos 28 14 0 5 9 56 47 42 Long Island Rough Riders 28 13 3 2 10 44 36 42 Toronto Lynx 28 12 2 0 14 44 43 38 Connecticut Wolves 28 8 4 1 15 31 45 28 Worcester Wildfire 28 6 1 2 19 26 61 19 Atlantic Division Hershey Wildcats 28 18 1 1 8 56 33 55 Carolina Dynamo 28 16 2 2 8 63 33 50 Richmond Kickers 28 15 0 2 11 41 35 45 Charleston Battery 28 10 2 3 13 39 50 32 Raleigh Flyers 28 8 4 3 13 34 52 28 Jacksonville Cyclones 28 4 1 1 23 28 73 131 Central Division New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers 28 13 3 2 10 45 42 42 Nashville Metros 28 10 7 2 9 42 34 37 Orlando Sundogs 28 12 0 4 12 39 40 36 Milwaukee Rampage 28 11 3 2 12 33 36 36 Minnesota Thunder 28 11 2 5 10 22 30 35 Atlanta Ruckus 28 9 3 1 15 39 48 30 Pacific Division California Jaguars 28 17 1 0 10 48 34 52 Seattle Sounders 28 16 2 3 7 42 19 50 Vancouver 86ers 28 15 1 1 11 50 29 46 Colorado Foxes 28 15 1 2 10 55 49 46 Orange County Zodiac 28 10 1 0 17 35 62 31 El Paso Patriots 28 5 3 3 17 30 50 18 Division Semi-finals: Long Island defeated Rochester 1-0 (SO), 2-1 (SO) Montreal defeated Toronto 2-1, 4-0 Carolina defeated Richmond 2-1, 1-4, 1-0(MG-SO) Charleston defeated Hershey 2-1(SO), 1-2(SO), 1-0(MG-SO) New Orleans defeated Orlando, 2-1, 6-2 Milwaukee defeated Nashville, 2-1, 3-0 Seattle defeated Colorado, 3-0, 2-0 Vancouver defeated California, 4-1, 3-2(SO) Division Finals: Long Island defeated Montreal 2-1, 0-2, 1-0(MG-SO) Carolina defeated Charleston 3-4 (SO), 2-1, 1-0(MG-SO) Milwaukee defeated New Orleans, 2-1 (OT), 4-3 Vancouver defeated Seattle, 3-0, 0-1(SO), 2-1 (MG-SO) Conference Finals: Carolina defeated Long Island 2-1, 2-0 Milwaukee defeated Vancouver 3-1, 0-1, 1-0(MG-SO) CHAMPIONSHIP: Milwaukee defeated Carolina 2-1(SO) After the season, Orlando folded. Leading Scorers: GP G A Pts Doug Miller, Rochester 25 23 5 51 Mark Baena, California 27 20 4 44 Stern John, New Orleans 26 16 5 37 Steve Patterson, Colorado 26 16 3 35 Jamel Mitchell, Nashville 23 17 0 34 Jimmy Glenn, Rochester 28 13 8 34 Yari Allnutt, Carolina 20 12 9 33 Domenic Mobilio, Vancouver 21 14 5 33 Darren Tilley, Montreal 27 13 7 33 Gustavo Leval, Orange County 27 16 1 33 Sebastian Barnes, Orlando 23 14 3 31 Garret Kusch, Vancouver 22 10 10 30 Michael Galley, Seattle 27 10 7 27 Rob Ukrop, Richmond 28 12 3 27 Goalkeeping Leaders: (Min 1600 minutes) GP Min GA SO GAA Dusty Hudock, Seattle 28 2568 19 15 0.67 Paolo Ceccarelli, Montreal 23 2113 18 10 0.77 John Swallen, Minnesota 21 1950 20 8 0.92 Paul Dolan, Vancouver 22 1902 20 6 0.95 Pat Onstad, Toronto 19 1678 20 3 1.07 Kevin Rueda, California 26 2374 31 10 1.18 Randy Dedini, Nashvile 28 2569 34 9 1.19 Marcos Machado, Orlando 26 2341 31 6 1.19 Most Valuable Player: Doug Miller, Rochester Ragin' Rhinos Top Goal Scorer: Doug Miller, Rochester Ragin' Rhinos Top Goalkeeper: Dusty Hudock, Seattle Sounders Coach of the Year: Bob Lilleo, Hershey Wildcats Championship Game MVP: Carmine Isacco, Milwaukee Rampage Rookie of the Year: Stern John, New Orleans Storm All A-League Team: G - Dusty Hudock, Seattle Sounders D - John Limniatis, Montreal Impact D - Scott Schweitzer, Carolina Dynamo D - Mark Watson, Seattle Sounders D - Travis Rinker, Long Island Rough Riders M - Yari Allnutt, Carolina Dynamo M - Mauro Biello, Montreal Impact M - Garret Kusch, Vancouver 86ers F - Mark Baena, California Jaguars F - Doug Miller, Rochester Rhinos F - Stern John, New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers All-Star Game, July 15, 1997, at Rochester: West defeated East 5-3.
