The Year in American Soccer, 1995

MLS | A-League | USISL | W-League | NPSL | CISL | Women’s World Cup ’95 | Men’s National Team | Women’s National Team | Pan-American Games | U-17 World Championship | World University Games | U. S. Open Cup | The College Game | Awards & Cups

Coming on the heels of the enormously successful 1994 World Cup, 1995 was a year of activity on many fronts. The Men’s National Team immediately set to build on that success and preparing for the 1998 Cup in France, accomplishing amazing performances in USA Cup ’95 and the Copa America. Meanwhile Major League Soccer entered high gear as it prepared for its inaugural season, completing sponsorship deals, attracting investors and awarding franchises, and signing players to contracts. The USISL consolidated its position at the Division 3 level, and the A-League struggled with franchise woes at Division 2. The Women’s National team had a heartbreaking performance at the Women’s World Cup, coming so close to the top only to fall short in the semifinals. But the US was awarded the 1999 Women’s World Cup, Giving it an unprecedented opportunity to repeat its showcasing event with the 1994 Men’s World Cup, this time giving the women a chance to shine in the world spotlight. In short, it was a year full of excitement, upsets, heartbreak, and anticipation. Finally, there was a lot of activity at major and national levels, to entertain the growing legions of fans fueled by the success of World Cup ’94.

Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer revved up into full organizing mode during 1995. Having wisely bought themselves another year to do things right, Rothenberg focused first on securing major investors to back the league. These investors, for the specified multimillion dollar investment would be designated owner-operators of specific teams in the league. First on board was Lamar Hunt, the NFL owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who had run the Dallas Tornado in the NASL. Then came John Kluge and Stuart Subotnik, the Metromedia partners, Marc Rapaport of LA Soccer Partners, and Kevin Payne of API Soccer. In June, the financing picture was complete with the addition of Denver businessman Philip Anschutz and New England Patriots (NFL) owners, the Kraft family. During the spring, the league added Chicago and Dallas as team cities, although Chicago and New York (Long Island) were later withdrawn. Finally, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Denver were added during the late summer to complete the ten-team lineup. MLS now had its teams established, as well as investor capital totaling $75,000,000. It was planned for the league to add two teams every 2-3 years until reaching an ultimate size of 16 teams.

Shortly after announcing the final teams, MLS secured stadium leases in large stadiums currently used for college and NFL teams. Five of these had been used for World Cup 1994, and three of them benefited from field modifications bringing those venues to World Cup standards: Foxboro Stadium for the New England team, RFK Stadium for Washington, DC., and the Cotton Bowl for Dallas. The other venue was Giants Stadium for New York/New Jersey. An agreement with the New Jersey Stadium Authority was reached whereby Giants Stadium would be fitted with a portable segmented grass playing field which would be removed in August when the NFL exhibition season started, giving the important New York franchise at least a partial season on grass. The other stadiums were Ohio State University stadium for Columbus, Tampa Stadium for Tampa, Los Angeles Coliseum, Mile High Stadium in Denver, Spartan Stadium in San Jose, and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Later in the year, Los Angeles switched to another World Cup stadium, the Rose Bowl.

On January 3, MLS signed its first player, National team member Tab Ramos, and immediately loaned him to Tigres of Mexico. With no firm teams yet established (Seven cities had been selected in 1994 to receive teams), and the single-entity concept in place, players were actually signed to a player pool, to be drafted by the individual teams early in 1996. But this first signing at least showed the league was serious about signing major players and tab Ramos was certainly a visible established star at the time. At the end of the month, MLS signed Indiana University All-American Brian Maisonneuve and Todd Yeagley, the 1994 College Players of the Year. Next in line were National Team forward Mike Burns, and former National Peter Vermes, a veteran of European leagues. Later in April, they signed Jean Harbor, the all-time leading scorer of the American Professional Soccer League. By June 13, fifteen players had been signed to the MLS player pool. In June, Jorge Campos, National Team goalie for Mexico was signed, along with US National defender Alexi Lalas. These were two of the most significant signings to date, giving MLS two highly visible World Cup stars.

Official sponsorship of MLS began on June 6, with the signing of Budweiser as the official beer of Major League Soccer. This was followed in July with TSI Soccer, signed as the official mail order catalog. TSI would become important in the merchandising operations of the league. As the summer progressed, Kelloggs and AT&T were added, along with Puma as another official uniform supplier.

League financing officially kicked in on August 1st. This lead to a surge in organizational activity, especially in player signings. Roy Lassiter, Brian McBride, Hugo Sanchez and others were signed, bringing almost 30 teams into the MLS fold. The league would ultimately invite about 250 players to a scouting combine the next January. After selecting players and adding them to the current pool, about 220 players were expected to be available for the MLS draft in February. In addition, each team would receive four “marquee” players – well known international stars, national team players, etc. These players would have their salaries supplemented by sponsorship deals and other considerations, ranging up to $500,000 per year. Basic salaries would be based on a $22,000,000 budget, with a salary cap of $1,200,000 per team and $192,500 for an individual player. Finally, to promote the development of American players, a foreign player limit of five per team was imposed.

