The Year in American Soccer – 1988

ASL | WSA | LSSA | CSL | MISL | AISA | SISL | Men’s National Team | Women’s National Team | U. S. Open Cup | College Game | Other Action

American Soccer League

The third American Soccer League had its origins in late 1986 when former NASL executive Clive Toye began discussions with USSF regional officials and USSF Vice President Chuck Blazer regarding the launching of a new professional soccer league along the east coast. The aim was to run a professional league along prudent fiscal lines, that would be focused on American players. The league would provide a higher level of competitive play than any since the NASL, but with fiscally sound policies that would prevent the spending sprees that led to the demise of the earlier league. By May of 1987, five franchises were established, with another five coming on board late in the year. The team names hearkened back to the NASL days, with Washington Diplomats, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies among the teams.

When the ASL began play in the spring of 1988, it had teams concentrated in the Northeast and Florida, and attracted many of the top players not already playing for the WSA and MISL. These included such national players as Peter Vermes, Tab Ramos, and Bruce Murray, as well as NASL veterans Teofilo Cubillas, Arnie Mausser, Steve Wegerle, and Ray Hudson. The league played a 20 game season, and draws were broken through penalty kicks. The scoring system was simple this year- 3 points for a win, 0 for a loss, and no bonus points. The Northern Division was won by the New Jersey Eagles, led by young striker Jorge Acosta; the team won by three games over the Maryland Bays. The Southern Division was dominated by the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, winning by an easu four games. Their scoring arsenal included the #2 and #3 scorers, Steve Kinsey and Teofilo Cubillas, as well as Marcelo Carrera and Mirko Castillo, which gave them four of the league’s best scorers. Winston DuBose, the former NASL star, was the top goalkeeper, although his Rowdies could only manage a 10-10 record. Boston Bolts were a disappointment, coming in at 9-11; more had been expected of them.

In the playoffs, Ft. Lauderdale easily swept Maryland 5-2 and 6-0, while Washington Diplomats split their two-leg series 4-1 and 0-1, and had to go to a mini-game where they exploded for four goals to defeat New Jersey 4-1. The finals were a closer series with Washington Diplomats doing what their NASL counterparts never accomplished, taking the league cup, this time on the strength of 4-3 and 3-2 victories.

Attendance was over 250,000 for the season, or about 2,500 per game. This was considered a success given the effective cost control, and the league accomplished a rare feat for an American soccer circuit: there were no franchise changes the following season. An impressive scoring feat was accomplished by Joe Mihaljevic of the Miami Sharks. In one of his first games for the Sharks, Joe scored five goals in Miami’s 5-1 victory over the Washington Diplomats — all in the last 25 minutes of the game! At the time this was the league record for most goals scored in a game, most goals in a half, and fastest goals scored back to back. It is possible that one or more of these records stand to this day, but the statistical record is incomplete, so this cannot be confirmed at present.

                     Final 1988 ASL III Standings

                            G   W   L   GF  GA  PTS 
     	Northern Division
New Jersey Eagles          20  15   5   39  24   45
Maryland Bays              20  12   8   32  31   36
Washington Stars           20  11   9   31  28   33
Boston Bolts               20   9  11   31  33   27
Albany Capitals            20   7  13   26  35   21

     	Southern Division
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers    20  14   6   46  25   42
Washington Diplomats       20  10  10   27  30   30
Tampa Bay Rowdies          20  10  10   23  21   30
Orlando Lions              20   8  12   21  31   24
Miami Sharks               20   4  16   24  42   12

Semifinals:     Ft. Lauderdale 5 defeated Maryland 5-2, 6-0
                Washington defeated New Jersey, 4-1, 0-1, 4-1 (MG)
FINALS:         Washington defeated Ft. Lauderdale 4-3, 3-2

Leading Scorers:             G   A   Pts

Jorge Acosta, New Jersey       14  4  32
Steve Kinsey, Ft. Lauderdale   10  3  23
Teofilo Cubillas, Ft. Lauderdale7  5  17
Mark Lamb, Orlando              8  1  17
Scott Snyder, Wash. Stars       8  1  17
Maicol Antelo, New Jersey       6  4  16
Roger Chavez, New Jersey        5  6  16
Marcelo Carrera, Ft. Lauderdale 4  8  16
Mirko Castillo, Ft. Lauderdale  5  5  15
Guillermo Pizzaro, Miami        6  2  14
Andy Bing, Boston               5  4  14
Russ Downing, Albany            4  6  14
Leonel Suazo, Wash. Diplomats   6  1  13
M. Sweeney, Boston              5  3  13
Kurt Manal, Boston              5  3  13

Leading Goalkeepers:        (min 1,000 minutes played)