The renamed D3-Pro League expanded to 38 teams in six divisions, partly as a result of demotions from the former Select League, promotions from the PDSL, and partly due to new expansion. Some turnover among the powerhouses took place, with strong runs made by Reading, Myrtle Beach, the North Jersey Imperials and expansion Albuquerque Geckos, who won their division titles. Attendance figures for the D3Pro League totaled 337,487 (862 per game), but the relatively low numbers can be explained by the loss of teams over the past two years to the Select league and again to the A-League. Still, more than half of the teams averaged more than 1,000 fans per game.
The big story of the year was the incredible performance by the young San Francisco Bay Seals, who not only won their division with a 12-3-0-3 record, but also completed one of the most amazing performances in the 85 year history of the US Open Cup. This run began with decisive victories over amateur and PDSL clubs, followed by a major upset of the A-League's Seattle Sounders. The Seals then shocked the US soccer community by defeating MLS finalist Kansas City Wizards-1 on the strength of a Marquis White goal 52 seconds into the match, followed by his response to the Wizards' later return goal. As if this wasn't enough, the Seals then went on to oust the MLS San Jose Clash before forcing defending MLS champions D. C. United into a shootout after a close-fought semifinal match. This, from a team that began on an amateur basis only a few years ago! Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of this performance was the Open Cup itself, as it proved to the American soccer community that the Cup was not doomed to be a routine alternative championship series for Major League Soccer. Anything was still possible, and this was the intent of the Open Cup all along.
Final 1997 D3-Pro League standings and playoff results
Top Scorers: G A Pts Orett Prendergast, Florida 29 3 61 Luis Labistada, Albuquerque 20 9 49 Luis Orellana, Chico 16 15 47 Ron Murphy, New Hampshire 19 4 42 Kobie Washington, Arizona 15 10 40 Kerwin Johnson, Austin 17 5 39 Jerome Lee Yaw, South Carolina 16 6 38 Rogel Galo, Houston 13 6 32 Thomas Silva, Chico 8 13 29 Leading Goalkeepers: (min 720 minutes) Min GA GAA J. J. Wozniak, San Francisco Bay 1305 10 0.690 Jason Berry, Albuquerque 1168 9 0.693 Patrick Trade, Chicago 1161 10 0.780 Scott Schweitzer, Wilmington 1210 12 0.890 Steve Quinones, Cape Cod 2295 23 0.900 Markus Roy, Chicago 952 10 0.950 Most Valuable Player: Orett Prendergast, Florida Strikers Top Scorer: Orett Prendergast, Florida Strikers Top Goalkeeper: J. J. Wozniak, San Francisco Bay Seals Coach of the Year: Tom Simpson, San Francisco Bay Seals Defender of the Year: Omid Namazi, New Jersey Stallions Rookie of the Year: Gabe Eastman, Stanislaus County Cruisers
The Premier League was renamed the Premier Development Soccer League, and added five teams to replace the eight lost last season. This 10th anniversary season saw the league retain their six divisions, but the PDSL eliminated their conference setup, as well as the round robin playoff tournament. Once again, as often can happen in an amateur league, expansion teams can get off to a fast start, as Cincinnati Riverhawks proved as they won the Mid-South division and drew large crowds. Newcomers Lincoln and San Gabriel Valley won the Central and Southwest Divisions respectively.
The same could not be said of the Southwest Florida Manatees, who lost all sixteen games and quickly folded. Cocoa repeated their 1996 success by taking the Southeast. One of the most significant features of the PDSL was its increasingly important position as a showcase for top college players, who were eligible to play because of the league's amateur status, and this gave much needed additional experience to players who would otherwise be hamstrung by the short NCAA season.
The Central Coast Roadrunners established a mini-dynasty, winning the PDSL Championship by defeating the Cocoa Expos 2-1 at home in San Luis Obispo at the Cal-SLO campus. Ironically, this result meant the final tournament standings were exactly the opposite of the initial seedings, but the Runners didn't mind as they savored their upset, and third league championship.
Final 1997 PDSL standings and playoff results
Most Valuable Player: Lester Felicia, Jackson Chargers Top Scorer: Rodrigo Costa, Detroit Dynamite (21 goals, 2 assists, 44 points) Goalkeeper of the Year: Alan Beilke, Central Coast Roadrunners (1519 minutes, 20 goals, 1.18 GAA) Coach of the Year: steve Burns, Mid-Michigan Bucks Defender of the Year: Craig Demmin, Jackson Chargers Rookie of the Year: Rodrigo Costa, Detroit Dynamite
With the Women's World Cup just two years away, the W-League drew more attention as the top league in the USA for women. Several National Team players now dotted the rosters, and the skill level improved at a rapid clip. The league now boasted MVP Debbie Keller and former National Team goalkeeper Kim Wyant, along with current stars Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Sara Whalen, Bryn Blalock, Amanda Cromwell, and Christie Pearce. Attendance surged this year, nearly tripling to 70,233 from 24,547 in 1996, led by the Boston renegades who far outdrew all other teams by averaging 1,785 per game, better than a majority of the USISL men's teams. The Rochester Ravens set a W-League single-game record when 9,131 filled SUNY-Rockport Stadium to watch the Ravens play the Women's National Team.