By this time, fan interest in MLS was becoming fairly intense. Lacking consistent media coverage, the fans quickly built up a virtual community on the internet via web pages, newsgroups and email lists, to spread news and rumors. At this time, the nascent US Supporters Club, Sam’s Army (which had debuted in June at USA Cup ’95), inspired satellite groups devoted to each of the new MLS teams (and even two cities that hadn’t been given clubs yet). By Late August, fans were already speculating on rumors of possible team nicknames (many of which were correct months before the official announcement). One of the first rumors to be confirmed was the signing of Ron Newman as Kansas City head coach on October 11.

The big event for 1995 was “MLS Unveiled”, a multimedia presentation held on October 17. All the news people were waiting for came out there. The ten teams were officially introduced, with their nicknames, logos, official uniforms, and the official ball was unveiled. Several MLS signees were formally allocated to teams as marquee players: Mike Burns, Alexi Lalas (New England Revolution), Tab Ramos and Tony Meola (New York/New Jersey MetroStars), Hugo Sanchez (Dallas Burn), Mike Sorber (Kansas City Wiz), Roy Wegerle (Colorado Rapids). The other teams included the Tampa Bay Mutiny, D. C. United, San Jose Clash, Columbus Crew, and Los Angeles Galaxy. Dan Courtemanche was introduced as new Director of Communications, as were newly signed players John Harkes, Marco Etcheverry, and Frank Klopas. Fan reaction to the look of the league was mixed, in an attempt to be hip and cool, the league had avoided traditional colors, logos, stripes and nicknames in favor of flashy styles favored by the new alternative-sport leagues (roller hockey, indoor football, etc.), but many felt that they were done in a low-grade amateurish style that would not reach either the hip American youth or the traditional soccer fan. Also in the works were proposed rules changes that MLS would propose to FIFA for MLS’s first season, including tiebreakers, kick-ins, 15 yard walls, and offside rule modifications, even possibly wider goals.

The rest of the year saw a flurry of additional signings and player allocations. Several more marquee players were allocated, including Doctor Khumalo, Carlos Valderrama, Michael Emenlo and John Doyle. Also at this time, a number of coaches were signed, including Thomas Rongen with Tampa Bay, Laurie Calloway at San Jose, Timo Liekoski at Columbus, Bruce Arena to D. C. United, David Dir to Dallas Burn and Lothar Osiander to Los Angeles. By mid November, over 50 players had been signed. At a November 21 press conference, MLS appointed its first commissioner, Doug Logan, and also announced a 26 game TV deal with Univision signed as the official Spanish-Language broadcaster. MLS also announced an agreement with North American Sports Camps to run a series of MLS youth soccer camps across the country. In December, MLS announced its 1996 schedule, and ESPN TV schedule, and (on December 12), announced the signing of 42 more players, including national team members Doctor Khumalo (South Africa), Ted Eck, Steve Trittschuh (USA), and A-League MVP Peter Hattrup. Two days later, the Valderrama signing becomes official, along with Samuel Ekene of Cameroon. A post-Christmas final event was the signing of ten more players, bringing the total to 115. This list included Zimbabwe’s national team striker Vitalis Takawira, and Uruguayan star Washington Rodriguez.

MLS had made enormous progress in 1995, accomplishing the essential tasks: sponsorship, securing owner/investors, substantial TV contracts, establishment of team identities, and signing of coaches. And they had made an impressive start in signing players. The league surprised many skeptics with the large number of national team members signed, including the bulk of the US team, and many foreign stars with World Cup experience. They were also quickly signing up the best of the available A-League talent, and looked well on the way to assembling a better than expected contingent of talent for the inaugural season.

Link to Official MLS Timeline 1993-1996
Link to Fan-based timeline from USA Soccer on the Net
Dave Wilson’s MLS Commentaries

The A-League

The American Professional Soccer League changed their name to the A-League. They also faced a major setback before the season started, and had another one looming on the horizon. One of their oldest teams, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, folded, and the Los Angeles Salsa withdrew to join the USISL. More importantly, with MLS set to begin play in 1996, many top A-League players were setting their sights on the senior league, and the A-league was facing a huge talent drain. A final blow was the folding of the Toronto Rockets just before the start of the season. The league added the New York Centaurs and Atlanta Ruckus, to bring it back to six teams, a far cry from the possible ten the league had envisioned at the end of the previous season. With the reduced slate of teams, the talent was concentrated to make 1995 one of the most competitive seasons ever. The Montreal Impact signed Paul Dougherty and US National Team members Steve Trittschuh, John Doyle and Bruce Murray, as well as former US National coach Lothar Osiander, and Colorado late in the season signed Dominic Kinnear. Meanwhile, the A-league signed a new TV contract with Prime Network.