                               Min  GA  PK   GAA
Winston DuBose, Tampa Bay      1800  15  3-6  0.75
Glenn Kenney, New Jersey       1080  12  3-0  1.00
Neil Cowley, Washington Stars  1584  20  3-4  1.14
Arnie Mausser, Ft. Lauderdale  1800  24  4-1  1.20
Keith Lenert, Wash. Diplomats  1260  17  2-2  1.21

ASL All-Stars:
G - Winston DuBose, Tampa Bay Rowdies
G - Alan Rough - Orlando Lions
D - Troy Edwards, Miami Sharks
D - Brian Ainscough, New Jersey Eagles
D - Lou Karbiener, Orlando Lions
D - George Lidster, Washington Stars
D - Ross Irwin, Boston Bolts
M - Andy Harrison, Albany Capitals
M - Sonny Askew, Washington Stars
M - Rob Ryerson, Maryland
M - Dirceau Guimaraes, Miami Sharks
M - Steve Powell, Albany Capitals
M - Ray Hudson, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers
F - Steve Wegerle, Tampa Bay Rowdies
F - Elvis Comrie, Maryland Bays
F - Jorge Acosta, New Jersey Eagles
F - Joaquin Canales, Washington Diplomats
F - Teofilo Cubillas, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers

Western Soccer Alliance (Div. 3)

The WSA reached a certain level of stability in 1988, as no franchise changes occurred. The season was back to 12 games. A new scoring system was implemented. Regulation wins were worth six points, penalty kick wins were worth four, while penalty kick losses were worth two. Bonus points were awarded for each goal scored, up to three per game. The clear intent was to discourage ties and encourage goal scoring. The main effect was to inflate the number of points, but it had no appreciable effect on goal scoring, with the best teams scoring little more than 2 per game. The league did well enough to attract more talented players, especially recent college graduates.

Four teams remained in the race through much of the season, with Seattle finally pulling it out at the end of the season beating San Diego by 7 points for the regular season crown. In the playoffs, San Jose defeated San Diego on penalty kicks in the wild-card game, before falling to the Seattle Storm 5-1, as the storm took the championship.

After the season, the league changed its name to the Western Soccer League, and added four teams to replace San Jose. The Seattle Storm embarked on a postseason tour of Great Britain, taking on Middlsborough, Sunderland, Hull City, Lincoln City and Oldham. They beat Middlesborough 2-1.

                  Final WSA League Standings, 1988

                            G   W   L   GF  GA  PTS 
Seattle Storm              12  10   2   25  10   83
San Diego Nomads           12   9   3   23  17   76
San Jose Earthquakes       12   7   5   20  19   61
Los Angeles Heat           12   7   5   20  17   61
California Kickers         12   3   9   17  28   35
F. C. Portland             12   1  11   16  32   22

Semifinal:    San Jose defeated San Diego 2-1(PK)
FINAL:        Seattle defeated San Jose 5-1

Recap of the 1988 season at!

Note:  Includes games against Calgary Kickers and Vancouver 86ers of the CSL.  

Leading Scorers:                 G  A  Pts
Scott Benedetti, Portland        8  0  16
Justin Fashanu, Los Angeles      5  4  14
Eddie Henderson, Seattle         5  4  14
Jerome Watson, San Diego         6  1  13
Peter Hattrup, Seattle           6  1  13
Billy Thompson, Los Angeles      5  3  13
F.D.V.B. Horning, San Jose       5  1  11
Chance Fry, Seattle              3  3   9
B. Murphy, California            3  0   8
Mario Gonzalez, San Diego        4  0   8
Grant Gibbs, Seattle             4  0   8
Dzung Tran, San Jose             2  4   8
Ridal Fernandez, Los Angeles     3  1   7
John Sissons, San Diego          3  1   7
Thor Lee, California             3  0   6
Alex Basso, San Jose             3  0   6
Eric Phillippi, Portland         3  0   6

Leading Goalkeepers:             Min  GA  SV  SO  GAA
Jeff Koch, Seattle              1003   8  56   4  0.70
Bob Ammann, Los Angeles          828   9  32   3  0.87
Brian Finnerty, San Diego        926  10  26   1  1.20
Aram Kardzair, San Jose          750  14  58   3  1.36
Anton Nistl, Calif/San Diego     922  28  67   2  1.95

Most Valuable Player:  Marcelo Balboa, San Diego Nomads

WSL 1st All-Star team:

G - Todd Strobeck, F. C. Portland
D - Marcelo Balboa, San Diego Nomads
D - Grant Gibbs, Seattle Storm
D - Arturo Velazco, San Diego Nomads
D - Jeff Stock, Seattle Storm
M - Peter Hattrup, Seattle Storm
M - Billy Thompson, Los Angeles Heat
M - Thomas Boy, San Jose Earthquakes
F - Justin Fashanu, Los Angeles Heat
F - Eddie Henderson, Seattle Storm
F - Abuelo Cruz, San Jose Earthquakes

Lone Star Soccer Alliance

The LSSA added one team for 1988, Houston Alianza. The regular season remained short as all teams already had commitments in their local leagues. Dallas, now renamed the Mean Green, won the title on the strength of its unbeaten regular season record, and cruised through the playoffs defeating Alianza and then the Houston Dynamos to win the league championship.

