The Year in American Soccer – 1974

NASL | ASL | National Team | The College Game | Other Action

North American Soccer League (Div. 1)

Riding the momentum of the previous season, Woosnam set about expanding the North American Soccer League. His plan was to expand the West Coast, and for viability he needed four solid franchise deals. By August 1973 he had three of them: Vancouver, Seattle, and Los Angeles. However, those three had specified that, by December, a fourth Western owner would have to be found (in order to keep the travel costs of the other Western teams down), failing which they would withdraw. With typical perseverance, Woosnam sought an owner from San Francisco. As the deadline approached, Woosnam was able to convince Lica Corp.’s founder Milan Mandaric to take a franchise; Mandaric insisted, however, that the team be located in San Jose rather than San Francisco. Woosnam, needing the team, agreed.

With the addition of the four West Coast teams, as well as teams in Denver, Boston, Washington, and Baltimore, the NASL became a truly national league for the first time since 1968; on the down side, Montreal and the once-powerful Atlanta club dropped out. All of the new clubs paid a $75,000 franchise fee, triple what it had been a year earlier.

The westward migration proved to be ingenious. In their first season, both Seattle and San Jose broke Kansas City Spurs’ 1968 attendance record of 129,236. San Jose averaged 16,576 fans in Spartan Stadium, while Seattle hosted the league’s first regular season sellout-13,876 at tiny Memorial Stadium-and added six more by season’s end. With Philadelphia drawing 11,784 and Vancouver 10,098, the league averaged 7,825 per game, up 24 percent from 1973. Some of the added attention came from Kyle Rote, Jr., who had won ABC-TV?s ‘Superstars’ competition, an event that pitted athletes from various sports against one another. His win, Rote said, ‘proved that soccer players are not second-class citizens.’ Rote would go on to win the 1975 and 1976 Superstar competitions as well; Bob Rigby also participated in the 1976 competition, placing fourth. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Bobby Smith went against the tide by playing overseas; he spent the winter of 1973-74 with Dundalk of the Football League of Ireland, acquitting himself well.

The league divided again, into four divisions, and played a 20 game schedule, this time with no foreign teams. However, the momentum from the ‘Americanization’ of the circuit failed to carry over into the new season: New York’s Joe Fink was demoted to part-time status, netting 3 goals in 12 games. In between endless promotional appearances, Rote netted 7 goals for Dallas. Rigby and Smith continued to star for Philadelphia, though, and Denny Vaninger emerged as a goal scoring threat for St. Louis. The Stars carried a virtually all-American roster, the only foreigner being English player-coach John Sewell; St. Louis became so tired of constantly facing imported players that before one game their starters presented each opposing Dallas player with a tiny American flag. Debuting for St. Louis in 1974 was two-time Herrmann (college soccer?s equivalent of the Heismann) Trophy winner Al Trost, who performed ably in his rookie season, netting 5 goals. All told, 80 Americans graced NASL rosters, with 28 coming from Philadelphia and St. Louis’ rosters.

Play was changed substantially by the NASL’s decision to do away with ties, yet another concession to the American audience. Working under the assumption that American fans could not appreciate a well-played draw, the league decreed that, if a game was tied after 90 minutes, it was to be decided by a series of penalty kicks. The new venture was worked into the standings with the invention of the ‘tie-win’, which went to the team that won the tie-breaker and was worth three points; the loser of the tie-breaker received no points, except, of course, for goals.

Mastery of the tie-breaker, as well as the goal scoring of Warren Archibald and Steve David, helped Miami win the Eastern Division by two points over the new Baltimore club; Miami went 6-0 in penalty situations. Two other new teams, Boston and Los Angeles, won the Northern and Western Divisions, respectively, while Dallas took the Central. Baltimore and another newcomer-San Jose-earned the two wild-card berths. Defending champion Philadelphia, in spite of opening the season with four straight wins, stumbled to an 8-11-1 mark and did not defend its title. In the playoffs, Dallas and Boston quickly dumped the two wild-cards; in the semifinals, Miami stomped Dallas, 3-1, while Los Angeles shut out Boston, 2-0.

CBS-TV carried the championship game live from Miami’s Orange Bowl, and even though it received an anemic 3.8 rating, those who did tune in saw a dramatic game. Doug McMillan-the 1973 ASL Rookie of the Year-tied the match 3-3 for Los Angeles in the final minutes, and his Aztecs went on to win the game in the tie-breaker, a great irony as Miami had been king of the penalty kicks during the regular season. As a result, Los Angeles became the second straight expansion team to take the league crown. The game drew 15,507 fans.