The big surprise early in the season was the surprising performance of the expansion teams. The Atlanta Ruckus beat both 1994 finalists Montreal and Colorado early on, and the Centaurs likewise won two straight, leaving them 3rd and 4th in the standings respectively. The powerhouse Colorado Foxes and Vancouver 86ers found themselves at the bottom of the standings. Ruckus scoring tandem Lenin Steenkamp and Staale Soebye scored 9 goals in the first eight games; meanwhile Montreal’s goalkeeper Paolo Ceccarelli shut out his opponents for more than 400 minutes. Montreal was first to the top of the standings, with Seattle Sounders close on their heels until the Ruckus took over first place in mid-June for a brief stay. They were quickly toppled by Seattle, on the strength of goalkeeper Marcus Hahneman, and midfielder Peter Hattrup. The Foxes snapped out of their doldrums, trouncing the Sounders 4-1, followed by Vancouver 86ers’ climb out of the cellar after signing rookie Giuliano Oliviero. He scored a goal in each of his first six games, including two game winners. In July, Montreal was hot on Seattle’s heels as their big showdown took place, on the 9th. The Sounders pulled out a close ont in the shootout, maintaining their unbeaten record against the Impact. By then Peter Hattrup was back on top as scoring leader, and was named to the All-Star team which beat the Mexican power UNAM Pumas 2-0 (Paulinho and Jason Dunn scored the goals).

A number of A-League players saw National Team action. Besides those listed above, Marcus Hahneman played for the US in the Parmalat Cup exhibitions, and the Canadian National Team featured many A-League players during their Carbana Cup jaunt in Toronto. These included Tom Kouzmanis, Lyndon Hooper and Kevin Holness of Montreal, Geoff Aunger of Vancouver, and Marco Risi of Seattle. The Jamaican National Team at the Carbana included Anthony McReath and Walter Boyd of Colorado. By August, both Atlanta and Vancouver were making their run to the top, and New York continued its slide into last place. The Centaurs signed former New York Cosmos star Valdislav Boecevic, and All-Star Dan Calichman as his assistant, but to little effect.

Coming off a late burst from Lloyd Barker, the Impact overtook Seattle to reclaim 1st place, and Colorado swooned into a seven game losing streak down to 5th place. By Labor Day, Seattle and Montreal were locked in a struggle for first place, with Vancouver safely in third. Atlanta and Colorado meanwhile fought over the final playoff spot. Seattle beat Montreal and took two straight from Vancouver, but Montreal was able to squeeze onto top with a win over New York on the final day of the season to win the Commissioner’s Cup. Meanwhile, Atlanta topped Colorado with a shoot-out win against Colorado to nail down that final playoff spot.

The Atlanta Ruckus’s playoff appearance brought despair to soccer purists everywhere because it showed the shortcomings of the A-League’s convoluted scoring system as never before. The system had been modified from 1994’s 6-4-2-0+3 down to a more realistic 3 points for a win, 2 for a shootout win, 1 for a shootout loss and 0 for a loss. However, that removed much of the incentive for playing to win. A team could play for a tie and hope for luck in the shootout later. This season, the Ruckus had eight shootout victories, and based on bonus points and shootout wins, pulled ahead of a clearly superior Colorado Foxes (35 goals to Atlanta’s 29), landing one point behind a vastly superior Vancouver (43 goals). Had the season been played by FIFA rules with draws, (see FIFA table below), Colorado would have easily beaten Atlanta for the final playoff spot, and Montreal would not have had to depend on goal differential to win 1st place despite having three more wins. To make matters worse, the shootout completely ruined the playoff series. The Ruckus became the first team to make it to the finals without a single regulation victory. Both of these series would have been lost by Atlanta had they played with the FIFA standard FIFA two leg aggregate score determining the winner. And the championship was marred by two slow 1-1 draws both settled by shootouts. All in all, five of the eight playoff games were draws settled by shootouts, as everybody decided to play it safe and go for the crapshoot. The game certainly deserved better.

                   Final A-League Standings, 1995

Before the season, the league changed its name to the A-League.  
Atlanta and New York were added.

                           GP   W  WS  LS   L    GD   G+   G-   P+  Att.
Montreal Impact            24  16   1   1   6   +20   47 - 27   51  5,075
Seattle Sounders           24  13   5   2   4   +16   40 - 24   51  4,571
Vancouver 86ers            24  10   0   3  11     0   43 - 43   33  4,492
Atlanta Ruckus             24   5   8   1  10   -12   29 - 41   32  2,632
Colorado Foxes             24   7   1   6  10    -6   35 - 41   29  5,873
New York Centaurs          24   5   1   3  15   -18   21 - 39   20  1,461

Semifinals:  Atlanta defeated Montreal 2-1 (SO), 0-3, 1-0 (SO)
             Seattle defeated Vancouver, 1-0, 1-0 (SO)
FINAL:       Seattle defeated Atlanta 1-2 (SO), 3-0, 2-1 (SO)

              Final League Standings, with FIFA Scoring (win-draw-loss, 3-1-0)