                Final 1988 LSSA League Standings

Before the season, Houston Alianza were added and Dallas changed their nickname
to the Mean Green.

                            G   W   L   GF  GA   PTS 
Dallas Mean Green           8   8   0   19   4   16
Houston Dynamos             8   5   3    8   8   10
Austin Thunder              8   4   4   12  11    8
Houston Alianza             8   3   5   11  13    6
San Antonio International   8   0   8    5  16    0

GF-GA info is missing scores for two games.

Playoffs:      Houston Dynamos defeated Austin 2-1
               Dallas defeated Houston Alianza 3-1
CHAMPIONSHIP:  Dallas defeated Houston Dynamos 5-3

Canadian Soccer League

The CSL completed its roster of teams with the addition of Montreal Supra, giving them a presence in all of the major metropolitan areas. On the field, Hamilton retained their dominance in the East, while Vancouver fought to the top in the West, and Calgary took a major nosedive. The playoffs were merely a confirmation of the strength of the division leaders as Hamilton and Vancouver met in the league championship, where the Vancouver 86ers swamped Hamilton 4-1 for the national league title.

               Final 1988 CSL League standings

Before the season, Montreal was added.

                            G   W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
     	Eastern Division
Hamilton Steelers          28  18   6   4   64  28   42
Toronto Blizzard           28   7  13   7   44  31   29
North York Rockets         28  10   8  10   40  39   28
Ottawa Intrepid            28   8   9  11   32  43   25
Montreal Supra             28   8   8  12   36  44   24

     	Western Division
Vancouver 86ers            28  21   6   1   84  30   48
Winnipeg Fury              28   9   7  12   33  46   25
Calgary Kickers            28   6   6  16   39  70   18
Edmonton Brickmen          28   4   5  19   33  74   13

Quarterfinals:  Calgary 1 at Winnipeg 2
                North York 1 at Toronto 2
Semifinals:     Winnipeg 1 at Vancouver 3
                Toronto 0 at Hamilton 1
CHAMPIONSHIP:   Hamilton 1 at Vancouver 4

Leading Goalscorers:
John Catliff, Vancouver                22
Domenic Mobilio, Vancouver             20
Amadeo Gasparini, North York/Hamilton  18
Jerry Arzdic, Hamilton                 14
Eddy Berdusco, North York              11
Nick Gilbert, Toronto/Calgary          11
Geoff Aunger, Winnipeg                 11

All-Star Team:
Paul Dolan, Hamilton
Burke Kaiser, Calgary
Bobby Lenarduzzi, Vancouver
Diego Castello, Toronto
Paul James, Hamilton
Gerry Gray, Ottawa
Lyndon Hooper, Montreal
Mike Sweeney, Toronto
Amadeo Gasparini, Hamilton
John Catliff, Vancouver
Domenic Mobilio, Vancouver

Major Indoor Soccer League

The MISL enters its second decade with eleven teams, and an expanded 56 game schedule, their most grueling yet. They marked the anniversary by signing a two-year TV agreement with FNN/SCORE. This package included a Friday game of the week, as well as the all-star game, the entire championship series and a weekly highlight show. Early in the season, Steve Zungul became the first player in league and indoor history to score 1,000 points.

The regular season was the return of San Diego to championship form as the Sockers took the west division by 11 games. In the East, Minnesota Strikers took the divisional title in a close race with perennial favorite Cleveland, with Dallas not far behind. Some new players made their mark in the scoring race as Wichita’s Erik Rasmussen won his first scoring title, followed by Preki of Tacoma. Steve Zungul, feeling his age, continued to slide down the list. The playoffs saw few surprises, with favored teams generally prevailing until a minor upset in the divisional finals when Cleveland beat the Minnesota Strikers to set up a championship series with the San Diego Sockers. San Diego completed its triumphant return by taking the series in four straight to win yet another league title. Attendance was down slightly, to 8,439 per game, but the longer season boosted total attendance to 2,599,101.

