The Year in American Soccer – 1969

NASL | ASL | Amateur Leagues & Cups | National Team | International Tours | The College Game | Other Action

North American Soccer League (Div. 1)

Things looked bleak for the North American Soccer League as the spring of 1969 approached. Notwithstanding Woosnam’s entreaties that winter, ten franchises had folded. Two others opted for the low budget route: Oakland renamed itself California Clippers and set about playing an exhibition schedule, while Chicago Mustangs joined the semipro National Soccer League. CBS, after two years of anemic ratings, canceled its television contract.

At the end of Woosnam’s pitch at the league’s January meeting, the remaining owners did the obvious thing and asked the former Atlanta coach to act as executive director of the league. While Woosnam was well-qualified-he had a university education, a rarity in British football-he certainly had better options: his handling of the Chiefs prompted two English First Division clubs to offer him a managerial post. Fortunately for U.S. soccer, Woosnam elected to stay and try to revitalize the league. “We hadn’t failed because of the sport”, he said, “we failed because the wrong circumstances prevailed. We had to work to change the circumstances. In my heart I knew the sport was good enough.” Enlisting Clive Toye-formerly chief soccer writer for The Daily Express in England and general manager of Baltimore-as his second-in-command, Woosnam set about resurrecting the league.

Woosnam’s first task was to simply keep the league afloat: he demanded that the five surviving clubs drastically reduce player salaries and other operating costs so that annual budgets could be held at a manageable $200,000. Since most of the five clubs did not even have complete rosters, as no one had been sure of whether there would even be a 1969 season, Woosnam stalled for time by splitting the season into two contrasting halves. During the first half, each club was represented by a team imported wholesale from Great Britain, a la the United Soccer Association’s format of 1967. Woosnam hoped that the high quality of play from the imported clubs would build momentum at the gate and carry over into the second half of the season, when the “real” teams took over.

The double round-robin tournament was dubbed the International Cup: Atlanta Chiefs were represented by Aston Villa; West Ham United (featuring 1966 World Cup Heroes Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, and Martin Peters) represented Baltimore Bays, and Kilmarnock of Ireland stood for St. Louis. Additionally, two teams from the United Soccer Association reprised their cameo roles: Wolverhampton Wanderers, the 1967 USA champions as Los Angeles Wolves, returned to the States, this time as Kansas City Spurs, while Dundee United again wore the colors of Dallas Tornado. Although the teams and stars like Hurst, Moore, Trevor Brooking, and Phil Parkes distinguished themselves by their top-flight play, the momentum Woosnam hoped for never developed: West Ham and Wolverhampton, who would have drawn 50,000 for the match in England, opened the tournament in Baltimore before 5,128. The nadir was reached one night in Dallas when Dundee United and Kilmarnock fought to an exciting 3-3 draw before less that 200 fans; an earlier match between Dundee and West Ham drew 714 to Dallas’ Cobb Stadium. As in 1967, Wolverhampton showed themselves to be the class of the circuit, winning the Cup for Kansas City.

In international exhibitions, West Ham united beat Kilmarnock 2-1 in Seattle and lost to Tottenham Hotspurs 3-4 in Baltimore in May, before whomping Dundee United 8-2 in Portland, OR. on May 25. Eintracht Braunschweig played four NASL teams in June, drawing with Atlanta 0-0, beating Dallas 7-2, and Kansas City 1-0 before drawing 2-2 with the NASL All-Stars. Meanwhile, Inter Bratislava of Czechoslovakia drew with Atlanta 2-2 and beat kansas City 3-1 in July. Finally, Aston Villa beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in Atlanta on May 17.