The Long Island Lady Riders became the first team to win a second championship as they defeated the Chicago Cobras in an exciting 2-1 shootout. Tournament MVP Kim Wyant allowed just one of 9 shots to score during that shootout. She managed an amazing 0.36 goals against average during the regular season by allowing only 4 goals in 1,000 minutes. The success of the league in 1997 led to its split the following year into two divisions, with the elite division looking to attract more top college players and national team members.
Final 1997 W-League standings and playoff results
Leading Scorers: G A Pts Jenny Crawford, Atlanta 12 4 28 Kerry Rogers, Connecticut 8 7 23 Bryn Blalock, Dallas 9 3 21 Megan Hanshek, Rochester 7 5 19 Debbie Keller, Rockford 8 3 19 Megan Nelson, Norcal 9 1 19 Sarah Comeau, Jackson 9 0 18 Leading Goalkeepers: (Min. 450 minutes) Min G GAA Kim Wyant, Long Island 1000 4 0.36 Merit Elzey, Chicago 750 6 0.72 Joannie Schockow, Rochester 590 5 0.76 Danielle Dion, Atlanta 955 9 0.85 Tina Phil, Maryland 585 6 0.92 Most Valuable Player Debbie Keller, Rockford 'Dactyls Leading Goalie: Kim Wyant, Long Island Lady Riders Coach of the Year: Michael Sabatelle, Atlanta Classics Defender of the Year: Dawn Crow, Charlotte Speed Tournament MVP: Kim Wyant, Long Island Lady Riders Organization of the Year: Boston Renegades
The newly renamed I-League was down to seven teams this year, with Baltimore Bays landing a perfect 11-0 record in the East and Tulsa Roughnecks winning the West. Several teams also played limited informal indoor schedules. The indoor playoff tournament was eliminated in favor of a single championship game, won by Baltimore, who beat Tulsa 5-4 (OT) and 13-10.
Final 1996-97 I-League standings and playoff results
Most Valuable Player: Billy Ronson, Baltimore Bays Top Point Scorer: Billy Ronson, Baltimore Bays (70) Top Scorer: Brian Adams, Omaha Flames (23) Top Goalkeeper: Dave Tenney, Baltimore Bays Rookie of the Year: Jessie Williams, Tulsa Roughnecks Coach of the Year: Kevin Healey, Baltimore Bays
For the 1996-97 season, the NPSL went international, adding the Toronto Shooting Stars, and also entered one of the largest soccer markets, with the new Philadelphia Kixx, playing in a traditional soccer hotbed. The Kixx were owned by Ed Tepper, who had been witness to the first professional indoor game in modern soccer history in 1974, and was instrumental in the formation of the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1978. Meanwhile, the veteran Chicago Power moved to Edmonton, becoming the Drillers.
The Drillers brought back memories of the old NASL club by the same name, and were an immediate hit with the fans, and climbed to 21-19 for the year, bringing home Coach of the Year honors for Ross Ongaro. Hector Marinaro set an all-time single game scoring record, with 25 points in a 52-18 victory over Columbus. The Buffalo Blizzard got a new owner, John Bellanti, a new home, the new Marine Midland Arena, and a new coach Gary Hindley.
The NPSL was split into four divisions, two for each of the existing conferences. The first beneficiaries of this new structure were the Buffalo Blizzard, St. Louis Spirit and Harrisburg Heat which won their respective divisions. The biggest comeback was enjoyed by Edmonton, who came from their dismal 6-34 record (as the Chicago Power) to share divisional honors with Buffalo in the North Division. The big action took place in the Midwest Division which featured four of the league powerhouses, with St. Louis, Kansas City and Milwaukee fighting it to the wire, with all of one game separating the three by the end of the season.
Cleveland set an NPSL regular season scoring record for the fifth consecutive year. Led by star forwards Hector Marinaro and Zoran Karic, the Crunch scored 772 points in 40 games (19.3 ppg.). Marinaro's 265 points led the NPSL in scoring for the fourth time in five seasons and was two points from the all-time record 267 scored by Karic in 1993-94. Marinaro, who was voted the league's Most Valuable Player Award for a record fourth time, set several single-game marks on March 15, in Cleveland's 52-18 triumph in Columbus over the Invaders in which eight league records were broken or tied.
The Tampa Bay Terror won eight of 10 games down the stretch to clinch its first playoff berth in its second season. Cincinnati also made the playoffs for the first time since moving from Dayton two years ago and the Philadelphia Kixx secured a playoff berth as an expansion team. The playoffs were most competitive. Ten of the first 20 post-season games played were decided by two points or less. The Edmonton Drillers, who won seven of their final eight regular season games behind NPSL Coach of the Year Ross Ongaro merely to claim the sixth seed in the National Conference playoffs, upset the third-seeded Milwaukee Wave in the first round.
