The Year in American Soccer – 1971

NASL | ASL | NSL | Amateur Leagues & Cups | Pan-American Games | National Team | The College Game | Other Action

North American Soccer League (Div. 1)

Since taking over in 1969, one of Woosnam’s principle aims was to return to New York, not only with a new league headquarters (Woosnam had been operating out of the basement at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium) but also with a new team. Acutely aware of the importance of a franchise in the city to the NASL’s quest for “major league” status, Woosnam wanted to ensure that the New York team succeeded where the old Generals had failed; he could not risk the league’s dying in the city a second time.

At some point, Woosnam approached famous British broadcaster David Frost, who Woosnam knew had an avowed interest in soccer. Although Frost was initially interested, his attorney turned the deal down; however, the attorney vaguely hinted that Warner Communications might be interested. Woosnam could not have heard better news: the media giant would provide just the stability and credibility he sought. Besides, he also had an “in” at Warner-his new friend, Neshui Ertegun. Before long, Warner was the proud owner of a new team: New York Cosmos.

This done, Woosnam looked around and saw that the league was relatively stable; although Kansas City had folded, the other franchises were in solid shape. Besides New York, Woosnam added two Canadian teams: Toronto Metros and Les Olympiques de Montreal, which was quickly Anglicized to Montreal Olympics. As a testament to the league’s steady growth, the three new teams each paid a $25,000 franchise fee, more than double what Rochester and Washington had paid a year earlier.

As in the year before, the teams played a 24-game schedule that included four games against international competition; this time the teams were Hearts from Scotland, Lanerossi from Italy, Apollon from Greece, and Bangu of Brazil, the 1960 I.S.L. champions who had played as Houston Stars in the United Soccer Association. Dallas and Rochester each went 2-0-2 against the foreigners, but Atlanta took the International Cup-in spite of going 2-1-1-thanks to those handy bonus points.

For all the notoriety they would achieve later for their world-class sides, the first edition of the Cosmos was a hodgepodge, including former Generals Barry Mahy, Jan Steadman, and player-coach Gordon Bradley. Siegfried Stritzl, the 1968 Rookie of the Year, was also acquired. The remainder of the roster was filled out with players from local leagues, including forbidding 6’4’’ Bermudian striker Randy Horton, who would be the league’s Rookie of the Year and second to Carlos Metidieri in the scoring race. Neither New York nor the other franchises felt compelled to stock their franchises with natives, however: only 16 native-born Americans dotted NASL rosters, with 14 coming from St. Louis Stars. Montreal’s roster did include four Canadians, though, while Toronto carried seven.

At the conclusion of the season, Rochester was champion of the Northern Division by virtue of its league-best 13-5-6 record, while Atlanta took the Southern Division crown. However, two changes would make the 1971 playoffs the wildest in its brief history: second place trams were allowed into the playoffs, and sudden-death overtime was introduced.

In the semifinals, while Atlanta swept New York in its best-of-three series, Rochester and Dallas engaged in a war of attrition: the opener, in Rochester, went 176 minutes before Metidieri won it for the Lancers in the sixth overtime. Dallas-led by two players with championship experience, ex-Oakland Clippers Gabbo Gavric and Mirko Stojanovic-stormed back to win the second game at home, before going back to Rochester and playing another marathon-this time 148 minutes long-which found Dallas going through on goals by Tony McLaughlin and Bobby Moffat.

The finals again found Dallas losing the opener of the three-game series on an overtime goal after 123 minutes by Nick Ash, who had just entered the game for Atlanta as a substitute. Dallas took the second game, setting up a rubber match viewed by barely 3,000 in Atlanta. Moffat and Mike Renshaw scored first half goals to give Dallas the title, 2-0. Dallas owed its championship, in large part, to the heroics of McLaughlin, who was the leading playoff scorer with four goals and two assists. Ironically, the young Englishman-who taped his knuckles before each game-was never seen in the NASL again.

Carlos Metidieri was the league’s MVP, scoring 19 goals, while Mirko Stojanovic took his second goalkeeping crown (the other coming in the 1967 NPSL season). League attendance crept up to about 3,850 per game; Rochester paced the circuit with a 7,467 average, followed by Toronto at 6,992 per game. New York, aided by a crowd of 19,437 for a game against the Lancers, averaged 5,338 at Yankee Stadium, where the baseball team retained the right to postpone any game if there was a threat of rain and damage to the field. An average crowd of 4,175 watched St. Louis continue its American experiment with little field success, the fine performances of Yanks Larry Hausmann, Pat McBride, and Willy Roy (back in the loop after a two year hiatus) notwithstanding.