By the end of the 1987-88 season, the protracted salary war with the AISA really began to take its toll. The league demanded that the Major indoor Soccer League Players’ Association accept a plan for reducing the salary comepensation cap. Commissioner Bill Kenting offered a plan for reducing player contracts 33% across the board. By April after marathon negotiations, the league and MISLPA reached a two-year stabilization agreement. This wasn’t enough to save some franchises however. The two division winners were near death, as were several other strong teams. San Diego filed for bankruptcy and in June, Chicago, St. Louis, Tacoma and Minnesota are folded. In July, the board of directors called a special meeting to discuss the future of the league. John Kerr, head of MISLPA was intensively involved, and by July 18, a four year collective bargaining agreement was signed, which reduced the team salary cap to $850,000 per year. Cleveland dropped out shortly after this, but San Diego was sold to new owners, and a new franchise was awarded to Tacoma allowing the league to continue in 1988-89 as a seven team circuit.

                1987-88 MISL Final League Standings

                            G   W   L   GF  GA   %   GB
     	Eastern Division
Minnesota Strikers         56  31  25  274 252 .554  --
Cleveland Force            56  30  26  242 219 .536   1
Dallas Sidekicks           56  28  28  200 204 .500   3
Baltimore Blast            56  25  31  235 249 .446   6
Chicago Sting              56  24  32  227 247 .429   7

     	Western Division
San Diego Sockers          56  42  14  277 189 .750  --
Los Angeles Lazers         56  31  25  291 266 .554  11
Kansas City Comets         56  29  27  294 290 .518  13
Tacoma Stars               56  27  29  259 285 .482  15
Wichita Wings              56  23  23  232 261 .411  19
St. Louis Steamers         56  18  38  214 280 .321  24

Div. Semi-finals:  Minnesota defeated Baltimore, 5-3, 4-2, 1-5, 9-4
                   Cleveland defeated Dallas, 3-2, 3-6, 5-4 (2OT), 5-2
                   Kansas City defeated Los Angeles, 9-6, 4-2, 7-5
                   San Diego defeated Tacoma, 6-2, 3-4 (OT), 7-2, 7-6
Div. finals:       Cleveland defeated Minnesota, 7-3, 0-7, 5-4, 5-2, 7-2
                   San Diego defeated Kansas City, 4-5, 5-4, 6-7(OT)
                   3-7, 7-1, 6-1, 8-5
CHAMPIONSHIP:      San Diego defeated Cleveland, 6-5(OT), 6-1, 3-2, 7-4.

After the season, Chicago, Tacoma, Cleveland, St. Louis and Minnesota folded.

All-Star Game:  Western Division defeated Eastern Division 9-3 in overtime.
(at Tacoma.  Att:  17,251.  MVP:  Preki)

Leading Scorers                   GP   G   A   TP
Erik Rasmussen, Wichita           51  55  57  112
Preki, Tacoma                     56  53  58  111
Jan Goossens, Kansas City         53  45  56  101
Chico Borja, Los Angeles          54  47  51   98
Dale Mitchell, Kansas City        51  48  47   95
Branko Sebota, San Diego          45  56  33   89
Thompson Uslyan, Los Angeles      51  52  36   88
Steve Zungul, Tacoma              52  47  41   88
Hector Marinaro, Minnesota        56  58  23   81
Poli Garcia, St. Louis            56  50  30   80
David Byrne, Minnesota            47  35  42   77
Craig Allen, Cleveland            47  41  32   73
Godfrey Ingram, Dallas            51  40  25   65

LEADING GOALKEEPERS   (Min. 1344 minutes to qualify)

                             GP    Min. Sho  Svs   GA   W-L   GAA
Zoltan Toth, San Diego       28  1673   648  359   82   21-6  2.94
Krys Soboeski, Dallas        30  1836   979  364   98  17-13  3.20
Jim Gorsek, San Diego        29  1730   620  307   99   21-8  3.43
Joe Papaleo, Dallas          26  1537   790  335   94  11-15  3.62
P. J. Johns, Cleveland       36  2159  1035  474  134  19-17  3.72
Chris Vaccaro, Chicago       49  2827  1231  543  184  23-23  3.91
Tino Lettieri, Minnesota     44  2588  1089  459  172  24-19  3.99
Nenad Zigante, Wichita       38  2179   850  388  153  19-14  4.21
Scott Manning, Baltimore     43  2287  1047  467  166  19-20  4.36
Mike Dowler, Tacoma          51  2977  1544  623  224  26-23  4.51
Most Valuable Player:  Erik Rasmussen, Wichita Wings
Coach of the Year:  Ron Newman, San Diego Sockers
MISL Scoring Champion:  Erik Rasmussen, Wichita Wings
MISL Pass Master (most Assists):  Preki, Tacoma Stars
Defender of the Year:  Kevin Crow, San Diego Sockers
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Zoltan Toth, San Diego Sockers
Rookie of the Year:  David Doyle, Kansas City Comets
Newcomer of the Year:  Nanad Zigante, Wichita Wings
Championship Series Player of the Year:  Hugo Perez, San Diego Sockers
Championship Series Unsung Hero:  George Fernandez, San Diego Sockers