                           GP   W   D   L   Pts
Montreal Impact            24  16   2   6   54
Seattle Sounders           24  13   7   4   43
Vancouver 86ers            24  10   3  11   33
Colorado Foxes             24   7   7  10   28!
Atlanta Ruckus             24   5   9  10   24!
New York Centaurs          24   5   4  15   14 

Leading Goal Scorers:
                               G   A   Pts
Peter Hattrup, Seattle        11   8   30
Paul Dougherty, Montreal      10   8   28
Lloyd Barker, Montreal        10   6   26
Chance Fry, Seattle            9   4   22
Paul Dailly, Vancouver         7   7   21
Giuliano Oliviero, Vancouver   9   1   19
Geoff Aunger, Vancouver        6   6   18
Staale Soebye, Atlanta         7   3   17
Martin Nash, Vancouver         5   6   16
Lenin Steenkamp, Atlanta       8   0   16
James Dunn, Seattle            5   6   16
Grant Needham, Montreal        5   5   15
Paulinho, Montreal             6   3   15
Jeff Hooker, Colorado          7   0   14
Shawn Medved, Seattle          6   1   13

Goalkeeping Leaders:
                             GP/GS  Min  SVS  GA SO  GAA
Marcus Hahnemann, Seattle    24/24  2160  96  24  9  1.00
Paolo Ceccarelli, Montreal   17/17  1530  65  17  8  1.00
Jim St. Andre, New York      12/11   991  48  16  4  1.43
Pat Onstad, Montreal          7/7    630  22  10  1  1.43
Mun Young Yi, Atlanta         9/9    807  48  13  1  1.46
Paul Shepherd, Vancouver      7/6    585  29  10  1  1.54
Mark Dodd, Colorado          24/24  2160 124  41  3  1.71
Bo Oshaniyi, New York        13/13  1169  60  23  3  1.77
Bill Andracki, Atlanta       18/15  1353  70  28  2  1.86
Paul Dolan, Vancouver        18/18  1575  89  33  1  1.89  

Most Valuable Player:  Peter Hattrup, Seattle Sounders  
Coach of the Year: Lothar Osiander, Atlanta Ruckus 
Rookie of the Year: Giuliano Oliviero, Vancouver 86ers
Defender of the Year:  John Doyle, Atlanta Ruckus
Official of the Year:  Esfandiar Baharmast

The "A-Team", 1995:

G - Marcus Hahnemann, Seattle Sounders
D - John Doyle, Atlanta Ruckus
D - Robin Fraser, Colorado Foxes
D - Steve Trittschuh, Montreal Impact
M - Dan Calichman, New York Centaurs
M - Paul Dougherty, Montreal Impact
M - Geoff Aunger, Vancouver 86ers
M - Peter Hattrup, Seattle Sounders
M - Giuliano Oliviero, Vancouver 86ers
F - Lloyd Barker, Montreal Impact
F - Staale Soebye, Atlanta Ruckus

United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues

After briefly renaming themselves the United States International Soccer League, the USISL settled on the name United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues, to reflect their new organizational structure as a group of cooperating soccer leagues. The split between the amateur and professional clubs was formalized with the establishment of the Premier League (27 teams in 3 large divisions), and the Professional League (55 teams, seven divisions). The larger divisions were split into two conferences each (a reverse of the normal conference/division structure). Twenty new teams were added, and the league spread to the far Northwest, completing its coverage of the entire nation. The next step was to go international, and the USISL did so by adding Montreal and Puerto Rico, until overruled by FIFA forcing the move of those franchises.

The USISL had partially solved its scheduling changes by splitting into two leagues, and further reduced travel time by establishing regional schedules. Teams would not have to travel across country until the playoffs. The schedule was expanded to twenty games for the professional league and 18 for the Premier League. On another expansion front, the USISL formalized its women’s division, the Nike “W” League. Coming off its experimental 1994 season, the W-league started with 19 teams in three divisions, concentrated mainly in the northeast, Southwest and Midwest. As the first national women’s league, it was able to attract most of the top college and club stars, and several national team players. Several established clubs joined the league, and several USISL men’s teams created affiliated women’s teams. The USISL ultimately planned to establish the W-League on a professional basis, but wisely chose to build the league up over several years. The USISL continued to operate as a FIFA testing ground for rule changes. For 1995, these included a 60 minute countdown clock with stoppage for dead ball situations, blue cards (for individual fouls; five cards resulting in expulsion with substitution), kick-ins, a fifteen yard wall for free kicks, and bonus points (hence the 6-4-2-0+3 scoring system).

Another new “innovation” was the establishment of the Designated Makeup Game. This was to ensure a completed seasonal division record even if one or more games were cancelled due to weather, etc. Four games were designated as makeup games (inter-regional and intra-league games), and at the conclusion of the final DMG, the games with the least favorable results would either be counted in place of cancelled game(s) or discarded.