The playoffs generally went to the top teams with the exception of a notable upset of Buffalo by the Kansas City Attack. In the conference semifinals, Cleveland defeated Harrisburg 11-8, 13-19, 17-14, 14-12, and Kansas City defeated St. Louis 15-11, 22-16, 13-11. The Championship series reunited the participants from last year, with Cleveland seeking to retain the trophy, and Kansas City seeking revenge. Revenge was the order of the day as the Attack turn the tables on the Crunch, sweeping Cleveland 18-14, 25-19, 14-8, and 15-12.
Final NPSL 1996-97 Standings Before the season, Toronto and Philadelphia were added, and Chicago moved to Edmonton. AMERICAN CONFERENCE POINTS POINTS EAST DIVISION GP W L PCT GB FOR AG HOME ROAD 2-Harrisburg Heat 40 22 18 .550 ---- 523 457 13-7 9-11 4-Baltimore Spirit 40 20 20 .500 2.0 506 494 12-8 8-12 5-Philadelphia Kixx 40 17 23 .425 5.0 451 593 11-9 6-14 6-Tampa Bay Terror 40 15 25 .375 7.0 503 541 10-10 5-15 CENTRAL DIVISION 1-Cleveland Crunch 40 29 11 .725 ---- 772 550 18-2 11-9 3-Cincinnati Silverbacks 40 21 19 .525 8.0 570 517 12-8 9-11 Columbus Invaders 40 5 35 .125 24.0 479 895 4-16 1-19 NATIONAL CONFERENCE POINTS POINTS NORTH DIVISION GP W L PCT GB FOR AG HOME ROAD 2-Buffalo Blizzard 40 21 19 .525 ---- 545 469 13-7 8-12 6-Edmonton Drillers 40 21 19 .525 ---- 538 475 15-5 6-14 Detroit Rockers 40 20 20 .500 1.0 563 532 14-6 6-14 Toronto Shooting Stars 40 6 34 .150 15.0 416 685 6-14 0-20 MIDWEST DIVISION 1-St. Louis Ambush 40 27 13 .675 ---- 637 545 17-3 10-10 3-Milwaukee Wave 40 26 14 .650 1.0 525 472 18-2 8-12 4-Kansas City Attack 40 26 14 .650 1.0 605 500 14-6 12-8 5-Wichita Wings 40 24 16 .600 3.0 589 497 15-5 9-11 Conf. Quarterfinals: Cincinnati defeated Tampa Bay 13-11, 15-17(OT), 16-11 Baltimore defeated Philadelphia, 15-8, 18-8 Edmonton defeated Milwaukee, 20-6, 10-9 Kansas City defeated Wichita, 13-11, 13-14, 22-5. Conf. Semi-finals: Cleveland defeated Baltimore, 14-19, 21-9, 14-13. Harrisburg defeated Cincinnati, 11-9 (OT), 13-12. St. Louis defeated Edmonton, 19-18, 9-19, 16-11. Kansas City defeated Buffalo 18-12, 13-11. Conf. Finals: Cleveland defeated Harrisburg, 11-8, 13-19, 17-14, 14-12 Kansas City defeated St. Louis, 15-11, 22-16, 13-11. FINALS: Kansas City defeated Cleveland 18-14, 25-19, 14-8, 15-12 NPSL All-Star Game: February 9, 1997, at Baltimore. National Conference defeated American Conference 20-14. High scorers: Steve Kuntz, (National, 6 pts), Hector Marinaro (American, 5 pts) Leading scorers: TEAM GP 3PG 2PG 1PG AST POINTS Marinaro, Hector CLE 36 13 70 21 65 265 Karic, Zoran CLE 34 16 48 17 81 242 Brose, Dennis DET 39 15 53 34 51 236 King, Michael MIL 38 12 45 15 44 185 Reiniger, Joe STL 39 17 39 6 39 174 Moser, Mark STL 37 3 53 26 24 165 McIntosh, Franklin CIN 36 8 32 8 65 161 Hunjak, Goran KCY 39 5 38 18 42 151 Vuckovic, Bojan BAL 40 8 40 13 33 150 Vignjevic, Nikola CLE 40 5 46 7 35 149 Dunn, Jason WCH 38 6 39 7 26 129 Pulisic, Mark HAR 40 2 36 10 28 116 Miller, Doug BUF 32 3 40 10 15 114 D'Onofrio, Carmen EDM 40 5 30 8 29 112 Martinez, Genoni WCH 33 14 20 14 16 112 Desantis, Nick EDM 38 5 21 17 36 110 Mella, Adolfo TOR 40 5 27 5 35 109 DiFlorio, Gino BUF 29 6 26 5 33 108 Tschantret, Lee KCY 35 5 33 7 19 107 Leading Goalkeepers: (min. 1410 minutes) GOALKEEPER TEAM GPI MIN SF SV 3PG 2PG 1PG PTS W L AVG Harrington, Pat BUF 25 1416:14 415 302 13 91 9 230 14 9 9.74 Nogueira, Victor MIL 39 2218:58 751 540 23 149 39 406 26 13 10.98 Pena, Carlos CIN 33 1827:23 631 455 16 136 24 344 18 14 11.29 Hileman, Scott EDM 39 2317:22 712 488 23 166 35 436 21 18 11.29 Westcoat, Warren KCY 39 2204:28 732 502 19 171 40 439 23 13 11.95 Finnerty, Bryan DET 39 2238:21 950 711 21 173 45 454 20 19 12.17 Damico, Chris WCH 40 2351:01 699 457 30 176 36 478 24 16 12.20 Pappas, Pete PHL 33 1743:48 637 452 20 143 22 368 15 16 12.66 Dobson, Stuart TAM 39 2262:03 732 479 25 188 40 491 14 24 13.02 Swanner, Jamie STL 36 2070:17 883 655 21 181 26 451 23 13 13.07 Orf, Otto CLE 37 1993:10 817 582 17 175 43 444 28 9 13.37 Most Valuable Player: Hector Marinaro, Cleveland Crunch Goalkeeper of the Year: Victor Noguiera, Milwaukee Wave Coach of the Year: Ross Ongaro, Edmonton Drillers Defender of the Year: Daryl Doran, St. Louis Ambush Rookie of the Year: Jason Dunn, Wichita Wings First All-NPSL Team: G - Victor Nogueira, Milwaukee D - Wes Wade, Kansas City D - Daryl Doran, St. Louis F - Hector Marinaro, Cleveland F - Zoran Karic, Cleveland F - Dennis Brose, Detroit
