The Year in American Soccer – 1965

Even with the American sports explosion of the 1960s, in 1965, there was some doubt as to soccer’s place in that boom. “Nobody could tell at that point,” said Kurt Lamm, the ASL Coach of the Year with New York Hakoah in 1957 and 1962 and later the ASL’s president from 1963-68, “if soccer was ever going to go big or how long it would take.” This year saw the creation of the Eastern professional Soccer Conference, an attempt to create a regional “super-league” which would perform in the off season, and include teams from the ASL, and the top amateur NYC league, the German-American League. Many teams considered it merely an out-of-season practice run, as they continued their affiliation to the existing leagues, and as a result, the concept was dropped immediately after the end of their one and only season. The ASL was struggling with the changes brought on by the EPSC, and lost several teams, and its future looked uncertain as it struggled to keep its FIFA designation as the single top-level professional league in the USA. Meanwhile, the International Soccer League came to a sudden demise due to a disagreement between its commissioner and the USSFA over the right to import teams. With their untimely demise, the failure of the EPSC experiment and the uncertain future of the ASL, some One could be forgiven for doubting the possibility of a future for US pro soccer, but that would all change next year following the surprising success of the 1966 World Cup on US television. That event would usher in a whole new era in US Soccer History.

The American Soccer League

Those ASL clubs that did not join the Eastern Professional Soccer Conference continued on with their own slate of games; a new team, Hartford S.C., won the league title. Another new team, Roma SC also had an impressive debut. Alberto Falak of the Paterson, New Jersey club Roma S.C. won the MVP award, while Hartford’s Paul Pantano won Coach of the Year for his job with the champions. A footnote was the withdrawal of the Uhrik Truckers after 11 years. This ASL season was almost a sidelight to the action taking place in the EPSC, but the league was a critical haven for those teams that chose not to participate, and the league expanded greatly the following year after the EPSC’s dissolution. The ASL set a nighttime attendance record when over 23,000 watched a nighttime ASL sponsored match between AC Milan and Santos of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the teams fought to a 1-1 draw. The daytime record was 24,800 for a 1953 game at Randall’s Island, for a game between Liverpool and Nuremburg, with Liverpool winning 4-3.The Ukrainian Nationals and Newark Ukrainian Sitch sat out this season.

             Final League Standings, 1964-65

Before the season, Hartford SC, and Roma SC were added.  Falcons-
Warsaw became Newark Falcons.  Ukrainian Sitch and Ukrainian 
Nationals did not play this year.  

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
Hartford FC                9    8   0   1   22   9   16
Newark Portuguese          9    6   0   3   20  10   12
Roma SC                   10    5   2   3   21  18   12
N.B. Hungarian Americans   8    3   1   4   24  23    7
Uhrik Truckers             8    2   1   5    9  18    5
Newark Falcons             8    0   0   8    8  26    0

CHAMPION:  Hartford FC.

After the season, Uhrik Truckers folded.

Leading Scorers: 

Herculiano Riguerdo, Newark Portuguese   7
Otto Weber, New Brunswick Hungarians     5
Michael Wieszt, New Brunswick Hungarians 5
Americo Sadiotte, Roma SC                4
Julius Roth, New Brunswick Hungarians    4
Tommy McLeod, Hartford                   4

Most Valuable Player:  Alberto Falak, Roma SC
Coach of the Year:  Paul Pantano, Hartford SC

Eastern Professional Soccer Conference

After five years of playing second fiddle to the upstart International Soccer League, the American Soccer League decided to fight back. First, it complained bitterly to the USSFA over the ISL’s importing of foreign teams into the country, something which the ASL viewed as its exclusive province by virtue of its status as the only sanctioned professional league in America. Second, it put aside its petty quarrels with the German-American League to finally form their “super-league”, receiving USSFA permission to form a 12-team Eastern Professional Soccer Conference, which disbanded before the season was over. “It was a wedding where neither the bride nor the groom had much enthusiasm,” recalled Erwin Single, the former soccer writer who had become the GAL president. “Nobody had any money. There were few colorful foreign players left. The GAL didn’t draw well in ASL cities and vice versa.”