Final 1995 USISL standings and playoff results

USISL Professional League

The Professional League had a unique divisional structure that must have given schedulers the fits: Seven divisions ranging from five to thirteen teams. The larger divisions were split into two conferences each (reversing the usual conference/division hierarchy). Once again, some expansion clubs saw success, with Monterey Bay taking the West Division North, and Tampa Bay Cyclones taking the Southeast. Meanwhile, the Fever took the Capital, making them the first soccer divisional champ from New York since the Cosmos. The divisional playoffs were largely a formality, as all but one of the divisional champions won the playoff series. Like last year, the “Sizzling Nine” championship consisted of three round robins leading to a final four. The first group saw Long Island the victor over Monterey Bay 2-1 and New Mexico 4-1. Minnesota took the second group 2-0 over Hawaii and 2-1 over New York in a shootout. Finally, in the third group, a three way tie resulted from Tampa Bay beating Myrtle Beach 5-3, Milwaukee defeating Tampa Bay 3-2, and Myrtle Beach defeating Milwaukee 4-2. Myrtle Beach won on point differential (bonus points), and Tampa Bay also moved on as the wildcard (best second place record among three groups).

In the semifinals, Minnesota defeated Myrtle beach 4-3 in overtime, and Long Island defeated Tampa Bay easily 5-2. Long Island beat Minnesota 2-1 to win their championship, leaving the Rough Riders with 2 championship losses in as many tries. One disappointment for the league was the loss of 14 teams, but there would be new teams and yet another split on the horizon for the Pros.

Final 1995 USISL Pro League standings and playoff results

Top Scorers:
                                GP   G  A  Pts
Flavio Ferri, San Antonio       19  29   8  66
Rito Delgado, El Paso           18  26  11  61
Paul Young, Charleston          19  23   9  55
Giovanni Savarese, Long Island  20  23   8  54
Darren Eales, Hampton Roads     19  24   4  52
Ivo Ilayronov, Chattanooga      15  18  14  50
Billy Thompson, Hawaii          14  21   7  49
Duane Robinson, New Jersey      17  21   5  47
Manuel Lagos, Minnesota         17  19   7  45
John Vanbuskirk, Louisville     19  21   3  45

Leading Goalkeepers: (min 1,200 minutes)
                                Min  GA  GAA
Jim Adams, Columbus             851  10  0.71
Peter Pappas, Delaware          974  12  0.75
Michael Compisi, Charleston    1109  14  0.76
Mark Dougherty, Hawaii         1166  15  0.77
John Swallen, Minnesota         995  13  0.78
Tony Meola, Long Island        1215  17  0.84
Patrick Fagan, Reno            1156  19  0.99
Sal Rosamilia, New York        1011  18  1.07
David Kramer, Myrtle Beach     1095  20  1.00
Damon Gore, Mobile             1128  21  1.12

Most Valuable Player:  Giovanni Savarese, Long Island
Top Scorer:  Flavio Ferri, San Antonio Pumas
Top Goalkeeper:  Jim Adams, Columbus Xoggz 
Coach of the Year: Buzz Lagos, Minnesota Thunder
Rookie of the Year:  Wellijohn Dominiciano Jr., Tampa Bay Cyclones
Organization of the Year:  Tampa Bay Cyclones 

USISL Premier League

The Premier League consisted entirely of existing teams which chose to take the amateur route. Several cellar dwellers immediately benefited, with Sioux City going from 1-17 to the top of the Central division, and Richmond Kickers improving from 4-14 to 2nd place in the Eastern. The San Francisco United All-Blacks continued their championship ways in the West. The Austin Lone Stars and Cocoa Expos continued their winning ways with Cocoa repeating in the Eastern Division. Twelve teams made the playoffs, with Des Moines defeating Sioux City for the Central, Cocoa defeating Birmingham 3-1 for the Eastern, and SF United defeating Colorado Springs 1-0 for the Western. For reasons unexplained, Richmond received a bye to the Championship round, where they beat SF United 1-0, and Cocoa defeated Des Moines 3-1. The Final saw Richmond defeat Cocoa 3-1, to become another 2nd year team to win a league championship.

Final 1995 USISL Premier League standings and playoff results

Top Scorers:
                                GP   G   A  Pts
Gabe Jones, Austin              15  20   8  48
Holger Schneidt, Birmingham     15  17   9  43
Jeff Dresser, Grand Rapids      16  20   2  42
Brian Adams, Sioux City         16  18   4  40
Eddie Enders, Cocoa             18  15   8  38
Tony Siikala, Nashville         15  15   4  34
Richard Sharpe, Cocoa            6  14   2  30
Adrian Gonzales, North Bay      16  13   0  26
Aaron Levanthal, Des Moines     15  10   4  24
Rob Ukrop, Richmond             15  10   4  24
Gibson, Birmingham                  11   2  24