Paul Child, late of Atlanta, joined the expansion San Jose club and led the league in scoring with 15 goals and 6 assists. Barry Watling of Seattle was the leading keeper with an 0.80 average. Los Angeles set a league record with eight consecutive victories; Dallas went fourteen games without a defeat during regulation time, but lost three tie-breakers along the way. Philadelphia’s Andy Provan set a league record on May 4; in his team?s opener in Washington, ‘The Flea’ scored 4 goals in the first half was the Atoms coasted to a 5-1 drubbing of the expansion Diplomats. Individual laurels for the season were accorded to Miami’s John Young, Coach of the Year; Baltimore?s Peter Silvester, Most Valuable Player; and Los Angeles’ Doug McMillan, Rookie of the Year. McMillan is the only player to win a post-season award in both the ASL and NASL.

International friendlies included a pair by Club America of Mexico, who beat San Jose 2-1, and then tied then 1-1 two days later. Universidade Honduras lost to the Cosmos 4-1, and played Dallas and Philadelphia. Puerto Rico’s national team lost to the Cosmos 4-1 on July 7, and the Italian National Army team beat the Cosmos 3-1, and Rochetser 1-0. Perhaps the most notable visitor was Napoli of Italy, who fought the new York Cosmos to a 2-2 tie.

                 Final NASL League Standings, 1974

Before the season, Boston, Balimore, Washington, Denver, Los Angeles, San Jose, 
Seattle, and Vancouver were added.

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS    %     Att.   
     Northern Division
Boston Minutemen           20  10   1   9   36  23   94  .525   9,642
Toronto Metros             20   9   1  10   30  31   87  .475   3,458
Rochester Lancers          20   8   2  10   23  30   77  .450   5,908
New York Cosmos            20   4   2  14   28  40   58  .250   3,578

     Eastern Division
Miami Toros                20   9   6   5   38  24  107  .600   7,340
Baltimore Comets           20  10   2   8   42  46  105  .550   4,139
Philadelphia Atoms         20   8   1  11   25  25   74  .425  11,784
Washington Diplomats       20   7   1  12   29  36   70  .375   4,975

     Central Division
Dallas Tornado             20   9   3   8   39  27  100  .525   8,469
St.Louis Stars             20   4   1  15   27  42   54  .225   7,374
Denver Dynamos             20   5   0  15   21  42   49  .250   4,840

     Western Division
Los Angeles Aztecs         20  11   2   7   41  36  110  .600   5,098
San Jose Earthquakes       20   9   8   3   43  38  103  .650  16,584
Seattle Sounders           20  10   3   7   37  17  101  .575  13,454
Vancouver Whitecaps        20   5   4  11   29  30   70  .350  10,979

Quarterfinals:   Dallas defeated San Jose 3-0
                 Boston defeated Baltimore 1-0
Semi-finals:     Miami defeated Dallas 3-1
                 Los Angeles defeated Boston 2-0
CHAMPIONSHIP:    Los Angeles defeated Miami 4-3 (PK)

Leading Scorers               GP      G    A    TP
Paul Child (San Jose)         20     15    6    36
Peter Silvester (Baltimore)   17     14    3    31
Doug McMillan (Los Angeles)   20     10   10    30
John Rowlands (Seattle)       20     10    8    28
Steve David (Miami)           19     13    0    26
John Coyne (Dallas-Boston)    20      8    7    23
Randy Horton (New York)       16      9    4    22
David Butler (Seattle)        15     10    1    21
Ilija Mitic (Dallas)          20     10    1    21
Andy Provan (Philadelphia)    20      9    3    21
Frank Large (Baltimore)       17      9    2    20
Gary Darrell (Washington)     20      9    2    20
Jim Fryatt (Philadelphia)     20      8    4    20
Alvin Henderson (Baltimore)   18      7    6    20
Archie Roboostoff (San Jose)  19      6    8    20
Uri Banhoffer (Los Angeles)   18      7    4    18
Denny Vaninger (St. Louis)    17      6    6    18
Keith Aqui (Baltimore)        19      5    7    17
Kyle Rote, Jr. (Dallas)       18      7    2    16
Ade Coker (Boston)            18      7    2    16
Leroy DeLeon (Washington)     18      7    2    16
Tommy Ord (Rochester)         20      7    2    16
Tony Douglas (Los Angeles)    20      5    6    16
Kaizer Motaung (Denver)       15      7    1    15
Manfred Eickerling (Boston)   18      7    1    15
George McLean (Vancouver)     19      5    5    15
Roberto Aguirre (Miami)       18      4    7    15
Al Trost (St. Louis)          19      5    4    14
Jim Bokern (St. Louis)        18      4    6    14
Art Welch (San Jose)          19      4    6    14