                            G   W   T   L    GF   GA PTS 
Kansas City Spurs           8   6   2   0    25   13  57
Baltimore Bays              8   5   2   1    23   13  52
Dallas Tornado              8   2   4   2    13   22  31
Atlanta Chiefs              8   2   4   2    10   16  28
St. Louis Stars             8   2   5   1    11   18  26

NASL InterInternational Cup:  Kansas City Spurs (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Leading Scorers                   G
Curran (Kansas City)              6
Trevor Brooking (Baltimore)       5
Peter Knowles (Kansas City)       5
Queen (St. Louis)                 5
Geoff Hurst (Baltimore)           4
Derek Dougan (Kansas City)        4
Gordon (Dallas)                   4
K. Cameron (Dallas)               4
Tiler (Atlanta)                   3
Mike Bailey (Kansas City)         3

Leading Goalkeepers       GP   GA   GAA
Phil Parkes (Kansas City)     8   13   1.625
Ferguson (Baltimore)          8   13   1.625
Dunne (Atlanta)               8   16   2.00
McLaughlin (St. Louis)        7   15   2.14
Donald MacKay (Dallas)        8   18   2.75
Dick (St. Louis)              1    3   3.00

After this tournament, the league bridged the old to the new by having the guest club play the home club in each city: West Ham United versus Baltimore Bays, Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Kansas City Spurs, etc. Then, the 16 game league schedule was played, sans playoffs-another Woosnam cost saving measure.

The season climaxed with yet another controversial finish, again demonstrating the effects of the NASL scoring system. Atlanta had compiled the best won-lost-tied record, 11-2-3, but Kansas City’s 10-2-4 mark was accompanied by 53 goals scored, compared to Atlanta’s 46. With four bonus points helping to offset Atlanta’s extra victory, Kansas City won the league championship by a single point, 110-109, thereby completing its unique “double” for the year. Atlanta joined Oakland (1968) and Philadelphia (1967) as victims of the point system.

Although missing out on the title, Atlanta made its presence felt in 1969. Besides Woosnam, another notable Chiefs alum was Ron Newman, now playing for and coaching Dallas to a respectable finish after 1968’s disastrous season. Vic Crowe took over the helm in Atlanta, where Kaiser Motaung was the league scoring champion, and Manfred Kammerer paced the goalkeepers in the circuit. Individual honors went to Kansas City’s Cirilio Fernandez (MVP) and Baltimore’s Siegfried Stritzl (Rookie of the Year). Despite the presence of Stritzl and two-time ASL Most Valuable Player Pete Millar, however, Baltimore still finished in the basement.

“Americanization” finally ventured into the NASL in a big way, as St. Louis had 14 Yanks-all native-on its 18 man roster, including St. Louis native Dave Jokerst in goal. It was the beginning of a three year period during which the team bravely waived its American flags and got trounced for its efforts. The Stars’ record in 1969 was 3-11-2, and they could take little solace from its gate, which at 2,274 per game was still below the league’s paltry 3,000 figure; Kansas City paced the circuit with a 4,273 average.

                 Final League Standings, 1969

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS    %     Att.   
Kansas City Spurs          16  10   4   2   53  28  110  .750   4,273
Atlanta Chiefs             16  11   3   2   46  20  109  .781   3,371
Dallas Tornado             16   8   2   6   32  31   82  .562   2,923
St.Louis Stars             16   3   2  11   24  47   47  .250   2,274
Baltimore Bays             16   2   1  13   27  56   42  .156   1,601

CHAMPION: Kansas City (no playoffs)

After the season, Baltimore folded.

6 points for a win, 3 for a tie, 0 for a loss, and up to three bonus points
for the first three goals.

Leading Scorers                     GP    G    A    TP
Kaiser Motaung (Atlanta)           N/A   16    4    36
Jorge Benitez (Kansas City)         14   15    5    35
Ilija Mitic (Dallas)               N/A   11    4    26
Fons Stoffels (Kansas City)         16    8    7    23
Manfred Seisser (Kansas City)       16    8    6    22
Emment Kapengwe (Atlanta)          N/A    8    6    22
Ademar Saccone (Kansas City)        16    9    1    19
Peter Millar (Baltimore)           N/A    8    2    18
Evrald Cummings (Atlanta)          N/A    5    6    16
Freddie Mwila (Atlanta)            N/A    7    1    15
Tom Ferguson (St. Louis)            12    7    1    15
Peter Short (Dallas)               N/A    6    2    14