Several foreign clubs made visits to the US to play exhibition matches, although on a smaller scale than the previous year. New York Cosmos were a major destination for these clubs. Along the highlights, Hearts of Scotland defeated the Cosmos 4-0 and 4-2 and drew 0-0 with Rochester. Lanerossi-Vicenza of Italy defeated the Cosmos 5-3 and lost to Rochester 3-4. Appollon of Greece drew with the Cosmos 1-1, and Bangu of Brazil drew with Rochester 1-1 and defeated the Comsos 6-1.

                 Final NASL League Standings, 1971

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS    %     Att.   
     Northern Division
Rochester Lancers          24  13   6   5   48  31  141  .666   5,871
New York Cosmos            24   9   5  10   51  55  117  .479   4,517
Toronto Metros             24   5   9  10   32  47   89  .395   5,993
Montreal Olympique         24   4   5  15   29  59   65  .270   2,440

     Southern Division
Atlanta Chiefs             24  12   5   7   35  29  120  .604   4,275
Dallas Tornado             24  10   8   6   38  24  119  .583   3,326
Washington Darts           24   8  10   6   36  34  111  .541   3,262
St.Louis Stars             24   6   5  13   37  47   86  .354   3,579

Semi-finals:  Dallas defeated Rochester 1-2(OT), 3-1, 2-1 (OT)
              Atlanta defeated New York 0-1 (OT), 2-0
CHAMPIONSHIP: Dallas defeated Atlanta 1-2 (OT), 4-1, 2-0

Leading Scorers                   GP   G   A  TP
Carlos Metidieri (Rochester)      24  19   8  46
Randy Horton (New York)           22  16   5  37
Kazimierz Frankiewicz (St. Louis) 24  14   5  33
Manfred Seissler (Rochester)      22  10   7  27
Jorge Siega (New York)            24   9   9  27
Kirk Apostolidis (Dallas)         15  11   1  23
Leroy DeLeon (Washington)         24   8   7  23
Franco Gallina (Montreal)         20  10   2  22
Ken Wallace (Montreal)            22   8   5  21
Ian MacHattie (Toronto)           22   8   5  21
Tommy Youlden (Dallas)            16   8   4  20
Iris DeBrito (Rochester)          17   6   8  20
Pat McBride (St. Louis)           22   7   4  18
John Kerr (Washington)            24   6   6  18
Barry Lynch (Atlanta)             21   8   1  17
Nick Papadakis (Atlanta)          24   8   1  17
Felix Correia (Toronto)           16   6   3  15
Francesco Escos (Rochester)       20   6   3  15
Charlie McCully (New York)        24   6   3  15
Gladstone Ofori (Rochester)       20   3   9  15
Sigfried Stritzl (New York)       20   3   9  15
Tony McLaughlin (Dallas)          15   6   2  14
Larry Hausmann (St. Louis)        21   5   4  14
Freddie Mwila (Atlanta)           22   5   4  14
Mike Renshaw (Dallas)             23   3   8  14

Leading Goalkeepers (1050 mins. needed to qualify)
                              Min   Svs  GA  SO   GAA
Mirko Stojanovic (Dallas)     1359   91  11   8  0.79
Claude Campos (Rochester)     1054   97  13   3  1.11
Manfred Kammerer (Atlanta)    1820  142  23   8  1.14
Orrie Banach (St. Louis)      1170  115  17   2  1.31
Leonel Conde (Washington)     2145  208  33   4  1.38
Conrad Kornek (New York)      1215  100  29   1  2.15
Kieron Baker (Montreal)       1593  145  46   1  2.60

Most Valuable Player:  Carlos Metidieri, Rochester Lancers
Coach of the Year:  (no selection)
Rookie of the Year:  Randy Horton, New York Cosmos

NASL 1st All-Star Team:

G - Mirko Stojanovic, Dallas Tornado
D - Dick Hall, Dallas Tornado
D - Willie Evans, Washington Darts
D - Peter Short, Rochester Lancers
D - John Best, Dallas Tornado
M - Dragan Popovic, St. Louis Stars
M - Siggy Stritzl, New York Cosmos
F - Carlos Metidieri, Rochester Lancers
F - Randy Horton, New York Cosmos
F - Kaizer Motaung, Atlanta Apollos
F - Manfred Seissler, Rochester Lancers

American Soccer League (Div. 2)

Meanwhile, things looked bleak for the country’s oldest professional league. For a time, there were only two teams lining up for the 1971 ASL season: Boston Astros and Philadelphia Spartans. The Philadelphia Ukrainians, one of the most successful and longest running franchises in league history, moved to the German-American league, and Newark Sitch was forced to withdraw due to their inability to secure a playing field. If not for the efforts of Eugene Chyzowich, the league might have folded. Rather than give up, Chyzowich fought back: he took over the as league president, and called friends around the country to get them to invest in the league. Chyzowich even found coaches and helped organize the teams for the new owners. He persuaded New York Greeks-winners of the National Open Challenge Cup from 1967 through 1969-to take over the vacant Inter franchise; the club won the 1971 title with a 7-1-2 record. A new group of soccer enthusiasts resuscitated the dormant Syracuse franchise, and an expansion team was awarded to Northern Virginia. The league faced major scheduling problems due to the difficulty of many teams in securing playing fields. New York’s Bob Hatzos was named league MVP, while John Bertos of Boston was the ASL Coach of the Year.

This year, the ASL affiliated with the Schaefer League, one of the fastest junior/amateur leagues in the United States. In July, the Annadale Boys Club of Northern Virginia donated a new trophy in honor of retiring USSFA Executive Secretary Joe Barriskill, a long-time veteran of the ASL, both as a player and as president. Although the play on the field was disappointing, with the unavailability of several teams who chose to play in other leagues and tournaments this year, far reaching plans were coming to fruition in the executive offices. The ASL began the implementation of their envisioned expansion to the Midwest by working together with the Ohio-Indiana League and the USSFA to prepare the way for addition of several midwestern teams to the ASL for 1972.

                 Final ASL League Standings, 1971

Before the season, New York and Virginia were added.  
Syracuse became the Suns.

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
New York Greeks           10    7   2   1   27  10   16
Boston Astros             10    6   2   2   26   9   14
Philadelphia Spartans     10    6   1   3   16  13   13
Syracuse Suns             10    3   0   7   17  38    6
Virginia Capitol Cavaliers10    1   1   8   17  33    3

CHAMPION:  New York Greeks.

After the season, Virginia Capitol moved to Washington, and Syracuse folded.

Top Scorer:  Charlie Ducilli, Philadelphia Spartans, 11 goals
Most Valuable Player:  Bob Hatzos, New York Greeks
Coach of the Year:  John Bartos, Boston Astros

National Soccer League (Chicago)

Croatians won the major division championship in a playoff victory of 4-1 over the Lions to complete the National Soccer League’s 52nd season.

Major Division Final standings

Red Division:           Blue Division

             Points                   Points
Lions          26       Croatians      24
Kickers        16       Sparta         21
Olympics       15       Eagles         18
Schwaben       14       H-F United     14
Athletic       11       Maroons        13
Rams           10       C.D.A.          6

Amateur Leagues & Cups

Arctic Inter-City Trophy:Anchorage All-Stars
California State Cup: Valley German-Americans defeated Guadalajara Club
San Francisco League: Concordia (9-2-2-27-9-20)
East Bay League: St. Bernard (19-2-0-20)
Central California League: Luis (16-1-0-33)
San Joaquin Valley S.F.L.: Porterville Pan-Americans defeated Selma Hurricanes.
Greater Los Angeles League: Maccabees (11-9-0-2-34-8-20) (First Round)

Colorado State Cup: Denver Kickers defeated Internationals
Colorado State Championship: enver Kickers defeated Internationals 3-2, 2-1.
Colorado Amateur League: Olympians (Spring)
Columbine Soccer League: Denver Kickers (Spring); Denver Turners (Fall)>

Atlanta District League: ASC (spring), Vikings (Summer), ASC (Fall)