Leading Goalkeepers (1170 mins. needed to qualify)
                              Min   Svs  GA  SO   GAA
Barry Watling (Seattle)      1800  132   16   8  0.80
Sam Nusum (Vancouver)        1530  111   15   6  0.88
Ian McKechnie (Boston)       1280   75   13   5  0.94
Bob Rigby (Philadelphia)     1800  151   22   5  1.10
Ken Cooper (Dallas)          1800  117   22   9  1.10
Claude Campos (Rochester)    1579  111   20   8  1.14
Osvaldo Toriani (Miami)      1800  184   24   6  1.20
Mike Ivanow (San Jose)       1349   96   20   4  1.33
Jack Brand (Toronto)         1260  107   20   3  1.43
Blas Sanchez (Los Angeles)   1530  120   30   4  1.76
Mike Winter (St. Louis)      1710  158   36   2  1.89
Mick Poole (Denver)          1440  174   36   2  2.23
Lincoln Phillips (Baltimore) 1326  137   33   1  2.24

Most Valuable Player:  Peter Sylvester, Baltimore Comets
Coach of the Year:  Al Miller, Philadelphia Atoms
Rookie of the Year:  Douglas MacMillan, Los Angeles Aztecs

NASL 1st All-Star team:

G - Barry Watling, Seattle Sounders
D - Dick Hall, Dallas Tornado
D - Albert Jackson, Dallas Tornado
D - Chris Dunleavy, Philadelphia Atoms
D - Geoff Butler, Baltimore Comets
M - Ronnie Sharp, Miami Toros
M - Ilija Mitic, Dallas Tornado
M - Roberto Aguirre, Miami Toros
F - Paul Child, San Jose Earthquakes
F - John Rowlands, Seattle Sounders
F - Peter Silvester, Baltimore Comets

American Soccer League (Div. 2)

The loss of 1973 Rookie of the Year Doug McMillan demonstrated what was quickly becoming a major problem for America’s senior soccer circuit: its best players would inevitably jump to the bigger-and richer-NASL. This notwithstanding, the ASL plowed through its 1974 season, the first in decades to have every team playing the same amount of games in its schedule. With expansion for 1975 planned, the league adopted a double-conference structure for the first time; all teams faced one another in a round-robin format, however.

Delaware Wings continued to sign native talent, adding three new locals to bring their total number to six. “The American Soccer League is in for a big surprise when the Wings take the field,” offered GM/Coach Al Barrish. “The day of the American soccer player is here and the Delaware Wings will lead the way.” Delaware was not alone in signing young talent: Boston signed two teenagers, defender Steve Stephen and 26-year old forward Steve Hayes. Neither team was dominant during the season.

Some clubs continued to have difficulty. Syracuse folded after only five games. Others were little more than amateur club teams. But the league continued to improve in the wake of the NASL’s success.

The expansion Rhode Island Oceaneers, coached by former Philadelphia Atom Manny Schellscheidt, featured a stifling defense—anchored by a young goalkeeper named Arnie Mausser–that only yielded 9 goals while going through the season undefeated. Schellscheidt was fittingly named Coach of the Year for his club’s efforts; Cincinnati’s Ringo Cantillo earned his second MVP award in three years.

The league’s biggest move took place off the field, though: in December 1974, it hired basketball legend Bob Cousy as its commissioner. Cousy admitted knowing virtually nothing about the game when he was hired, but felt he could contribute his image and credibility to the circuit. It was the ASL’s first step toward achieving some measure of major league status for itself.

            Final ASL League Standings, 1974

Before the season, Rhode Island was added, and Gary changed its name 
to Indiana.  Cleveland changed their nickname to the Cobras.