All-MISL team:

G - Zoltan Toth, San Diego Sockers
D - Fernando Clavijo, San Diego Sockers
D - Kevin Crow, San Diego Sockers
M - Branko Segota, San Diego Sockers
F - Preki, Tacoma Stars
F - Erik Rasmussen, Wichita Wings

American Indoor Soccer Association

The MISL/AISA Salary war left many casualties on both sides. Although the MISL would be reeling at the end of the season, the AISA had their travails before the season even began. Only four teams survived the red ink to play a shortened 24 game season. the league supplemented this with a “challenge cup”, a 12 game min-season which included games with two provisional franchises, the Dayton Dynamo and Jacksonville Generals. The league also signed a television contract with tempo television for a Game of the Week. Despite the shorter season, average attendance rose to 2,652 per game, with total attendance at 222,784.

Memphis surprised everyone by taking the regular season, winning by four games. There were no playoffs; the Challenge Cup replaced the post-season. In the Cup, Canton came out on top, narrowly beating Ft. Wayne. Jacksonville did respectably, but decided not to continue. The other provisional team, dayton finished at the bottom, but were not ready to give up just yet. they would return for 1988-89. There was no playoff for the Challenge Cup. the round-robin winner, Canton took the cup home.

                1987-88 AISA Final league Standings

                            G   W   L    %   GB   GF  GA
Memphis Storm              24  16   8  .667  --  104   94
Canton Invaders            24  12  12  .500   4  108   97
Milwaukee Wave             24  11  13  .458   5  103  111
Fort Wayne Flames          24   9  15  .375   7   99  112

For the Champions Cup, Jacksonville and Dayton were added.

Canton Invaders            12   9   3  .750  --   67   55
Fort Wayne Flames          12   8   4  .667   1   71   31
Milwaukee Wave             12   6   6  .500   3   50   51
Jacksonville Generals      12   6   6  .500   3   52   57
Memphis Storm              12   4   8  .333   5   44   53
Dayton Dynamo              12   3   9  .250   6   46   63


After the Challenge Cup, Jacksonville folded.

All-Star Game:  None.

Leading Scorers                  GP   G   A   TP
Rudy Pikuzinzki, Canton          23  24  18   42
Martin Vasquez, Memphis          23  17  19   36
George Pastor, Milwaukee         24  18  15   33
Ted Hantak, Memphis              22  21  10   31
Neil Ridgeway, Ft. Wayne         22  19  11   30
Art Kramer, Canton               23  16  12   28
Steve Frick, Canton              19  20   5   25
Chris Hellenkamp, Ft. Wayne      21  18   6   24
Dan O'Keefe, Ft. Wayne           21  18   6   24
Paul DiBernardo, Ft. Wayne       22  18   5   23
Carlos Salguero, Ft. Wayne       21  11  12   23

LEADING GOALKEEPERS   (Min. 400 minutes to qualify)
                             GP   Min.  Sho  Svs   GA   W-L   GAA
Manny Sanchez, Memphis       12   708   389  140  44    8-3  3.73
Yaro Dachiwsky, Memphis      11   598   278  124   38    6-5  3.82
Mark Berry, Milwaukee         6   386   270   96   27    4-2  4.19
Warren Lipka, Ft. Wayne      14   804   418  207   58    7-6  4.33
Bill Naumovski, Canton       16   882   380  152   65    8-7  4.42

Most Valuable Player:  Rudy Pikuzinski, Canton Invaders
Coach of the Year:  Terry Nichol, Memphis Storm
Defender of the Year: Tim Tyma, Milwaukee Wave
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Manny Sanchez, Memphis Storm
Rookie of the Year:  Rod Castro, Memphis Storm

All-AISA team:

G - Manny Sanchez, Memphis Storm
D - Vincent Beck, Memphis Storm
D - Tim Tyma, Milwaukee Wave
M - Chris Hellenkamp, Ft. Wayne Flames
F - Ted Hantak, Memphis Storm
F - Rudy Pikuzinski, Canton Invaders

Southwest Indoor Soccer League

The SISL expanded to six teams, adding the Addision Arrows, with Garland moving to Austin to become the Sockadillos. These teams, along with the Albuquerque Gunners, Amarillo Challengers, Lubbock Lazers and Oklahoma City Warriors, took to the arenas for the league’s second season. Oklahoma City and Albuquerque finished the season tied, but Oklahoma City won based on head-up-head competition. They also beat Arlington in the semis, and Austin upset #2 Albuquerque. The playoff final consisted of a championship series, where Oklahoma city defeated Austin 8-5, 9-7 and 11-3. The league did well enough to inspire a modest expansion, with three expansion clubs added for the following season.

                1987-88 SISL Final league Standings

Before the season, Austin was added.  Albuquerque changed 
their name to Gunners.  (GF-GA info 99% complete, 5 games missing.)