Leading Goalkeepers (720 mins. needed to qualify)
                              Min   Svs  GA  SO   GAA
Manfred Kammerer (Atlanta)    1260   56  15   3  1.07
Humberto Arrieta (Dallas)     1260   49  22   2  1.57
Leonel Conde (Kansas City)    1440   83  28   2  1.75
Dave Jokerst (St. Louis)      1260  111  39   0  2.78
Orrie Banach (Baltimore)      1170   99  42   2  3.23

Most Valuable Player:  Cirilio Fernandez, Kansas City Spurs
Coach of the Year:  (No selection)
Rookie of the Year:  Siegfreid Stritzi, Baltimore Bays

NASL 1st All-Star Team:

G   Leonel Conde           Kansas City Spurs
D   John Borodiak          Baltimore Bays
D   Kirk Apostolidis       Dallas Tornado
M   William Quiros         Kansas City Spurs
M   John Best              Dallas Tornado
M   Joe Puls               St. Louis Stars
F   Cirilo Fernandez       San Diego Toros
F   Kaizer Motaung         Atlanta Apollos
F   Manfred Seissler       Kansas City Spurs
F   Ilija Mitic            Dallas Tornado
F   Emment Kapengwe        Atlanta Apollos
F   Art Welch              Baltimore Bays

American Soccer League (Div. 2)

The ASL muddled through another season. Washington Darts, riding the momentum of its 1968 “internal” title, won the league’s first summer season crown with Executive of the Year Norm Sutherland at the helm. Washington went 14-1, bringing a winning streak into the season that eventually extended to 21 games, also going more than 700 minutes without allowing a goal. Goalkeeper Lincoln Phillips secured 13 shutouts while winning the coach of the year award. Gerry Browne scored a club record 17 goals, including five goals in a 6-0 shutout of Newark. John Kerr was signed from England’s Ipswich, and was a top playmaker. Phillips, Browne, Bert Greli, and Victor Gamaldo, all from Trinidad & Tobago, were chosen for their national team for a major tournament in Costa Rica. Robert Waugh of New York Inter won his second consecutive MVP award.

The league maintained a reduced two-division structure, adding Philadelphia, Boston and Syracuse, who surprised everybody by winning their division, and boasting the league’s top scorer. Like the NASL, the older circuit was happy just to survive the year. The ASL subsequently suffered their first direct loss to the NASL, as two teams, Washington and Rochester left the circuit, joining the NASL the following season.

                Final ASL League Standings, 1969

Before the season, Philadelphia Spartans, Boston, and Syracuse were added. 

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
     	Northern Division
Syracuse Scorpions         20  12   5   3   53  26   29
Rochester Lancers          20  12   5   3   41  18   29
Boston Astros              20   5   0  15   24  48   10
New York Inter             20   2   4  14   20  44    8

     	Southern Division
Washington Darts           20  14   5   1   46  11   33
Philadelphia Spartans      20   7   5   8   26  32   19
Philadelphia Ukrainians    20   7   5   8   27  38   19
Newark Ukrainian Sitch     20   6   1  13   34  54   13

Runoff:  Syracuse defeated Rochester 2-1.   
CHAMPION:  Washington defeated Syracuse, 2-0, 2-0.

After the season, New York folded, and Rochester and Washington
moved over to the North American Soccer League (NASL).

Top Scorer:  Jim Lefkos, Syracuse Scorpions, 22
Most Valuable Player:  Robert Waugh, New York Inter
Coach of the Year:  Norman Sutherland, Washington Darts

         1969 ASL All-Star Team

Goal:        Lincoln Phillips (Washington)
Back:        Frank Dunleavy (Syracuse)
             Charlie Mitchell (Rochester Lancers)
Halfback:    Alberto Trik (Philadelphia Ukrainians)
             Willie Evans  (Washington)
             Jose Montero (Boston)
Forward:     John Kerr (Washington)
             Yao Kankam (Syracuse)
             Jim Lefkos (Syracuse)
             Frank Odoi (Syracuse) 
             Gerry Browne (Washington)

