The Year in American Soccer – 1958

The American Soccer League

The American Soccer League returned to ten teams for 1957-58, their largest lineup in years. The league now spanned five states, with teams stretching from New England to Baltimore. Joining the circuit this year were the Fall River S. C. and the Ukrainian Nationals of Philadelphia, who set up shop at the famed Lighthouse Field. Hakoah set out to repeat their league championship ways from last season. But to keep the Elmer A. Schroeder Trophy, they faced strong competition from the Uhrik Truckers who hoped to break a three-year streak of title contention ending in last minute frustration. Brookhattan, with its strong mix of Spanish and European players, and Newark Portuguese, with substantial roster changes that eliminated some deadwood, also looked to be in contention. Many familiar faces continued to shine for the League, including Jackie Hynes and Pito Villanon of Brookhattan, Walt Chyzowych of the Ukrainian Nationals, Eddie Souza at Ludlow Lusitano, Joe Ferreira and John Souza of Fall River, Pasquale Pepe with the Uhrik Truckers, George Brown of the Elizabeth Falcons, and Lloyd Monsen & Terry Springthorpe of Hakoah.

In one of the most astonishing off-field episodes of the decade, the Philadelphia Ukrainian franchise was suspended by the USSFA one week into the season, following a complaint by the Penn State Association. The ASL saw this action as inexplicable given that 12 months prior to the protest, Ed Sullivan, the President of the Penn Association had himself been actively promoting the Ukrainians for admission into the ASL. Reasons for the change of heart were unclear. But within two days of the suspension, three groups had come forward clamoring to take over the franchise, and as a result, the new Ukrainian Nationals were awarded to a group headed by John Patrick, and they took the former Ukrainian’s spot in the league (along with their Lewis Cup results, but not their 1 win in the league standings.) This was a good move for the league, because it maintained what would prove to be a very popular intramural rivalry in the city of brotherly love.

There was a scramble for top spot early in the season with the standings in constant flux. Hakoah and Brookhattan were the first teams to distinguish themselves from their peers, with Elizabeth nipping at the heels. But by late December, Brookhattan-Galicia had supplanted Elizabeth while the Ukrainian Nationals were locked in a struggle with Hakoah for top spot. The Nationals held the lead for most of the remaining season, but Hakoah, after an abortive attempt in early March, squeezed out a victory at the end of the season to take the league title. Uhrik Truckers, shocked by the sudden retirement of Johnny Oliver, fell back to 4th place, but they did defeat the Nationals to win the Lewis Cup.

Sometimes it was necessary to keep a chart to keep track of the different competitions taking place during the season. The Lewis Cup commenced play before the start of the regular season, and continued well into the new year. The regular season ran from October through April. By the end of December, the Ukrainian Nationals were fighting tooth and nail with Hakoah for top spot in the league finals. Meantime, the Nationals and Uhrik Truckers had won pool-play competition in the Lewis Cup tournament, and were commencing a two-leg series to determine the Cup winner. Meantime, the US Open Cup competition was in full swing, not to mention various exhibition matches that occurred throughout the season. An example of the confusion: In late December, Hakoah’s itinerary included a Lewis Cup match on 12/15, an exhibition game against Blue Star of the German-American League on Christmas Day, a US Open Cup match on December 29, and a League match on January 5. Periodic all-star matches tended to take individual players away from their teams, particularly when it was a metropolitan all-star side playing against a major touring European squad, which would usually count as a major highlight of the season.

On a sidelight, the Uhrik truckers sponsored a tour of the Midget Mosquitos, a team of 12-14 year olds from Costa Rica who were said to be one of the hottest phenomena of Central America. This tour was a great success, and were an inspiration to the youth clubs that played them. On March 15, the ASL held a dinner to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Amid the celebrations, there was a somber moment as taps was played in honor of Manchester United, who lost eight of their players in a tragic plane crash. Erno Schwarz, longtime business manager was honored for his tireless work over many years, as was Dr. Joseph Golomb for his many years of tending to the needs of the players. The ASL was for many years the top league in the country in terms of player quality and salary, and played a pre-eminent role in bringing over many foreign teams for tours against regional all-star teams. These matches were inevitably the highlights of the season for fans of many of the metropolitan amateur and semi-pro leagues around the country. The highlight of the season was a post-season gala on May 25 featuring a match between Manchester City and Hearts of Midlothian.

              Final League Standings, 1957-1958

Before the season, the Philadelphia Ukrainians and Fall River 
were added.  Ludlow became Ludlow Lusitano. Baltimore became 
Baltimore Pompei.  Brooklyn Italians also known as Italians 
United. Brookhattan became Brookhattan-Galicia.

                              G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
New York Hakoah              18   16   0   2   66  22  32
Ukrainian Nationals          17   12   3   2   57  16  27
Baltimore Pompei             18   11   3   4   49  35  25
Brookhattan-Galicia          16    9   0   7   43  36  18
Fall River S.C.              18    6   3   9   23  40  15
Elizabeth Falcons            14    6   2   6   25  36  14
Uhrik Truckers               14    4   4   9   33  43  12
Newark Portuguese            16    3   6   7   29  42  12
Ludlow Lusitano              15    2   3  10   19  44   7
Brooklyn Italians            17    0   2  13   15  45   2
Philadelphia Ukrainians       1    1   0   0            2

Philadelphia Ukrainians were suspended by USSF in late October.
The ASL granted a new franchise, the Ukrainian Nationals on 
October 22. After the season, Ludlow withdrew.