Leading Goalkeepers:
                                Min  GA  GAA
Alfredo Estrada, Jackson        886  14  0.95
Chris Sagar, Tucson             803  13  0.97
Jeff Causey, Richmond          1105  21  1.14
Chuck Granade, Puget Sound      750  15  1.20
Eduardo Yoldi, San Francisco U. 826  19  1.38
Doug Seigle, Sioux City         728  19  1.57
Mike Laberge, Colorado Springs  675  18  1.60
Justin Terranova, Nashville     948  26  1.65
Casey Mann, Des Moines          831  24  1.73
John Pascarella, STA            741  22  1.78

Most Valuable Player:  Gabe Jones, Austin Lone Stars
Top Scorer:  Gabe Jones, Austin Lone Stars
Top Goalkeeper:  Alfredo Estrada, Birmingham Grasshoppers
Coaches of the Year: Blair Reed and Doug Mello, Des Moines Menace
Rookie of the Year:  Eduardo Yoldi, San Francisco All-Blacks
Organization of the Year:  Richmond Kickers 

Nike “W” League

The W-League held their first official season and it was extremely successful, exceeding all expectations. Leading players included several from the US Women’s National Team, who played in limited amounts as the National Team schedule allowed. Leading goal scorer was Charmaine Hooper of the Canadian National team. Seventeen teams in three divisions competed, and the league was successful in attracting many of the top female players in the country and in Canada. The Long Island Lady Riders won the Eastern Division, with the Rockford ‘Dactyls edging out the Texas Lightning in the Central, and the Southern California Nitemares tying the San Francisco Vikings in the West, winning on bonus points. The playoff tournament, dubiously titled the “Swizzling Six” was basically a modified round robin consisting of the top two teams from each division, with each team playing games on August 11 and 12 against two non-division opponents. Long Island and Southern California emerged undefeated from that tournament, and on August 13, played the championship match in which the Long Island Lady Riders were victorious 2-1.

Final 1995 USISL Pro League standings and playoff results

Leading Scorers:

Charmaine Hooper, Rockford (31), Diane McLoughlin, Long Island (19), 
Jennifer Evans, So. Cal. (18), Janette Javit, Texas (17), Erica Handelman,
Rockford (15), Jennifer Shannon, Cincinnati (14), Paula Russo, Boston (13),
Kara Lee, Texas (11), Lori Hohenson, Sacramento (11), Caitlin Connolly,
Long Island (9)

Most Valuable Player  Laurie Hill, Southern California
Leading Goalie:  Kim Wyant, Long Island
Coach of the Year:  Peter Collins, Jr., Long Island

USISL Indoor Season

Two indoor-only teams were added for 1994-95, Brandon and Mesquite. The league was now only 11 teams in three divisions, participation being limited to those teams that were interested in participating. The Atlanta Magic continued their winning ways, taking the Mid-South Division and cruising past Chattanooga 4-2 and Tulsa 5-2 to the finals. Oklahoma City, who had beaten Knoxville 8-7 and Baltimore 7-4, was their opponent. The Magic overwhelmed Oklahoma City 6-3 to win the cup for a 3rd time.

                    Final 1994-1995 Indoor Standings:

Before the season, Brandon and Mesquite were added (Indoor only).

                              GP   W  L   GF  GA  PTS
     North/South Division
Baltimore Bays                12  10  2  106  69   40
Cocoa Expos                    9   6  3   59  55   24
Orlando Lions                 12   6  6   62  61   19
Brandon Braves                12   4  8   69  75   16

     Mid-South Division
Atlanta Magic                 12  11  1  110  63   44
Knoxville Impact              12   7  5  110  81   28
Chattanooga Express           12   6  6   61  67   24
Nashville Metros              12   2 10   60 123    8

     South Central Division
Oklahoma City Slickers        10   8  2   74  50   32
Tulsa Roughnecks              10   5  5   81  73   20
Mesquite Kickers              10   5  5   66  63   20

Preliminary Games:     Baltimore defeated Knoxville 8-7
                       Tulsa defeated Chattanooga 4-3
                       Oklahoma City defeated Knoxville 8-7
                       Atlanta defeated Chattanooga 4-2
Semifinals:            Oklahoma City defeated Baltimore, 7-4
                       Atlanta defeated Tulsa 5-2
FINAL:                 Atlanta defeated Oklahoma City 6-3.

After the season, Nashville withdrew as a full-time member of the indoor

Leading Scorers:
                             GP   G  PT
Juha Miettinen, Knoxville    10  22  59
Chris Hellkamp, Atlanta      12  21  55
Moe Suri, Atlanta             9  16  41
Virgil Stevens, Tulsa         9  13  41
Eric Reidlbauer, Baltimore   12  17  40
Mark Mettrick, Baltimore     11  15  38

Leading Goalkeepers:

                               Min   GA  GAA
Brent Jameson, Oklahoma City   573  50  5.19
Mike Potier, Atlanta           540  52  5.78
Dave Tenney, Baltimore         434  42  5.81
Richard Northcutt, Chattanooga 588  60  6.12
Chris Meystrick, Knoxville     507  59  6.98