Amateur Leagues & Cups

Baltimore Unlimited Soccer League:British Lions (16-13-1-2-50-11-27)
Baltimore Unlimited League:St. Gerards (Red champ) defeated Baltimore Kickers (Blue champ) 1-0 and 1-1 to win on goal aggregate.
Greater Detroit Soccer League: Detroit Carpathia Kickers (13-1-0-91-10-27)
Western Michigan League: Wyoming Be-Quick (10-0-2-20) Ohio-Indiana League: Cincinnati Inter
New Orleans League:Honduras
California State Cup: San Francisco Greek-American
California Soccer League: Libertad
Greater Los Angeles League: Armenians defeated Croatia in a best of 3 series.
Pacific Soccer League (LA): Coast Rangers
Central Coast League: Mission SC:
San Diego County League: Internationals
Anchorage League (Alaska): 49ers
New Jersey State Cup: Hudson Dalmations
German-American Soccer League (New York): Greek-American SC (18-15-2-1-55-17-32) (winners of the Harry Kraus Memorial Cup)
National Soccer League of New York:Palermo (17-11-1-5-43-23-27) Italian-American League: Fiorentina
National Soccer League of Chicago: Olympics (23-15-4-4-34).
Peel Challenge Cup Cup (Illinois State): Sparta & Kickers (co-champs)

West Penn Challenge Cup: Heidelberg Tornados
Oklahoma State Cup: Tulsa International Jose Silva Trophy (So. New England Assoc. Cup): Portuguese Sports of New Bedford
New England League: Newton SC

The US National Team

As the year began, the US had done well in World Cup qualifying, needing only two wins against Haiti to qualify for the 1970 World Cup. The prospects were brighter than they had been in many years for several reasons. The NASL provided a base of professional players and good coaches and tacticians. The NASL and USSF were cooperating and working together on the endeavor, and the team had passed through the first phase of qualifying with considerable success. They only had to beat Haiti in the next round to get through.

But morale was uncertain due to dissatisfaction over pay and the departure of Phil Woosnam as coach to become Executive Director of the NASL, which was in danger of folding. This left the players unfocused when the games arrived, and Haiti defeated the United States twice, 2-0 on April 20, and 1-0 on May 11. This apparently had a depressing effect on the US team spirits, as the team did not play another game until summer 1971, over two years later. On the bright side, this was the US’s best qualifying effort since 1950, and the program was at least started in the right direction. Ultimately, Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in a thrilling final.

            National team 1969 results:

    1969 Totals:  0W,  0D,  2L
May 11 69  L 0-1  Haiti               6,546  San Diego, CA, USA (WCQ'70)
Apr 20 69  L 0-2  Haiti               6,917  Port au Prince, Haiti (WCQ'70)

International Tours

Dallas Tornado (NASL) to Europe: September 1969 – October 28, 1969. Scores unknown.

  ??/??/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Stoke City
  ??/??/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Crystal Palace
   10/6/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Hearts
  10/13/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Bristol City
  10/15/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Portsmouth
  10/28/69 Dallas Tornado                 at Doncaster Rovers

California Clippers: January 26, 1969 through June 1, 1969. Results: 7 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses.

26 Jan W 2-0 v Deportivo Atlas at Kezar Stadium (5,142)
02 Feb W 7-1 v Latin-American All-Stars at Balboa Park Stadium, San Francisco (c. 3,000)
23 Feb L 2-3 v Dynamo Kiev at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco (11,815)
02 Mar D 1-1 v Dynamo Kiev at Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles (10,287)
09 Mar W 1-0 v Dynamo Kiev at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco (11,223)
23 Mar W 5-1 v San Francisco All-Stars at Balboa Park Stadium, San Francisco
13 Apr W 4-0 v US National Team at Balboa Park Stadium, San Francisco (c. 2,000)
27 Apr W 8-1 v Southern California All-Stars at Rancho Cienega Stadium, (c. 1,500)
02 May L 1-3 v Club America at Memorial Coliseum, San Francisco (3,666)
04 May L 1-2 v Club America at Spartan Stadium, San Jose (5,112)
18 May L 0-2 v VFC Setubal at McLane High School, Fresno (3,216)*
23 May D 2-2 v West Bromwich Albion at Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles (5,143)*
25 May L 1-3 v Dukla Prague at Stanford Stadium (together with WBA/Setubal; 11,513)*
30 May L 1-2 v Fiorentina at Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles (4,212)
01 Jun W 4-2 v Fiorentina at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco (7,356)
*"California International Cup" tournament, won by Setubal. 