               Final league Standings, 1964-65

                           G   W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS

     North Division
BW Gottschee              16   9   1   6   27  22  19
German-Hungarians         14   8   2   4   37  27  18
Giuliana                  15   6   5   4   31  26  17
New York Hungaria         15   7   3   5   34  29  17
Boston Metros             13   5   3   5   24  21  13
Newark Ukrainian          15   1   2  12   13  42   4

     South Division
New York Ukrainian        15   9   3   3   33  12  21
New York Inter            16   8   5   3   31  28  21
Ukrainian Nationals       14   7   5   2   30  14  19
New York Hota             15   6   5   4   21  17  17
New York Americans        16   4   4   8   21  34  12
Greek-Americans           13   3   3   7   21  30   9
Minerva-Pfuelzer          17   3   1  13   15  36   7

The league folded immediately after its inaugural season, and the clubs
continued to play in their respective leagues.

The International Soccer League

In the summer of 1965, Bill Cox finally got his wish: an American team that could compete with the rest of the ISL field. The caliber of teams in the ISL this season was impressive: First Section boasted West Ham United, the 1964 English FA Cup winners, and 1965 European Cup Winners Cup titleist, 1860 Munich, the Cup winners Cup runners-up, Varese, a Cinderella team that jumped from division 3 to division 1 in two years, Portuguesa, the runners up in the Brazilian championships, and the New York Americans (basically a German-American league all-star team), who struck a triumphant blow for American soccer by winning the ISL Cup title. Section II boasted Polonia Bytom, winners of the 1965 Rappan Cup, Ferencvaros, 1964 Hungation national champs, and Kilmarnock, the Scottish national champions. The Polish club then proceeded to finally wrest the American Challenge Cup away from Dukla Prague, defeating them by a 3-1 aggregate score over two games. New York Americans, a German-American League squad, returned after a three year absence and won Section I of the league before losing the championship to Section II winners Polonia Bytom of Poland. They started the season with a loss, gratifying the doubters, but followed that with a solid 2-1 victory over West Ham United. Three more victories were followed by a draw with Varese, to give them the sectional title. Section II was the season of the draws; Polonia draw their first three games, then defeated each team they had tied, finishing the season undefeated. Polonia won the league playoffs, defeating New York 3-0 and 2-1, un the strength of play by Norbert Pogrzeba and Zygmut Schmidt. Polonia defeated four-time champs Dukla in the American Challenge Cup 3-0, and 1-1. The series was witnessed by 25,815 fans.

The ISL was doing well with its format; while the tournament lost money, Cox was only in the hole to the tune of about $100,000 for the five seasons. This season saw the first soccer game played in the new Shea Stadium. The league also earned distinction by gaining sponsorship of the Challenge Cup series by the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund, marking only the third time that a sport has been so honored by the Fund. Regrettably, the powers-that-be at the USSFA, suspicious of an outsider like Cox, proved to be less than helpful to him. Cox, for his part unwilling to take orders from individuals he knew were simply not businessmen, fostered a rather stormy relationship with the country’s soccer governing body. After the 1965 season, a dispute between the USSFA and Cox over the right to import teams resulted in the collapse of the ISL. Cox filed an anti-trust suit against the USSFA and then proceeded to try again, this time with a professional league that would not rely, as the ISL had, on imported teams.

                   Final League Standings, 1965

                                  GP   W   T   L  GF  GA  Pts
	Section I
New York Americans (USA)           6   4   1   1  11   8   9
Portugesa (Brazil)                 6   4   0   2  18  11   8
Varese (Italy)                     6   2   2   2  11   9   6
TSV Munich 1860 (West Germany)     6   2   0   4   8  13   4
West Ham United (England)          6   1   1   4   9  16   3

	Section II
Polonia Bytom (Poland)             6   3   3   0  13   4   9
Ferencvaros (Hungary)              6   3   2   1  10   6   8
West Bromwich Albion (England)     6   1   2   3   6  13   4
Kilmarnock (Scotland)              6   1   1   4   5  11   3

Polonia Bytom 3, New York Americans 0
Polonia Bytom 2, New York Americans 1
(Polonia Bytom wins by 5-1 aggregate)
American Challenge Cup
Polonia Bytom 2	, Dukla Prague (Czechoslovakia) 0
Polonia Bytom 1, Dukla Prague 1
(Polonia Bytom wins by 3-1 aggregate)

Leading scorer:  (Unavailable)
Eisenhower Trophy (MVP):  Uwe Schwart, New York Americans.
Top Goalkeeper:  Uwe Schwart, New York Americans, 1.33 GAA, 42 saves.

Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League

Montreal Italica changed their name and returned to the top convincingly, winning a close regular season race before losing to Toronto Italia in the playoffs. On other fronts, financial woes continued to mount. Hamilton was bought by Primo Poloniato, who named the team after himself, but lost $22,000 for the season. In July, George Gross, a league founded resigned as manager of Toronto City, a charter franchise. Attendance fell, averaging just over 2,000 for the playoff games.