LEWIS CUP WINNER:  Uhrik Truckers defeated Philadelphia 
Ukrainian Nationals 4-1, 0-2.
Top ScorerLloyd Monsen, New York Hakoah (22 goals)

Leading Scorers (as of March 30, 1958):
Jackie Hynes, Brookhattan    14
Lloyd Monsen, Hakoah         13
L. Surrock, Baltimore        13
A. Falk, Ukrainians          10
J. Hughes, Uhrik Truckers     7
T. Niedenbach, Falcons        6
Walt Czychowych, Ukrainians   6
G. Athineos, Hakoah           6
J. Ferris, Uhrik Truckers     6

Most Valuable Player:  Walter Kudenko, Ukrainian Nationals

Amateur Leagues & Cups

German-American League (New York): German-Hungarian S. C.
National Soccer League of Chicago: Schwaben
California State Association Senior Challenge Cup: Los Angeles Kickers
Peel Cup (Illinois State Championship: Schwaben
Rowland Cup-Maryland State Championship: Central Valet K of C
Stewart Cup (Maryland): Baltimore Kickers
Michigan State Cup: St. Andrews Scots
Sports Guild Cup (MI): St. Andrews Scots
Michigan State League: Grand Rapids Be Quick (fall); Kalamazoo International (Spring)

The US National Team

The United States did not play any full internationals this year. Having failed in 1957 to qualify for the World Cup, they stayed home and dormant while the great competition took place.

International Tours

Manchester City: (England): May 18, 1958 through June 11, 1958

5/18/58   Manchester City 6, Uhrik / Ukrainian Select 1 (at Philadelphia)
5/21/58   Manchester City 7, American All-Stars 2 (at Fall River, MA.  Att:  2,007)
5/23/58   Manchester City 2, Hearts of Midlothian 5 (at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn.  Att: 20,600)
5/27/58   Manchester City vs. St. Louis Stars (results not available)
5/31/58   Manchester City 2, Hearts of Midlothian 5 (at Vancouver.  Att: 19,818)
6/4/58    Manchester City 9, San Francisco All-Stars 1
6/7/58    Manchester City 7, Hearts of Midlothian 1 (at Toronto.  Att: 23,000)
6/8/58    Manchester City 8, Toronto Ulster United 2 (at Detroit)
6/11/58   Manchester City 0, Hearts of Midlothian 6 (at Montreal)

Hearts of Midlothian (Scotland) May 23, 1958 through June 11, 1958. Results: 8 wins, 0 draws, 1 loss

5/23/58   Hearts 7, Ontario Stars 0 (at Toronto, att: 10,000)
5/25/58   Hearts 6, Manchester City 5 (at Brooklyn, NY, att: 20,600)
5/28/58   Hearts 13, Manitoba Stars 2 (at Winnipeg)
5/31/58   Hearts 5, Manchester City 2 (at Vancouver, att: 19,818)
6/2/58    Hearts 4, British Columbia Stars 1 (at Vancouver, att: 15,554)
6/4/58    Hearts 13, Alberta Stars 2 (at Edmonton)
6/7/58    Hearts 1, Manchester City 7 (at Toronto, att: 23,000)
6/9/58    Hearts 10, Northern Stars 0 (at Sudbury, ON)
6/11/58   Hearts 7, Manchester City 0 (at Montreal, att: 10,200)

Kickers Offenbach (West Germany): May 4, 1958 through May 20, 1958.

5/4/58    Offenbach 4, German American League Stars 2 (at New York, att: 14,762
5/8/58    Offenbach vs. Hartford (result not available)
5/11/58   Offenbach vs. Philadelphia Stars (result not available)
5/16/58   Offenbach 4, Detroit/Windsor Stars 0 (at Detroit)
5/18/58   Offenbach 4, St. Louis Kutis 1 (at St. Louis, att: 11,000)
5/20/58   Offenbach 5, German American League Stars 0 (at new York, att: 4,500)

Norrkoping (Sweden): No details available

Blackpool (England): No details available

The College Game

National Champions (as selected by the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association): Drexel Tech.

Conference Champions, 1958

California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Francisco
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Connecticut
Ivy League: Harvard
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: City College of New York
Atlantic Coast Conference: Maryland
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Colorado Mines
Midwestern Conference: Earlham, Wheaton, Purdue
Ohio Collegiate Soccer Conference: Akron
Mason-Dixon Conference: Baltimore
Southern California Soccer Association: UCLA
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Drexel Tech

1958 NCAA All-America Team 

G -  Richard Williams, Pennsylvania
RF - John Jennings, Washington College
LF - Remo Tabello, UCLA
RH - Mohamad Ganie, UCLA
CH - John Meehan, Navy
LH - Newlin Otto, Earlham
OR - Edward Lopresto, UCLA
IR - Alberto Sarria, Michigan State
CF - Stanley Dlugosz, Drexel Tech
IL - Oswald Jethon, Drexel Tech
OL - Theodore Zornow, Rochester

Other Action

1958 U. S. Open (National Challenge) Cup:On June 8, Los Angeles Kickers defeated Baltimore Pompei (ASL II) 2-1.

1958 National Amateur Cup Final: On June 15, St. Louis Kutis defeated Beadling SC 2-1.

1958 National Junior Cup:St. Paul S.C., St. Louis.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1958, Charlie Ferro, Fred Netto, Francis “Hun” Ryan, and John Young were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

NSCAA Honor Award: T. Fred Holloway, SUNY-Cortland