The final season of the CISL was one of tumult, starting with the demise of the San Diego Sockers, the oldest operating US professional team, with roots back to the 1974 NASL. Major operational problems within the league led to dissatisfaction from a number of teams, and it was a challenge simply to finish the season. In the fall of 1997, first one, then two, then four teams withdrew to pursue other options. Facing this expanding revolt, the league folded in December, but several teams who had withdrawn started laying the groundwork for a new indoor summer league to start play in 1998. Monterrey and Indiana briefly considered joining the NPSL, but this did not come to pass.
The CISL season itself still provided some competitive soccer. Monterrey La Raza won their third consecutive divisional title, while the Seattle SeaDogs took the West. In the second round of the playoffs, Monterrey, Sacramento, Seattle and Monterrey were the victors in the playoff round robin, with Seattle and Houston advancing to the Championship. Seattle won the championship match, 6-5 and 7-1, being the final champions ever in the CISL.
Final CISL Standings, 1997 Arizona returned to action. San Diego folded just before the start of the season. GP W L Pct. GF GA GB Eastern Division Monterrey La Raza 28 20 8 .714 190 166 --- Indiana Twisters 28 17 11 .607 194 177 3.0 Houston Hotshots 28 17 11 .607 199 157 3.0 Dallas Sidekicks 28 13 15 .464 165 160 7.0 Washington Warthogs 28 12 16 .429 170 178 8.0 Detroit Safari 28 3 25 .107 134 217 17.0 Western Division Seattle SeaDogs 28 21 7 .750 170 128 --- Anaheim Splash 28 16 12 .571 165 134 5.0 Sacramento Knights 28 14 14 .500 146 148 7.0 Portland Pride 28 13 15 .464 144 158 8.0 Arizona Sandsharks 28 8 20 .286 135 189 13.0 First Round Series: Seattle defeated Portland, 8-2, 6-5 Houston defeated Indiana, ?-?, 4-7, 2-1 (MG) Second round series: Monterrey defeated Dallas, 7-3, 5-10, 2-1 (MG) Sacramento defeated Anaheim, 7-3, 6-3 Seattle defeated Sacramento, ?-?, 4-3 Monterrey defeated Houston, 7-6, 2-3, 4-3 (MG) CHAMPIONSHIP: Seattle defeated Houston, 6-5, 7-1 Houston, Washington, Portland and Dallas left after the 1997 season. On December 23, 1997, the league folded, but Sacramento, Dallas, Portland and Arizona (renamed Phoenix) formed the new Premier Soccer Alliance in the summer of 1998. Scoring Leaders: GP G A Pts Paul Dougherty, Houston 28 50 42 92 Allen, Houston 27 35 29 64 Livaois, Anahiem 27 44 18 62 Tatu, Dallas 19 26 36 62 Castillo, Indiana 27 45 14 61 Genoni Martinez, Monterrey 29 29 29 58 David Doyle, Dallas 26 32 25 57 Molomo, Seattle 25 33 24 57 Corla, Monterrey 27 32 24 56 Goran Hunjak, Washington 28 18 38 56 McCormick, Seattle 28 31 25 56
The Eastern Indoor Soccer League was started in 1997 as the first American minor indoor league, with the goal of being a training ground for players aspiring to the NPSL and CISL. The league featured cities from the southeastern United States. The seven teams were the Lafayette Swampcats, Baton Rouge Bombers, Tallahassee Scorpions, Huntsville Fire, Tupelo Hound Dogs, Savannah Rug Ratz, and Columbus Comets. Attendance totaled 225,221 (2,851 per game), led by Lafayette who averaged over 6,500. Lafayette was also the team to beat, going 18-6, followed closely by Baton Rouge who finished in 2nd place, 49 points to 52. Lafayette won the championship game, beating Baton Rouge 12-9. There were no playoffs outside of the championship game. Leading scorers were Reinhold Huber (42 goals, 97 points) and Renato Simpaio (34 goals, 96 points), both of Huntsville. Leading goalkeeper was Charles Granade with an 8.99 goals against average.