               Final League Standings, 1965

Before the season, Montreal Italia became Italica, and 
Hamilton Steelers became the Primos.

                           GP   W   T   L  GF  GA  PTS
Montreal Italica           24  13   5   6  42  34  31
Toronto Inter-Roma         24  12   4   8  52  41  28
Toronto Italia             24  10   6   8  55  45  26
Hamilton Primos            24   7   5  12  36  44  19
Toronto City               24   5   6  13  33  54  16

Semi-finals:  Italia defeated Montreal 2-1, 0-1, 6-0
              Hamilton defeated Roma 3-2, 2-1
CHAMPIONSHIP: Italia defeated Hamilton 2-2, 3-1, 3-1

After the season, Montreal and Toronto City folded.

Leading Scorer:  Carlos Metidieri, Toronto Italia (19 goals)

Amateur Leagues & Cups

California State Association Senior Challenge Cup:Los Angeles Kickers
Pacific Coast International Championship (Kennedy Cup): Mexico Select (1st), Los Angeles All-Stars (2nd), Vancouver (3rd), San Francisco (4th), Baja All-Stars (5th). held in Tijuana, Mexico. Total attendance: 40,000.
San Francisco League: San Francisco Scots
National Soccer League of Connecticut: New Britain Falcons
American Soccer League of Connecticut: Olympic
Manning Memorial Cup (New York): Hispanoila; Knickerbocker Cup: Shamrock; Association Cup: New York Hota
German-American Soccer League (NY): Blue Star
Italian-American League: Pozzallo SC
Eastern Pennsylvania Cup: United German-Hungarian SC
Florida League: Hollywood German-American SC; Inter-American Games: Ecuador finished first. Miami Select finished last.
Hawaii Soccer Association: Schofield Barracks SC; Hawaii Cup: Schofield
Rowland State Open Championship (Maryland): Internationals; Stewart Cup: Internationals
Michigan State Cup: Carpathian Kickers
Mid-America Tournament: Detroit Kickers:
Michigan-Ontario League: Disbanded.
Peel Challenge Cup (Illinois State): Olympic
National Soccer League of Chicago: Hansa
Southern New England Association Cup: Portuguese Sports of New Bedford
New England Soccer League: Newton SC
Interstate League (MA-RI): Bristol (RI) Sports
Greater New Bedford Soccer League: Portuguese-Americans: Rocky Mountain Championship: Denver Kickers defeated Hollandia (Salt Lake City) 2-0
Utah Soccer Association: Hollandia

The US National Team

The US National team played four full internationals this year, all World Cup qualifiers. The US started the series in a three-team round robin with Mexico and Honduras. Mexico was the overwhelming favorite for the CONCACAF berth in the finals, and already held a commanding lead when the US played against them at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Many of the players on the hastily assembled US roster were from the German-American League including Walter Czychowycz, Alex Ely, and Andy Cziotka. Many others hailed from Chicago, such as Ed Murphy, Willy Roy and Adolf Bachmeier. Bob Kehoe was from St. Louis and Al Zerhusen from California. George Meyer returned as coach. The USSF added Geza Hanni, the coach of New york Hungaria to the staff as a technical assistant, but he began to assert authority and for a time, the team had two competing coaches. The infighting did not help morale.The game, on March 7, actually was a closely fought duel, with the US taking a 2-1 lead on goals by Walter Shmotolocha and Helmut Bicek in the 49th and 61st minutes respectively. However, Mexico came back to tie 2-2, and the US was on the brink of elimination. The US was eliminated for good in the return match on March 12 at Mexico City, on a 2-0 victory. This rendered the two remaining games meaningless. Those games, held in Honduras on March 17 and March 21, were a 1-0 win and a 1-1 draw, with both US goals coming from Ed Murphy. The US actually finished with a fairly respestable 4 points in the final standings, to 7 for Mexico and 1 for Honduras, but in these days only one CONCACAF team went to the finals, and second place simply wasn’t good enough. Ultimately, England defeated West Germany in front of the home crowd for their first World Cup title.