                           G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
     	East Division
New York Apollo            18  13   3   2   34  16   29
Boston Astros              18   9   3   6   33  20   21
New Jersey Brewers         18   8   6   5   32  32   22
Connecticut Wildcats       18   6   4   8   27  31   16
Delaware Wings             18   2   2  14   22  48    6

     	Midwest Division
Rhode Island Oceaneers     18  16   2   0   47   9   34
Cincinnati Comets          18   8   5   5   36  31   21
Cleveland Cobras           18   8   3   7   33  31   19
Indiana Tigers             18   5   3  10   21  35   13
Syracuse Suns              18   0   0  18    2  33    0

Playoffs:      Rhode Island defeated Boston 3-2
               New York def Cincinnati 2-1.
CHAMPIONSHIP:  Rhode Island defeated New York 1-2, 2-1, 3-2.

Note:  Goals for and against data are through the first 15 games.

Syracuse folded after 5 games (and forfeited rest).  After the season, 
Delaware and Indiana folded.

Most Valuable Player:  Ringo Cantillo, Cincinnati Comets
Coach of the Year:  Manfred Schellscheidt, Rhode Island Oceaneers

The US National Team

The USA’s national soccer organization officially changed its name this year from the United States Soccer Football Association to the United States Soccer Federation. They also hired the first full-time coach for the US National Team. Detmar Cramer brought excellent credentials, having coached the 1952 German Olympic team and 1954 World Cup team, as well as the 1974 Japanese Olympic Team, as well as extencive experience in the US conducting clinics. His main objectives were to qualify for the 1976 Olympics and 1978 World Cup, but he insisted he was not a miracle worker. He stressed the importance of players selected on ability, not favoritism, and the necessity of establishing a junior team.

He began by sleecting a 16 man squad, all native born Americans playing for the NASL. These included Bob Rigby in goal, Ivanow, Werner Roth., Dave D’Errico, Bob matteson, Bobby Smith, Al Trost, Johnny Moore, Archie Roboostoff, Kyle Rote and Dan Counce among others. The team lost a scrimmage 1-0 to the san Jose Earthquakes, and then a few days later, on September 7, played Mexico at Monterey. Danny Vaninger scored in the 48th minute, but Mexico responded with three goals in fifteen minutes, giving them the 3-1 win. The return match was played three days later before 22,000 in Dallas. The US played well, forcing Mexico to the defensive, but Mexico took advantage of US indecision and scored late in the first half, holding on through the rest of the game for a 1-0 victory. The team showed marked improvement, staying in the game for the full 90 minutes.

After this game, Cramer turned his attention to the Olympic team, and arranged a series of games against Israel and Greece.

                National Team results:
    1974 Totals:  0W,  0D,  2L
Sep 08 74  L 0-1  Mexico             22,164  Dallas, TX, USA
Sep 05 74  L 1-3  Mexico             25,000  Monterrey, Mexico

The College Game

College soccer continued its phenomenal growth to the point that the NCAA once again was faced with a large unwieldy array of conferences and independent teams. The conferences were increasingly falling into have and have-not categories as the smaller colleges simply could not keep up with the recruiting power of the major institutions. As a result, Division 3 was added, taking most of the smaller Division 2 clubs, and many independent teams. This year saw the addition of the East Coast Conference. St. Louis made their 6th consecutive appearance in the NCAA final.

In the NCAA Division 1 Tournament, the third round saw Hartwick defeat Connecticut 2-0, Howard defeated Philadelphia textile 1-0, St. Louis defeated SIU/Edwardsville 2-1 (triple overtime), and UCLA defeated perennial rival San Francisco 1-0. In the semifinals, Howard defeated Hartwick 2-1, and St. Louis defeated UCLA 2-1 (double overtime). The championship game was held once again in St. Louis MO on December 7. In the third place game, Hartwick defeated UCLA 3-1, and in the championship, Howard defeated host St. Louis 2-1 in quadruple overtime to take the national title.

The Division 2 tournament was scaled back to 16 teams. In the third round, Adelphi defeated Springfield 1-0, District of Columbia defeated Loyola (Md), 3-2, Eastern illinois defeated western Illinois, and Seattle Pacific defeated Cal State Fullerton. In the semifinals, Adelphi defeated District of Columbia 3-0, and Seattle Pacific defeated eastern Illinois 3-2 in quadruple overtime. The Championship was held in St. Louis, MO on November 30. In the third place game, District of Columbia defeated Eastern Illinois 5-3, and in the championship, Adelphi defeated Seattle Pacific 3-2.