                              GP   W  L   GF  GA  PTS
Oklahoma City Warriors        20  13  7  132  94  53
Albuquerque Gunners           20  13  7  152  93  53
Austin Soccadillos            20  10 10  118 107  40
Arlington Arrows              20  10 10   94 109  39
Lubbock Lazers                20   9 11   93 110  35
Amarillo Challengers          20   5 15   87 153  20

Semifinals:  Austin defeated Albuquerque.
             Okalhoma City defeated Arlington.
FINAL:       Oklahoma City defeated Austin 8-5, 9-7, 11-3.

Leading Scorers                GP   G   
Uwe Balzis, Albuquerque        20  43
Chris Melton, Amarillo         20  36
Terry Woodberry, Oklahoma City 20  34
Oscar Borgarello, Arlington    20  32
Jeff Brown, Austin             20  27
Mychal Cook, Oklahoma City     20  26
Jay LeForce, Oklahoma City     20  24

Most Valuable Player: Austin Hudson, Oklahoma City Warriors
Top Goal Scorer: Uwe Balzis, Albuquerque Gunners (43 goals)
Assist Leader: Austin Hudson, Oklahoma city Warriors (29 assists)
Top Goalkeeper: Todd Brunskill, Addison Arrows
Rookie of the Year: Steve Bailey, Austin Sockadillos
Coach of the Year: Chico Villar, Oklahoma City Warriors

The US Men’s National Team

The US began 1988 fresh off their win over Canada which qualified them for the 1988 Olympics. this year, teams would be allowed to field their full national teams, and qualification was critical for the US’s attempts to rebuild the program. Leaving nothing to chance, the team scheduled three friendlies, two against Guatemala and one against Colombia. the higher quality of competition would give them a look at what they would face in South Korea. The US split with Guatemala, 0-1 and 1-0, and were shut out by Columbia but only by 2-0. Feeling more confident, the US trounced Trinidad 4-1 to complete its qualifying run. This was an important early step in the team’s climb back towards respectability, and marked an important turning point.

Following their qualification, the USSF established a program of grants for national team players, allowing them to receive regular salaries directly from the National team, and avert any threatened salary disputes, and also keep players available for regular training and competitions. This would eventually lead to players playing full-time for the national team. For the rest of 1988, they remained with their clubs; the roster included players from the MISL, AISA, WSA and ASL, as well as a few college and amateur clubs. several players left their clubs, living off of their USSF grants. this immediately helped to bring more coherence to the training program, as players could be counted on when they were needed.

After qualifying for the Olympics, the team began a full-time training program which included a series of friendlies against a variety of teams, including three game series against Chile and Ecuador, and single games against Costa Rica, Nigeria and Poland. The results were mixed, mostly losses, with a single 1-0 win against Costa Rica. Later in the summer, they played their first round of qualifiers for World Cup 1990. This pair of games against Jamaica was a split: After a scoreless draw in Kingston, the US dominated 5-0 at St. Louis.

The Olympic games were an exercise in frustration. The US had a very tough draw, being pitted against Argentina, host South Korea, and the Soviet Union. Argentina and the Soviets were traditional powers, who still had powerful teams despite not being allowed to use any players who had ever appeared in the World Cup. The Nats got off to a good start, with a surprising draw against Argentina. A win against South Korea could have advanced the US, but they had to settle for a 0-0 draw. Finally, in the critical game, the Soviet Union was simply too much, and prevailed 4-2. The US had goals by Brent Goulet and John Doyle. Despite the frustrating outcome, it was more impressive than their 1984 performance, and clearly progress was being made. Ultimately, the Soviet Union won the gold, Brazil took the silver and West Germany took the bronze. Hopes were raised, for the 1990 World Cup, and qualifications were not far off.

The big news story of 1988 was the awarding of the 1994 World Cup on July 4 to the United States. This long held dream was achieved against all odds, but ultimately the selection committee was impressed by the infrastructure, and widespread availability of large stadiums, as well as the large crowds which had turned out for the soccer competition at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

                  USA Men's National Team results (+ = not full internationals)