New Jersey State Cup: Elizabeth SC
New Jersey Schaefer League: (Merged with South Jersey League); Newark Ukrainians (13-12-0-1-25) Indoor Tournament (started 1963): Paterson Roma (9-8-1-0-18-7-16)
Rochester League: German-Hungarian SC
Knickerbocker Cup: White Plains
Association Cup: New York Hota “B”
German-American League: S. C. Elizabeth & New York Hota were co-champions.; Indoor Classic: Elizabeth SC
Connecticut Major Cup: Hartford Italian-American Stars defeated Hartford Hellenic 3-1, 3-3)
National Soccer League of Connecticut: Chicopee Portuguese SC (12-2-2-56-28-26)
Massachusetts State League: Worcester Scans
Twilight League: Revere
Inter-City League: Lynnfield: New Hampshire League: Claremont

United Soccer League of Pennsylvania: United German Hungarians (Philadelphia) (14-12-0-2-26)
West Penn Senior Cup: Hamarville
Keystone League: Monongahela (16-0-0)

Lake Erie Soccer League (Cleveland): Inter-Italians (13-10-3-0-32-8-23) Indoor Tournament: Danube Schwaben
Ohio-Indiana League: Dayton Edelweiss (8-7-0-1-36-7-15)
National Soccer League of Chicago: Croatans were league champion.
Governor’s Cup (Illinois): Schwaben defeated Lions 1-0. The Peel Cup in 1971 was replaced by the Governor’s Cup this year.
Detroit Soccer League: Detroit Carpathia Kickers Western Michigan Soccer League: St. Joe Kickers

Minnesota Cup: Mayo SC defeated U.S.C. 3-2
Minnesota Soccer Football League: Ukrainian Soccer Club (15-12-1-2-83-23-25)
Wisconsin Soccer Association: Pabst (15-2-1-31)
Midwest Open Cup: Hamms Beer SC (St. Louis)
Khoury Soccer Association: Pan Kennys (North); Riggazi SC (South)
St. Louis Soccer League: Stag Beer SC (North), Kutis Mortuary (South); Playoff: Giesler-Jorgen Sporting Goods
CYC Major League: St. Williams SC

North Texas State Championship: Dallas Rangers
Dallas Soccer Association: Dallas Rangers
South Texas State Championship: Aztecs (Houston) defeated St. Mary’s University
Houston Soccer League: Houston Alianza
San Antonio League: Atlas
Utah State Cup: Sport Club United (6-6-0-0-32-8-12)
Washington State Senior Cup: Mt. Pleasant Legion (Vancouver)

Pan-American Games

The United States played in Group C, pitted against Argentina, Haiti and Bermuda. For once, the Americans had a respectable performance. After losing badly to the heavily favored Argentina 3-0, the US dispatched Haiti 3-2 and Bermuda 4-1 to advance to the final round. There things got rougher against the stronger competition. The US was shut out by Colombia 3-0 and Cuba 2-0, before managing a 1-1 draw with Canada on August 9. Amazingly, Argentina could only manage a 1-0 win over the Americans. perhaps overconfident after that, the US went on to get blown out by Trinidad & Tobago 5-1 on August 12. The US finished the final round in last place with a draw and four losses. Argentina won the gold medal, Colombia got the silver and Cuba got the bronze.

The US National Team

The National Team was started up again in 1971 for the Olympic qualifiers. Bob Guelker, the long-time coach of the St. Louis Billikens and Southern Illinois Cougars of NCAA fame. This time, the team consisted entirely of college plauers, many from St. Louis University. These included Hermann Trophy winner Al Trost, as well as Joe Hamm, Mike Seerey and Mike Margulis. Other players included Shep Messing, Rugo salcedo, Archie Roboostoff, Horst Stemke, Mike Flater and Case Bahr (son of Hall of Famer Walter Bahr). This time they had a nucleus of players who already had experience playing together, and the team as a whole had adequate training time.

The opened the first round with two wins against barbados (3-0 and 3-1, with a hat truck by Steve gay in the first match). Two matches against El salvador ended in 1-1 draws, necessitating a tie-breaker against that team to decide the advancers. The tiebreaker went to the fire, going into overtime and then penalty kicks. With the US leading 5-4 and El Salador ready for their final kick, Shep messing resorted to the old “goalkeeper madness” tick – stomping, around the net, tearing his shirt, screaming insults at his audience of one, and the Salvadorean promptly sent the ball over the top. The Americans thus advanced to the second round, which would be played in early 1972.