The College Game

The year 1969 saw the beginning of a major expansion of NCAA soccer, as well as the ending of the era of dynasties. Maryland-s long streak of consecutive championships in the Atlantic Coast Conference finally came to an end. With the growth of youth soccer beginning to make its impact at the college level, many schools were adding soccer to their varsity programs or upgrading existing programs from the club level. This year saw the addition of several the Mid-American Conference, Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Conference, Far western Conference, and the Independent College Athletic Conference. This expansion would continue through the next few years, including the establishment in 1972 of a NCAA sponsored Division 2, which incorporated many independent soccer programs at smaller universities and colleges. Women’s soccer was in its embryonic form by now, through the American Association of Intercollegiate Women (AIAW). The AIAW would be the major forum for women’s college sports programs until the early 1980’s when the establishment of women’s soccer in the NCAA led to a quick merger between the NCAA and AIAW. From that point on, the growth of soccer continued at an accelerated rate, reflecting the continued growth of youth and high school soccer. The growth in the men’s game leveled off during the 1990’s in the men’s program as a result of Title XI, but the women’s program continued its phenomenal growth during the remainder of the 20th century. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, there was rapid change in he lineups of the soccer conferences, with many major Football and Basketball athletic conferences establishing soccer programs.

In the 1969 NCAA tournament, the field was expanded to 24 teams, with 8 teams engaged in a play-in round. In the third round, Harvard defeated Hartwick 1-0, St. Louis defeated Cleveland State 2-1, San Francisco defeated San Jose State 3-1, and Maryland defeated Pennsylvania 1-0. In the semi-finals, St. Louis defeated Harvard 2-1, and San Francisco defeated Maryland 1-0. The championship game was played in San Jose, CA on December 8, 1969, and was won decisively by St. Louis 4-0.

Conference Champions:

West Coast Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Jose State
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Harvard
Ivy league: Harvard
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Adelphi
Atlantic Coast Conference: Virginia
Mid-American Conference: Bowling Green, Kent State (co-champions)
New York State Athletic Conference: Brockport
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Air Force
Ohio Collegiate Soccer Conference: Cleveland State
Southern Conference: George Washington
Mason-Dixon Conference: Baltimore
Yankee Conference: Vermont
Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Virginia
Far Western Conference: Chico State
Independent College Athletic Conference: Rennsalaer
Southern California Soccer Association: San Diego State
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Bucknell

College All-Americans

G -  Bruce Parkhill, Lock Haven
RF - Don Fowler, Trenton State
LF - Karim Yassim, Elizabethtown
RH - Len Renery, Columbia
CH - Peter Goosens, San Diego State
LH - Tony Elia, Hartwick
OR - Abdula Jama, New York University
IR - Alec Papadakis, Hartwick
CF - Bob Durham, Philadelphia Textile
IL - Rasim Tugberk, Maryland
OL - Manual Hernandez, San Jose State

Hermann Trophy:  Al Trost, St. Louis University

NAIA Championship:  Eastern Illinois 1, Davis & Elkins 0 (2 overtimes)
NJCAA Championship:  Florissant Valley Community College 6, Miami-Dade North 2

Other Action

1969 US National Challenge Open Cup Final: New York Greek American (German-American League) completed their three-pear by retaining the cup after a 1-0 victory over Montabello Armenians of the Greater Los Angeles League.

1969 National Amateur Cup Final: Washington British Lions defeated St. Louis Kutis 4-1.

National Junior Cup: St. Philip Neri, St. Louis

CONCACAF Nations Cup: The US did not participate in 1969. Costa Rica won the round robin tournament, and Guatemala came in second.

CONCACAF Champions Cup: The US did not participate in 1969. Cruz Azul (Mexico) defeated Comunicaciones (Guatemala) 1-0 to take the title.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1969, the legendary soccer historian Sam Foulds was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, along with Edmund Craggs and August Starr.