1997 Final EISL League Standings
The USSF scheduled eighteen games for the Men's Team this year, few of them friendlies. The main event was World Cup qualifying, with the Hexagonal rounds taking place in two phases, from March to April, and from late June through November. This series was critical, to demonstrate that the US had not merely gotten to WC'94 by virtue of hosting the event. Many people still considered the 1990 qualification a fluke due to Mexico's disqualification. Here was America's chance to prove that they belonged.
The year started out slowly, as coach Steve Sampson rested several of the regulars to give newcomers a chance to prove their worth. The team had many veterans who would be retiring soon, and it was important to start recruiting the new generation that would take over after the World Cup. But on the field, this didn't work out well, as the US struggled in the USA Cup, which had been moved to January to avoid conflicts with the MLS Season. The US lost all three games against less than top competition, 0-1 to Peru, 0-2 to Mexico and 1-4 against Denmark. But the new players did get valuable playing experience. This was followed by the team's first visit to China, where they lost the first game 1-2 and drew 1-1 with the host team.
The US successfully passed through the first round of the Hexagonal qualifying, but with some sub-par performances, leading to worries about the training methods and strategies being utilized by Sampson. The first game was a 0-0 draw on foreign turf at Jamaica, followed by a convincing 3-0 win against the relatively weak Canada (Wynalda, Pope and Stewart scored). This was followed by a 2-3 loss at Costa Rica and a 2-2 draw against Mexico in Foxboro, Mass, in a doubleheader with the New England Revolution witnessed by the largest crowd (57,000+) ever to attend a soccer game in New England. This game was problematic because one of the US scores was a Mexico own goal. The US clearly had some work to do before the Hexagonal. They followed this series with friendlies against Paraguay (0-0 draw) and Israel (2-1 victory with scores by Lalas and Kirovski).
The final round of the Hexagonal started for the United States on June 29, with a 1-1 draw at El Salvador. The US was starting to show a pattern of winning at home and struggling on the road, and they could not afford to do this in the final round, and the 0-1 friendly loss to Ecuador on August 7th didn't help the mood. Mexico was off to a flying start, and the 1st place was pretty much conceded. Three teams would qualify for the Cup, and Costa Rica and Jamaica were making good runs for those spots.
The US position was helped greatly by their 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on September 7, but a draw against Jamaica in the Nation's capital, led nay-sayers to claim that the effort was doomed. Certainly the team was at the brink with three games remaining, including the all-important match at Mexico City against COCACAF's strongest team. But that game proved to be a watershed. Against all expectations, the US held Mexico scoreless, capitalizing on an unfocused and lethargic Mexican presence that led the home crowd fans (110,000 at Aztecs) to boo their own team, and cheer every good US move. For the record, the few American fans at the stadium were treated like royalty by the Mexican fans.
This immensely improved the US position, going to Canada, as either a loss by Costa Rica or a win by the US would guarantee them at least the final berth. The US got off to a quick lead in the Canadian game at Vancouver off of a Claudio Reyna goal in the 5th minute, cheered on by an American contingent that outnumbered the Canadian fans, and gained confidence as the game progressed in a stalemate. During the second half, it was announced that Costa Rica had lost, ensuring the US a berth. Emboldened, Roy Wegerle scored two more goals near the end of the game to cap off a wonderful night for the Americans.
What a turnaround! Within a week, the US went from facing elimination to being able to challenge for the top spot in the standings. The final game against El Salvador, once again held in Foxboro, Mass, now provided the US a chance to finish first, but it was not to be as Mexico won their final game, but the US landed the victory anyway, beating El Salvador 3-2. So the US had qualified, and the skeptics couldn't claim the US benefitted from CONCACAF's third allotment, since the US came in second. The team then returned to their training grounds in much higher spirits to prepare for their next game in January 1998.
The Junior teams did not have a great time this year in their respective World Cups. The U-17 team was put in Group C for the U-17 World Cup, held in Egypt. They were shut out 0-4 by Oman, and 0-3 by Brazil before turning the tables on Austria 4-0. Not enough to advance. The Cup was eventually won by Brazil who defeated Ghana in the title game. The U-20 team did not advance either. The US did not qualify for the U-20 World Cup, which was ultimately won by Argentina, who defeated Uruguay 2-1 in the final.
1997 USA Men's National Team results
Like the Men, the Women's National team also had an 18 game schedule, but with much more impressive results, gaining 16 victories and only two losses. This was a less intensive season, with the World Cup still three years off. The team was heartened by the announcement that the World Cup, to be hosted in the United States would for the first time be promoted as a full-fledged top flight event, with games played in major stadiums all across the nation. This would ensure maximum exposure and give the women's game the presentation it deserved.