              USA National team results

    1965 Totals:  1W,  2D,  1L
Mar 21 65  D 1-1  Honduras            2,331  Tegucigalpa, Honduras (WCQ'66)
               E. Murphy
Mar 17 65  W 1-0  Honduras            1,268  San Pedro Sula, CA, USA (WCQ'66)
               E. Murphy
Mar 12 65  L 0-2  Mexico             64,285  Mexico City, Mexico (WCQ'66)
Mar 07 65  D 2-2  Mexico             19,337  Los Angeles, CA, USA (WCQ'66)
               Bicek, Shmotolocha

U. S. Open Cup

The New York Ukrainians of the German-American Soccer League won their first cup with a two-leg victory over Chicago Hansa. The tournament started with 131 teams. A 1-1 draw on June 27 at Ukrainians Field in New York was followed by a convincing 3-0 win on July 4 at Hanson Stadium in Chicago. Peter Smethurst scored goals for the New York team in both legs of the final, and was joined in the second game by Peter Schaefer and Walter Schmotolocha. Willy Roy had Hansa’s only goal of the series.

In the semifinals, New York Ukrainian beat Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, 1-0 and 3-3, while Hansa eliminated the defending champion Los Angeles Kickers, 4-3.

The quarterfinals were New York Ukrainains 2, New York German-Hungarian 1; Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 1, Detroit Kickers 0; Chicago Hansa 4, St. Louis Kutis 1, and Los Angeles Kickers 4, San Francisco Greek-American 2.

International Tours

1965 Easter Tournament, NY State Association, held at Randall’s Island.

Fiorentina 5, New York Ukrainians 1
Fiorentina 1, Aris 1
Fiorentina 1, Eintract 0
Eintracht 2, New York Ukrainians 0
Eintracht 1, Aris 0
Aria 0, New York Ukrainians 0

Hannover ’96, Germany: May 21 1965 0- June 13 1965. Results: 6 wins, 0 draws, 3 losses.

5/21/65  Hannover '96 3, New Yorkers 2 (at New York City)
5/23/65  Hanover '96 3, Nottingham Forest 1 (at new York City)
5/26/65  Hannover '96 5, All-Stars 3 (at Chicago)
5/30/65  Hannover '96 0, Nottingham Forest 2 (at Chicago)
6/3/65   Hannover '96 2, Nottingham Forest 6 (at San Francisco)
6/6/65   Hannover '96 1, Nottingham Forest 2 (at los Angeles)
6/9/65   Hannover '96 9, Denver Stars 3 (at Denver)
6/11/65  Hannover '96 8, Richmond Stars 2 (at Richmond, VA)
6/13/65  Hannover '96 4, Detroit Kickers 1 (at Detroit)

Edinburgh Hibernians, Scotland: June 13, 1965 – July 1, 1965. Results: 9 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses.

6/13/65  Hibernians 2, Nottingham Forest 1 (at Vancouver, BC)
6/16/65  Hibernians 9, British Columbia Stars 2 (at Vancouver)
6/21/65  Hibernians 7, Calgary Buff. Kickers 1 (at Calgary)
6/22/65  Hibernians 15, Concordia Regina 1 (at regina, sask.)
6/23/65  Hibernians 11, Manitoba Stars 0 (at Winnipeg)
6/26/65  Hibernians 4, Italia Toronto 0 (at Toronto)
6/27/65  Hibernians 15, Ottawa Stars 0 (at Ottawa)
6/29/65  Hibernians 3, Italica Montreal 0 (at Montreal)
7/1/65  Hibernians 6, new Jersey Stars 1 (at Harrison, NJ)

Nottingham Forest, England: May 14, 1965 – June 14, 1965. Results: 9 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss.

5/14/65  Nottingham Forest 8, HartfordCT 2 (at Hartford)
5/16/65  Nottingham Forest 3, Ukrainian Nationals 2 (at Philadelphia)
5/19/65  Nottingham Forest 4, Boston Metros 2 (at Boston)
5/23/65  Nottingham Forest 1, Hannover '96 3 (at New York City)
5/26/65  Nottingham Forest 6, CYC Stars 1 (at St. Louis)
5/30/65  Nottingham Forest 2, Hannover '96 0 (at Chicago)
6/2/65   Nottingham Forest 6, Hannover '96 2 (at San Francisco)
6/6/65   Nottingham Forest 2, Hannover '96 1 (at Vancouver)
6/9/65   Nottingham Forest 2, B. C. Stars 0 (at Vancouver)
6/12/65  v 1, Hibernians 1 (at Vancouver)
6/14/65  Nottingham Forest 1, Toronto Stars 0 (at Toronto)

Hapoel Petah-Tirva, Israel: September 11, 1965 – September 24, 1965. Results: 4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss.