The inaugural Division 3 tournament was a field of 16. In the third round, Westfield State defeated Binghamton State 3-0. Brockport State defeated College of New jersey 1-0, Swarthmore defeated Lock Haven 1-0, and MacMurray defeated Mount Union 2-1. In the semifinals, Brockport State defeated Westfield State 6-0, and Swarthmore defeated MacMurray 1-0 (in double overtime). The championship was held in Wheaton IL on November 30. In the third place game, Westfield State defeated MacMurray 3-1, and in the championship, Brockport State defeated Swarthmore 3-1.

Final Coaches’ Poll:

1. Howard, 2. St. Louis, 3. SIU Edwardsville, 4. Connecticut, 5. Philadelphia Textile, 6. Clemson, 7. Quincy, 8. Adelphi, 9. San Jose State, 10. Brown, 11. UCLA, 12. Penn State, 13. Loyola (Md.), 14. Hartwick, 15. Cal State Chico, 16. Binghamton, 17. Springfield, 18. Bucknell, 19. District of Columbia, 20. San Francisco

Conference Champions:

West Coast Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Francisco, San Jose State (co-champions)
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Connecticut
Ivy League:  Brown
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Adelphi
Atlantic Coast Conference:  Clemson
Mid-American Conference: Miami (O.)
New York State Athletic Conference: Binghamton
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Colorado College
Southern Conference: Appalachian State
East Coast Conference: Bucknell
Mason-Dixon Conference: Loyola
Texas Intercollegiate League:  Houston
Yankee Conference: Connecticut
Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: George Mason, Madison (Co-champions)
Far Western Conference: Chico State
Carolinas Conference: High Point
Massachusetts State Conference: Westfield State
New Jersey State Conference: Trenton State
Pennsylvania Conference: Slippery Rock
Kentucky Conference: Berea
Presidents Athletic Conference: Bethany
Independent College Athletic Conference: St. Lawrence
Tennessee Conference: Bryan
Michigan Intercollegiate Conference: Calvin
Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference: Augsburg
West Virginia Conference: Davis & Elkins
Northwest Conference: Seattle Pacific
Midwest Conference: Lake Forest
Southern California Soccer Association: UCLA
Southern California Athletic Conference: Claremont-Mudd
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Philadelphia Textile

College All-Americans:

G - Peter Mannos, Northern Illinois
B - Bruce Hudson, St. Louis
B - Farrukh Quraishi, Oneonta State
B - Jesse Cox, Loyola (Md.)
B - John Nusum, Philadelphia textile
B - Mickey Rooney, Keene State
F - Chris Bahr, Penn State
F - Dale Russell, Philadelphia textile
F - Fred Pereira, Brown
F - Tom Kazembe, Wooster
F - Frantz Innocent, Connecticut

Hermann Trophy:  Farrukh Quraishi, Oneonta State
ISCAA Coach of the Year:  Jack Mackenzie, Quincy

NAIA Championship:  Essex Community College 3, Suffolk County Comm. Coll. 0
NJCAA Championship:  Florissant Valley Community College 2, Meramec Comm. Coll. 1
NCCAA Championship:  Trinity (IL) 2, Messiah 1

Other Action

1974 US National Challenge Open Cup Final: The Open Cup trophy returned to the German-American League as New York Greek-American defeated Chicago Croatia 2-0 on June 2.

1974 National Amateur Cup Final: Philadelphia Inter repeated as champion, defeating St. Louis Big Four Chevrolet 3-2 on June 16.

West Penn Challenge cup: Heidelberg tornados

James P. McGuire Cup (National Junior Title): Florissant Celtics, St. Louis

CONCACAF Champions Cup: Maccabi of Los Angeles participated, but did not advance. Municipal (Guatemala) defeated Transvaal (Suriname) 4-2 for the trophy.

CONCACAF U-20 Championship: The USA beat Guatemala 2-1, and Jamaica 2-1 and drew 0-0 with Cuba. Cuba however won the division on points, and advanced to the final where they lost to champion Mexico, 1-0.

German-American League: Inter-Giuliana S. C. was league champion.

National Soccer League of Chicago: Ukrainian Lions was league champion

Illinois State (Governor’s) Cup: Lions

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1974, Nick D’iorio, Jimmy Dunn, George Fiskwick, and Werner Mieth were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Patrick Smith was inducted into the National Intercollegiate Officials’ Hall of Fame.