The only major events of the year were the USA Cup '97 in June, and a doubleheader with a Major League Soccer game, which gave 17,000 San Jose fans an excellent introduction to the team as they shut out England 5-0. Unlike the men, the English women's team did not have that vaunted history, struggling in a very traditional country that was only slowly waking up to the changing realities of the soccer world, and accepting women's soccer. Elsewhere, the games were friendlies, and the results fairly predictable, win after win after win. The US won three straight victories over Australia in early March, followed by doubleheaders against France and South Korea. The USA Cup consisted of two doubleheaders with the US beating Canada 4-0 and Australia 9-1. The only losses of the year were a 1-3 defeat at the hands of powerhouse Germany on their turf, and a surprising 0-1 loss to relatively weak Brazil in Sao Paulo, their last game of the year.
The depth of the team showed in the scoring; even though Mia Hamm continued to shine with an incredible 16 goals (including three hat tricks), many other players were simply unstoppable, including Michelle Akers, Cindy Parlow, Shannon MacMillan, and Kristine Lilly. More importantly, some of the new younger players were beginning to make their presence felt, and the future looked bright for the team even beyond the next World Cup.
1997 USA Women's National Team results
U. S. Open Cup
The first round of the Open Cup finals saw a three MLS teams upset when 3rd division Chicago Stingers ousted MLS's Colorado Rapids by 2-1, and the A-League's Long Island Rough Riders eliminated the New England Revolution 3-0 and the San Francisco Bay Seals upset the Kansas City Wizards 2-1. In the quarterfinals, the MLS reasserted their supremacy when Dallas defeated the Stingers 4-1 and the MetroStars beat Long Island 1-0. San Francisco Bay seals however, kept hope alive for the A-League, beating the cross-town rival San Jose Clash 2-1.
In the semifinals, Dallas Burn defeated the MetroStars 2-1 and D. C. United eliminated the bay Seals 2-1. The Final was held at Kuntz Stadium in indianapolis where the Dallas Burn and D. C. United battled to a 0-0 draw before 9,776 fans, with Dallas winning on penalty kicks.
International Clubs vs Major League Soccer Total record: 8 wins, 8 draws, 16 losses.
Thirty Two international exhibitions were held between MLS and international clubs. Below are the rsults of the more significant games.
(home teams listed first) 2/20/97 Genoa (Italy) 2, Metrostars 1 2/22/97 New England Revolution 1, Viborg (Denmark) 0 (at Sarasota, FL.) 3/5/97 Regiana (Italy) 2, Metrostars 1 3/9/97 Instant Dictation (Japan) 1, D. C. United 7 (at Hong Kong) 5/13/97 San Jose Clash 1, Aston Villa (England) 1 5/14/97 Columbus Crew 2, Leeds United 1 5/14/97 Metrostars 0, Colombian National Team 2 5/16/97 D. C. United 1, Leeds (England ) 1 5/21/97 Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Aston Villa (England) 1 6/7/97 Metrostars 1, Sampdoria (Italy) 0 6/25/97 Metrostars 1, Alianza (Peru) 1 7/6/97 Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Guadalajara (Mexico) 0 (PKs) 7/11/97 Dallas Burn 0, Guadalajara (Mexico) 5 7/16/97 Metrostars 1, Galatasaray (Turkey) 3 7/16/02 Colorado Rapids 0, Guadalajara (Mexico) 6 7/23/97 New England Revolution 0, Palmeiras (Brazil) 1 9/16/97 Kansas City Wizards 1, Veracruz (Mexico) 1 11/7/97 San Jose Clash 1, Atlas (Mexico) 1 11/10/97 Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Atlante (Mexico) 1 11/21/97 Alianza Lima (Peru) 2, Tampa Bay Mutiny 0 12/3/97 Bueneventura (Coolombia) 0, Tampa Bay Mutiny 1 12/6/97 Tampa Bay Mutiny 1, Veracruz (Mexico) 0 12/10/97 Guatemalan National team 5, Dallas Burn 1 12/12/97 Communicaciones (Guatemala) 1, Dallas Burn 0 12/16/97 Tampa Bay Mutiny 1, JFK Gothenburg (Sweden) 2
The NCAA soccer program's growth continued to level off in 1997, but this was primarily because of saturation, not flagging interest. The vast majority of women's colleges already had teams, and the men's teams were continuing to face competition from other sports with scholarship restrictions. But growth continued nonetheless, with 686 men's varsity programs (up from 681) and 721 women's programs (up from 690). As a response to the continuing growth, the Men's Division II tournament expanded from 12 to 16 teams. Likewise, the Women's Division II tournament expanded from 12 to 16 teams, and the Division III tournament expanded from 24 to 40 teams.
In the 1997 Men's Division 1 Tournament, third round action saw Indiana defeat Southern Florida 2-1, UCLA defeat Clemson 2-1, St. Louis defeat Southern Methodist 0-0 (penalty kicks after 4 overtimes), and Virginia defeat American 2-1 (double overtime). In the semifinals, UCLA defeated Indiana 1-0 in triple overtime, and Virginia defeated St. Louis 3-1. The Championship game returned to Richmond Virginia, where on December 14, UCLA defeated Virginia 2-0.
In the Women's Division 1 tournament, third round action saw North Carolina defeat Harvard 1-0, Santa Clara defeat Clemson 3-0, Connecticut defeat William & Mary 4-0, and Notre Dame defeat UCLA 8-0. In the semifinals, North Carolina defeated Santa Clara 2-1, and Connecticut defeated Notre Dame 2-1. The Championship game, held in Greensboro, NC on December 7, North Carolina defeated Connecticut 2-0 to repeat as National Champion.