Most Valuable Player:  Moe Suri, Atlanta Magic
Top Scorer:  Juha Mieteinen, Knoxville Impact
Coach of the Year:  Charlie Morgan, Atlanta Magic
Rookie of the Year:  Colby Williams, Oklahoma City 

National Professional Soccer League

The NPSL consolidated its position as the top indoor league by awarding franchises to Tampa Bay for 1995-96 and Toronto for 1996-97. Games were also scheduled in Worcester, Philadelphia and New Haven to test new markets. Baltimore replaced longtime coach Kenny Cooper with former player and fan favorite Dave MacWilliams. Buffalo also saw a new head coach in Peter Skouras who only lasted three games before being replaced by Jim May. Cleveland Crunch dominated in the American Division, winning the regular season by seven games, trailed by Harrisburg and Baltimore who tied for second. In the National Division, St. Louis Ambush repeated as division champ, again just barely claiming the crown by a single game despite improving to a franchise best 30 wins. This time, the second place team was intrastate rival Kansas City Attack, who left last season’s last place finish in the dust.

The playoffs again started with a major upset, with 4th place Detroit Rockers ousting St. Louis 15-12, 16-10. Milwaukee similarly upset Kansas City 10-12 (OT), 20-9, 16-9. In the East, there would be no such surprises, as Cleveland defeated Buffalo and Harrisburg downed Baltimore, both in 3 game series. The second round saw Harrisburg surprise Cleveland 17-7, 24-18, 16-12, and St. Louis won the state rivalry, in a high-scoring slugfest over Kansas City 40-22, 18-22 , 21-6, 11-12, 25-14. The Ambush did not suffer any exhaustion after that grueling series, as they headed into the first ever best of seven championship series, beating Harrisburg 19-9, 18-8, 12-7, 14-11, to bring home their first championship, and avenging last year’s frustrating championship loss.

                Final NPSL League Standings, 1994-1995
                            G   W   L    %   GB   GF   GA
     	American Division
Cleveland Crunch           40  30  10  .750  --  742  524
Harrisburg Heat            40  23  17  .575   7  594  526
Baltimore Spirit           40  23  17  .575   7  615  572
Buffalo Blizzard           40  20  20  .500  10  579  552
Dayton Dynamo              40  15  25  .375  15  548  671
Canton Invaders            40   6  34  .150  24  443  752

     	National Division
St. Louis Ambush           40  30  10  .750  --  711  465
Kansas City Attack         40  29  11  .725   1  641  460
Milwaukee Wave             40  23  17  .575   7  535  459
Detroit Rockers            40  18  22  .450  12  508  546
Wichita Wings              40  17  23  .425  13  480  583
Chicago Power              40   6  34  .150  24  420  706

First Round    Cleveland defeated Buffalo 22-10, 19-21 OT, 19-15 
               Harrisburg defeated Baltimore 17-4, 15-17 OT, 14-6 
               St. Louis defeated Detroit 15-12, 16-10 
               Kansas City defeated Milwaukee 10-12 OT, 20-9, 16-9 
Second Round   Harrisburg defeated Cleveland 17-7, 24-18, 16-12 
               St. Louis defeated Kansas City 40-22, 18-22, 21-6, 11-12,25-14
FINALS:        St. Louis defeated Harrisburg 19-9, 18-8, 12-7, 14-11 

All-Star Game: 2/19/1995, at Buffalo.  American Division 29, National Division 24.  Bryan Haynes (K.C.), and Zoran Karic (Cleveland) shared MVP honors, with Karic scoring a game high 10 points.
Leading scorers:  
                        Team    GP      3PG     2PG     1PG     AST     PTS
Hector Marinaro         CLE     32      11      81      7       53      255
Zoran Karic             CLE     31      8       51      19      96      241
Mark Moser              STL     40      6       68      15      26      195
Dennis Brose            DAY     37      8       62      16      27      191
Goran Hunjak            KC      40      3       54      12      52      181
Paul Dougherty          BUF     39      6       47      28      31      171
Kevin Sloan             BAL     40      5       50      18      32      165
Michael King            MIL     40      12      45      4       35      165
Wes Wade                KC      40      5       29      9       71      153
Sean Bowers             DET     40      11      37      10      31      148
Pato Margetic           DET     37      1       36      10      62      147
Ken Snow                CHI     40      1       51      4       27      136
Joe Reiniger            STL     34      10      36      5       26      133

Leading Goalkeepers: (min. 990 minutes)

                       Team    GPI     Min     Pts     W       L       Avg
Victor Nogueira         MIL     35      1917    329     20      14      10.30
Warren Westcoat         KC      29      1620    282     19      7       10.45
Jamie Swanner           STL     35      1961    380     25      8       11.63
Scoop Stanisic          HAR     25      1488    313     15      8       12.62
Bryan Finnerty          DET     36      2030    435     17      18      12.86
Kris Peat               WCH     30      1609    351     12      14      13.09
Otto Orf                CLE     32      1805    405     22      8       13.47
Cris Vaccaro            BAL     24      1344    314     9       11      14.02
Joe Mallia              BAL     21      1017    243     12      5       14.34
Mark Simpson            DAY     29      1508    378     8       19      15.04
Chris Damico            CAN     32      1595    491     3       23      18.47