    1988 Totals:  4W,  5D,  8L
Sep 22 88  L 2-4  Soviet Union              +Taegu, South Korea (OLY'88)
Sep 20 88  D 0-0  South Korea               +Pusan, South Korea (OLY'88)
Sep 18 88  D 1-1  Argentina                 +Taegu, South Korea (OLY'88)
Aug 13 88  W 5-1  Jamaica                    St. Louis, MO, USA(WCQ'90)
               Klopas (2), Bliss, Krumpe, Perez
Jul 24 88  D 0-0  Jamaica                    Kingston, Jamaica(WCQ'90)
Jul 13 88  L 0-2  Poland                     New Britain, CT, USA
Jun 19 88  L 2-3  Nigeria                    Kwangju, South Korea
               Trittschuh (2)
Jun 14 88  W 1-0  Costa Rica                 San Antonio, TX, USA
Jun 12 88  D 0-0  Ecuador                    Fort Worth, TX, USA
Jun 10 88  L 0-2  Ecuador                    Houston, TX, USA
Jun 07 88  L 0-1  Ecuador                    Albuquerque, NM, USA
Jun 05 88  L 0-3  Chile                      Fresno, CA, USA
Jun 03 88  L 1-3  Chile                      San Diego, CA, USA
Jun 01 88  D 1-1  Chile                      Stockton, CA, USA
May 25 88  W 4-1  El Salvador               +Indianapolis, IN, USA (OLQ'88)
               Goulet (2), Davis, Og
May 14 88  L 0-2  Colombia                   Miami, FL, USA
Jan 13 88  W 1-0  Guatemala                  Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jan 10 88  L 0-1  Guatemala                  Guatemala City, Guatemala

The US Women’s National Team

This was a transitional year for the Women’s team. The team regrouped briefly in the summer for two tours, a June jaunt to China, and a July trip to Italy. In China, the US was dominant against Japan, drew with Sweden and Czechoslovakia and lost to Norway. In Italy, the results were more nebulous. Convincing wins against West Germany and France were balanced by depressing losses to England and Italy. The team would have to gel some more, but for now, they took some time off, to wait until qualifications for the first Women’s World Championship, scheduled for China in 1991.

                        USA Women's National Team Results

     1988 results:   3W, 2D, 3L
Jul 29 88  W 1-0  France                     Rimini, Italy
Jul 27 88  L 0-2  England                    Rimini, Italy
Jul 24 88  L 1-2  Italy                      Rimini, Italy
Jul 22 88  W 2-1  West Germany               Rimini, Italy
               Jennings (2)
Jun 08 88  L 0-1  Norway                     Pun-Yu, China
Jun 05 88  D 0-0  Czechoslovakia             Pun-Yu, China
Jun 03 88  D 1-1  Sweden                     Pun-Yu, China
Jun 01 88  W 5-2  Japan                      Pun-Yu, China
               Henry, Bates, Jennings (3)

U. S. Open Cup

In the quarterfinals, St. Louis Busch defeated Kansas City Udinese 4-0, New York Pancyprian Freedom defeated Fairfax Spartan 3-0, San Francisco Greek-American defeated Hollywood King Taco 1-0 and Dallas Mean Green defeated Atlanta Soccer City 2-0. In the semifinals, St. Louis Busch defeated New York Pancyprian Freedom 3-2 and San Francisco Greek-American defeated Dallas Mean Green 2-0. In the final, played June 25 at St. Louis Soccer Park in Fenton, MO, St. Louis Busch Seniors defeated San Francisco Greek-American 2-1.

The College Game

The NCAA completed its tournament picture in 1988 by adding a Women’s Division 2 tournament. It started with a mere four teams, but would grow in the early 1990’s. The Women’s Division 3 tournament was expanded from 12 to 16 teams.

In the NCAA Division 1 tournament, third round action saw Howard defeat Virginia 3-2 in double overtime. South Carolina defeated Southern Methodist 1-0, Indiana defeated Seton Hall 3-1, and Portland defeated Fresno State 2-0. In the semifinals, Howard defeated South Carolina 1-0, and Indiana defeated Portland 1-0. The championship was held in Bloomington, IN on December 4, where Indiana defeated Howard 1-0 for the national title.

In the NCAA Division 2 tournament, second round action saw Southern Connecticut State defeat New Hampshire College 1-0. Florida tech defeated Gannon 1-0, Oakland defeated Missouri-St. Louis 3-0, and Cal State Northridge 3-2 in overtime. In the semifinals, Florida Tech defeated Southern Connecticut 1-0 and Cal State Northridge defeated Oakland 3-1 in overtime. The championship was held in Northridge, CA on December 4, where Florida Tech defeated Cal State Northridge 3-2 for the national title.

In the NCAA Division 3 tournament, third round action saw Wheaton (Ill) defeat Kalamazoo 1-0 (pk-ot), Salem state defeated Plymouth State 2-0, Emory defeated North Carolina Weslayen 1-0, U. C. San Diego defeated Cal State Stanislaus 4-2,Rochester Institute of technology defeated Alfred 2-1 (pk), and Messiah defeated Elizabethtown 3-0. In the quarterfinals, Salem State defeated Wheaton 3-0, U. C. San Diego defeated Emory 4-1, while Rochester Institute of Technology and Messiah received byes. In the semifinals, Rochester Institute of Technology defeated Salem State 3-2 (ot,pk), and U. C. San Diego defeated Messiah 1-0 (ot, pk). In the finals, held in Rochester New York (R.I.T. hosting), U. C. San Diego defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 3-0.