              USA National Team Results, 1971 (+ = not full internationals)

1971 Totals:  3W,  2D,  0L
Sep 18 71  W 1-1  El Salvador (PK)          +Kingston, Jamaica (OLQ'72)
Aug 22 71  W 3-1  Barbados                  +Bridgetown, Barbados (OLQ'72)
               Demling, Trost, Carenza
Aug 15 71  D 1-1  El Salvador               +San Salvador, E. S. (OLQ'72)
Jul 25 71  W 3-0  Barbados                  +Miami, FL, USA (OLQ'72)*
               Gay (3)
Jul 18 71  D 1-1  El Salvador               +Miami, FL, USA (OLQ'72)*

The College Game

In 1971, the Midwest Conference joined the NCAA. The Intercollegiate Soccer Coaches of America (ISCAA) inaugurated a weekly coaches’ poll this year. In the NCAA Tournament, the third round saw Harvard defeat Hartwick 4-1, Howard whomp Penn State 8-0, St. Louis defeat SIU/Edwardsville 3-1, and San Francisco defeat UCLA 6-2. In the semi-finals, Howard defeated Harvard 1-0, and St. Louis defeated San Francisco 3-2. In the Championship, held in Mimi, FL on December 30, 1971, Howard defeated St. Louis 3-2. However, Howard’s participation in the tournament was later vacated by the NCAA, and the championship reverted to St. Louis.

Final coaches’ Poll:

1. St. Louis, 2. San Francisco, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. Hartwick, 5. Howard, 6. UCLA, 7. Harvard, 8. SIU/Edwardsville, 9. LIU/Brooklyn, 10. Navy

Conference Champions:

West Coast Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Francisco
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Harvard
Ivy League: Pennsylvania
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Long Island University
Atlantic Coast Conference: Maryland
Mid-American Conference: Ohio University
New York State Athletic Conference: Brockport, Oneonta (co-champions)
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Metropolitan State, Air Force, Denver (co-champions)
Southern Conference: Davidson
Mason-Dixon Conference: Baltimore
Yankee Conference: Rhode Island, Vermont
Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Virginia
Far Western Conference: Chico State
New Jersey State Conference: Montclair State
President's Athletic Conference: Bethany
Independent College Athletic Conference: Rennsalaer
Michigan Intercollegiate Conference: Calvin
Midwest Conference: Beliot
Southern California Soccer Association: UCLA
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Lehigh

College All Americans:

G - Cal Kern, Buffalo State
B - Gerardo Pagnani, Eastern Illinois
B - Al Harte, Quincy
B - William Smythe, Davis & Elkins
B - Andy Smiles, Ohio
B - John Schneider, Quincy
F - Keith Aqui, Howard
F - Alvin Henderson, Howard
F - Richard Parkinson, Akron
F - John Moore, Brockpot State
F - Mike Sweeney, St. Louis

Hermann Trophy:  Mike Sweeney, St. Louis University

NAIA Championship:  Quincy 1, Davis & Elkins 0
NJCAA Championship:  Florissant Valley Community College 3, Monroe Comm. Coll. 2

Other Action

1971 US National Challenge Open Cup Final: New York Hota brought the Cup back to the German-American League in a 6-4 victory over the San Pedro Yugoslavs on May 16

1971 National Amateur Cup Final: St. Louis Kutis defeated Cleveland Inter-Italian 4-1 on June 6, 1971

National Junior Cup:Seco, St. Louis:

CONCACAF Nations Cup: The US did not participate in 1971. Mexico won the round robin tournament with Haiti finishing second.

CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, 1971:The NASL sent their first team to the Continentals. Rochester lancers finished third in the round robin after drawing 1-1 with Cruz Azul, losing 0-1 to LD Alajuelense, losing 0-3 to Communicaciones, and defeating Transvaal 2-0 and Estrella Roja 2-0. A respectable result, giving them fourth place. Cruz Azul defeated LD Alajuelense 5-1 for the Cup.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1971, Umberto Abronzino, John Ardizzore, Allen McClay, Milt Miller, James F. Moore, Gere Olaff, Bert Patenaude, Jack Rottenberg, Nicolas Steelink, Robert Stone, and Jimmy Nalder were inducted into the Hall of Fame.