Division II Men's champion: Cal State Bakersfield defeated Lynn 1-0
Division II Women's champion: Franklin Pierce defeated West Virginia Weslayen 3-0
Division III Men's champion: Wheaton (IL) defeated College of New Jersey 3-0
Division III Women's champion: UC San Diego defeated William Smith 1-0
NAIA Men's Champion: Seattle defeated Rockhurst 2-1 (OT)
NAIA Women's Champion: Mobile defeated Simon Fraser 2-1
NJCAA Division I Men's Championship: Yavapai College 3, Mercer County Comm. Coll. 0
NJCAA Division III Men's Championship: Nassau 4, Herkimer Comm. Coll. 3 (4 OT)
NJCAA Women's Championship: Brevard College 1, Champlain 0
NCCAA Division 1 Championship: Judson 4, Lee 2
NCCAA Division 2 Championship: Northland Baptist Bible College 4, Philadelphia College of Bible 1
NCCAA Women's Championship: Indiana Weslayen 2, Cumberland 1
Final Men's Division 1 Coaches' Poll: 1. UCLA 2. Virginia 3. Indiana 4. St. Louis 5. American 6. Southern Methodist 7. Washington 8. South Carolina 9. St. John's (N.Y.) 10. Creighton Final Women's Division 1 Coaches' Poll: 1. North Carolina 2. Connecticut 3. Notre Dame 4. Santa Clara 5. William & Mary 6. Harvard 7. Nebraska 8. UCLA 9. Hartford 10. Clemson Men's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - Matthew Jordan, Clemson D - Leo Cullen, Maryland D - Kevin Daly, St. John's (NY) D - Pete Santora, Furman M - Daniel Hernandez, Southern Methodist M - Alen Kozic, Florida International M - Ben Olsen, Virginia F - Wade Barrett, William & Mary F - Sigurdur Eyjolfsson, UNC Greensboro F - Dema Kovalenko, Indiana F - Johnny Torres, Creighton Women's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - LaKeysia Beene, Notre Dame D - Jennifer Grubb, Notre Dame D - Kate Sobrero, Notre Dame D - Stephanie Yarem, Georgia M - Erin Baxter, Florida M - Ann Cook, William & Mary M - Erica Iverson, Massachusetts M - Jennifer McElmury, Minnesota M - Laurie Schway, North Carolina F - Traci Arkenburg, UCLA F - Cindy Parlow, North Carolina F - Sara Whalen, Connecticut Men's National Award Winners: Hermann Trophy: Johnny Torres, Creighton Missouri Athletic Club Award: Johnny Torres, Creighton ISAA Player of the Year (Division 1): Daniel Hernandez, Southern Methodist NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Sigi Schmid, UCLA Women's National Award Winners: Hermann Trophy: Cindy Parlow, North Carolina Missouri Athletic Club Award: Cindy Parlow, North Carolina NSCAA Coach of the Year: Len Tsantiris, Connecticut
US Open Cup Championship:Dallas Burn (MLS) drew with Washington DC United (MLS) 0-0. (Dallas won on penalty kicks
US Women's Open Cup Championship: Sacramento Storm defeated Dallas Lightning 3-2.
National Amateur Cup Championship: St. Petersburg McCormick Kickers defeated Milwaukee Sport Club 4-0.
CONCACAF Champions Cup:In the qualifying playoff, the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) defeated Santos (Mexico 4-1. In the quarterfinals, the Galaxy defeated Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador) 2-1, and D. C. United defeated United Petritrin (Trinidad & Tobago) 1-0. In a first, two American clubs played against each other in the semifinals, with the Galaxy defeating D. C. United 1-0. United drew 2-2 with Guadalaraja leaving them to share 3rd place, while Cruz Azul (Mexico) defeated the Galaxy 5-3 in the final, held at Washington, DC, to take the title.
CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup: The Dallas Burn (MLS) lost to Nexaca (Mexico) 4-0 and Cruz Azul (Mexico) 2-1, and did not advance. Olimpia (Honduras) and Nexaca (Mexico) advanced to the final, but the tournament was abandoned.
Hall of Fame: In 1997, the US Soccer Hall of Fame inducted Walt Czychowych, Alex Ely, Johnny Moore, Jimmy Roe, and Phil Woosnam. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Hall of Fame inducted Ray Buss and Walter Czychowych. The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame inducted George Faragallah. The American Youth Soccer Organization inducted Ken Aston, Howard Krolfeifer, Jr., and Ron Rickels.
Honda Award (Player of the Year): Eddie Pope
USSF Players of the Year: Kasey Keller, Mia Hamm
NSCAA Honor Award: Joseph Morrone, Connecticut, and Timothy O. Schum, Binghamton
NISOA Honor Award: Abbot Leonard, New York
NISOA Merit Award: Ron Robacker, Delaware Valley School; Stephen Negoesco, Univ. San Francisco
Last update: April 11, 2010
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