In the NCAA Women’s Division 1 tournament, second round action saw North Carolina defeat Central Florida 2-1. Wisconsin defeated Massachusetts 2-1, California defeated Colorado College 2-1 in overtime, and North Carolina State defeated George Mason 1-0 in overtime. In the semifinals, North Carolina defeated Wisconsin 3-0 and North Carolina State defeated California 1-0. The championship was held in Chapel Hill on November 20, where North Carolina defeated North Carolina State 4-1 for the national title.

In the NCAA Women’s Division 2 tournament, semifinal action saw Cal State Hayward defeat Mercyhurst 6-0, and Barry defeated Keene State 2-1. The championship was held in Miami Shores, FL on November 13, where Cal State Hayward defeated Barry 1-0 for the title.

In the NCAA Women’s Division 3 tournament, second round action saw William Smith defeat Hartwick 2-1 on penalty kicks after double overtime. Methodist defeated Kalamazoo 2-1, UC San Diego defeated Cortland State 2-0, and Ithaca defeated Plymouth State 2-0. In the semifinals, William Smith defeated Methodist 2-1 on penalty kicks after double overtime, and UC San Diego defeated Ithaca 2-0 in double overtime. The championship was held in Geneva, NY on November 13, where William Smith defeated UC San Diego in triple overtime to take the national title.

NAIA Championship: (Men) Sangamon State defeated Alderson-Braoddus 3-1.
NAIA Championship: (Women) Pacific Lutheran defeated Hardin-Simmons 2-0.
NJCAA Men’s Championship: Mercer County Community College 1, Pima Comm. Coll. 0
NJCAA Women’s Championship: Florissant Valley Community College 1, Mercer County C. C. 0
NCCAA Division 1 Championship: George Fox 3, Bartlesville Weslayen (OK) 1
NCCAA Division 2 Championship: Philadelphia College of Bible 1, Moody Bible Institute 0

Coaches' Final Division 1 Poll - Men:

1.  Virginia
2.  Portland
3.  Seton Hall
4.  St. Louis
5.  North Carolina
6.  Evansville
7.  Harvard
8.  San Diego State
9.  Indiana
10. Adelphi

Coaches' Final Division 1 Poll - Women:

1.  North Carolina
2.  North Carolina State
3.  Colorado College
4.  Massachusetts
5.  William & Mary
6.  Connecticut
7.  California
8.  Wisconsin
9.  Virginia
10. George Mason

College All-Americans - Men:

G - Tony Meola, Virginia
D - Jeff Agoos, Virginia
D - Marcelo Balcoa, San Diego State
D - Kevin Grimes, Southern Methodist
F - Scott Benedetti, Portland
F - Brian Benedict, Duke
F - Henry Gutierrez, North Carolina State
F - Patrick O'Kelly, Seton Hall
F - Mark Santel, St. Louis
F - Ken Snow, Indiana
F - Joey Valenti, Duke

College All-Americans - Women:

G - Janine Szpara, Colorado College
D - Linda Hamilton, North Carolina State
D - Karen Nance, UK Santa Barbara
D - Kim Prutting, Connecticut
D - Shelly Saporavich, Colorado College
D - Carla (Overbeck) Werden, North Carolina
F - Michelle Akers, Central Florida
F - Joy (Fawcett) Biefield, California
F - Shannon Higgins, North Carolina
F - April Kater, Massachusetts
F - Jennifer Smith, Cornell

Hermann Trophy: Ken Snow, Indiana
Missouri Athletic Club Trophy: Ken Snow, Indiana
NSCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year: Keith Tucker, Howard
ISAA Player of the Year: Dan Donigan, Connecticut
ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year: Charles Arndt, North Carolina

Other Action

1988 National Amateur Cup Final: Dallas Mean Green (LSSA) defeated Philadelphia Inter 1-0.

James P. McGuire Cup (U-19 Men): Union (NJ) Lancers “69”

Athena Cup (U-19 Women):Sting, Dallas

D.J. Niotis Cup (Boys U-16): Busch Soccer Club, St. Louis

Patricia Masotto Cup (Girls U-16): Springfield (VA) Spirit

CONCACAF U-20 Championship: The USA finished in third place. Costa Rica defeated Mexico for the title.

CONCACAF Champions Cup: It is not known if any US teams participated. Olimpia (Honduras) defeated Defence Force (Trinidad & Tobago) 4-0 for the title.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1988, Herb Heilpern and Bert Larson were inaugurated into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Edwin Clements and Alvin Schalge were inducted into the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Hall of Fame.

USSF Male Player of the Year: Peter Vermes
USSF Female Player of the Year: Joy Biefield (Fawcett)