9/8/65   Hapoel 2, New York All-Stars 0 (at new York City)
9/11/65  Hapoel 2, Hartford All-Stars 1 (at Hartford)
9/12/65  Hapoel 2, Boston Metros 0 (at Boston)
9/16/65  Hapoel 5, Milwaukee All-Stars 0 (at Milwaukee)
9/19/65  Hapoel 3, Chicago All-Stars 3 (at Chicago)
9/24/65  Hapoel 4, Carpathia Kickers 5 (at Detroit)

Independiente, Argentina: No details available.
Schwacher, Austria: No details available.
Santos, Brazil: No details available.
Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany: No details available.

The College Game

Change was the watchword this year, with soccer starting to grow in the college ranks. The California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference was replaced by the West Coast Intercollegiate Soccer Conference, the Midwestern Conference disbanded after the season, and the Yankee Football Conference added a Soccer affiliate, which took in many of the major New England teams. The NCAA Tournament was back to a 16 team field. In the second round, Army defeated Trinity 3-1, Michigan State defeated East Stroudsberg 2-1, Navy defeated Brown 6-2, and St. Louis defeated San Francisco 3-1. In the semifinals, Michigan State defeated Army 3-1, and St. Louis defeated Navy 3-1. The final returned to St. Louis, MO, where on December 4, they defeated Michigan State 1-0 to reclaim the national championship.

The mid-1960’s was an era of dynasties in collegiate soccer, perhaps a reflection of the many strides the game had yet to take as far as growth and development at a national level were concerned. This would change in the 1970’s and 1980’s as the talent pool grew at an ever accelerating rate. In 1965, Brown would start the first of four consecutive Ivy league romps, Long Island was in the middle of a four year Metropolitan Conference run, Maryland had won their twelfth consecutive crown in the Atlantic Coast Conference (they would win four more, and had won every conference title since its foundation), Akron was in the middle of an Ohio Association run that would see them win 9 crowns in an 11 year span. St. Louis would win their 5th Midwestern title in 6 years, Elizabethtown was in the middle of a 6 year streak in the Middle Atlantic Conference, and UCLA was in the midst of an intermittent dynasty in the Southern California Association that would see them win 14 titles over a 21 year span from 1954-1974.

Conference Champions:

West Coast Intercollegiate Soccer Conference:  San Francisco
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Brown, Middlebury (co-champions)
Ivy League:  Brown
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Long Island University
Atlantic Coast Conference:  Maryland
New York State Athletic Conference: New Paltz
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Air force
Midwestern Conference:  St. Louis
Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association: Denison
Mason-Dixon Conference: Baltimore
Yankee Conference: Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut (co-champs)
Southern California Soccer Association: Loyola
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Elizabethtown

College All-Americans, 1965:
G -  Timothy Tarpley, California
RF - Peter Prozik, Buffalo State
LF - Lee Cook, Trenton State
RH - John Eastman, Ohio
CH - Nick Krat, Michigan State
LH - Steve Varsa, Catholic
OR - Carl Gentile, St. Louis
IR - Lewis Fraser, San Jose State
CF - Guy Bush, Michigan State
IL - Pat McBride, St. Louis
OL - Janos Benedek, Ithaca

NAIA Championship:  Trenton State 5, Earlham 2
NJCAA Championship:  Monroe Community College 2, Mitchell College 1

Other Action

Kennedy Cup: Held in Tijuana, Mexico. Winner: Mexico “B” Team

May 1, 1965 - Los Angeles Kickers  3: Baja California  1
May 2, 1965 - Vancouver Firefighters  6: San Francisco  0
May 2, 1965 - Mexico "B"  1: Los Angeles Kickers  1
May 3, 1965 - Vancouver Firefighters  1: Baja California  0
May 3, 1965 - Los Angeles Kickers  4: San Francisco  4
May 4, 1965 - Mexico "B"  2: Vancouver Firefighters  0
May 5, 1965 - Mexico "B" 6: Baja California  0
May 5, 1965 - Los Angeles Kickers  1: Vancouver Firefighters  0 

1965 National Amateur Cup Final: United German-Hungarian defeated St. Ambrose of St. Louis, 6-0. The field started with 140 teams.

National Junior Cup:I.M. Heart of Mary, St. Louis

CONCACAF Nations Cup: The U.S. did not participate this year. Mexico won the round robin tournament with Guatemala coming in second.

CONCACAF Champions Cup: Tournament was abandoned.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1965, Fred Beardsworth and Teddy Glover were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

The longest game? On October 23, 1965, the Farm Academy of Bristol, Ohio defeated the Erie High School 1–0 after 28 extra periods without either team making a substitution. The game lasted more than nine hours and finished with the aid of automobile headlights.