Most Valuable Player:  Hector Marinaro, Cleveland Crunch
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Jamie Swanner, St. Louis Ambush
Coach of the Year:  Zoran Savic, Kansas City Attack
Defender of the Year:  Sean Bowers, Detroit Rockers
Rookie of the Year:  Henry Gutierrez, Cleveland Crunch

First All-NPSL Team:

G - Jamie Swanner, St. Louis
D - Sean Bowers, Detroit
D - Iain Fraser, Kansas City
F - Hector Marinaro, Cleveland
F - Zoran Karic, Cleveland
F - Mark Moser, St. Louis

Continental Indoor Soccer League

The CISL opened its third season with one activated franchise, the Seattle Seadogs, and an expansion team, the Mexico Toros. Carolina chose to remain inactive. Both Mexico and Seattle got off to good starts, winning their first games. Sacramento started like a storm, winning their first 9 games to set a new league record. This was indeed a year of records as Portland’s John Putterman recorded a record 15 blocks in the Pride’s 7-4 victory over Anaheim on July 30. San Jose’s Preki scored a record seven goals on August 18 in their 10-11 loss to Portland. One week later, Portland GK Jim Brazeau landed the league’s first shutout 10-0 over Pittsburgh. Finally, on September 30, the all-time attendance mark is set when 16,427 fans pack Reunion Arena in Dallas to watch the Sidekicks defeat Las Vegas 8-5 in a rematch of last season’s championship. The first CISL All-Star game was also held on August 15 at Portland, with the East beating the West 9-8.

The CISL adopted a three divisional lineup for 1995. Perennial rivals Dallas and Monterrey fought it out again in the East, with Monterrey this time reigning as divisional champ. Anaheim continued their winning ways, taking the South Division in a three-way tie that they won through home-away records against their opponents. In the West, Sacramento took top honors easily beating Sacramento. The semifinals saw Sacramento, Monterrey, Anaheim and Dallas emerge victorious. In the semifinals, Sacramento defeated Anaheim 5-4, 5-6 (OT), 5-1 while Monterrey defeated Dallas 9-8 (OT), and 5-4. The Championship series thus saw two neophyte teams participate, with Monterrey defeating Sacramento 12-6, 4-5 (OT), and 10-7. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, Pittsburgh, Mexico City, San Jose and Carolina folded, leaving a reduced roster to compete in 1996.

                Final CISL League Standings, 1995

Before the season, Mexico was added.  Seattle was activated.  Carolina
chose to be inactive for the 1995 season.

                            G   W   L    %    GB
        Eastern Division
Monterrey La Raza         28   23   5  .821   --
Dallas Sidekicks          28   18  10  .643   5.0
Washington Warthogs       28   13  15  .464  10.0
Pittsburgh Stingers       28   10  18  .357  13.0
Detroit Neon              28    5  23  .179  18.0

        Southern Division
Anaheim Splash            28   17  11  .607   --
Mexico Toros              28   17  11  .607   --
San Diego Sockers         28   17  11  .607   --
Arizona Sandsharks        28   11  17  .393   6.0
Houston Hotshots          28    8  20  .286   9.0

        Western Division
Sacramento Knights        28   20   8  .714   --
San Jose Grizzlies        28   15  13  .536   5.0
Las Vegas DustDevils      28   13  15  .464   7.0
Seattle SeaDogs           28   12  16  .429   8.0
Portland Pride            28   11  17  .393   9.0

Quarterfinals:          Sacramento defeated San Jose 7-8, 4-0, 5-4
                        Monterrey defeated Las Vegas 13-8, 7-4
                        Anaheim defeated San Diego 6-5, 3-4, 8-6
                        Dallas defeated Mexico 8-7, 2-0
Semifinals:             Sacramento defeated Anaheim 5-4, 5-6 (OT), 5-1
                        Monterrey defeated Dallas 9-8 (OT), 5-4
CHAMPIONSHIP:           Monterrey defeated Sacramento 12-6, 4-5 (OT), 10-7

After the season, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, San Jose,
Mexico City, and the inactive Carolina franchise folded.

Scoring Leaders:
                           GP   G   A  Pts
Tatu, Dallas               27  49  47  96
Preki, San Jose            24  51  38  89
Zizinho, Monterrey         28  55  30  85
Jeff Betts, Portland       27  35  49  84
David Doyle, Dallas        27  38  28  66
Drago, Pittsburgh          29  24  42  66
Jon Parry, Sacramento      23  40  25  65
Chris Scotti, Portland     28  39  25  64
Michael Collins, Seattle   27  24  39  63
Dante Washington, Washing. 27  39  21  60
Rob Baarts, Portland       28  37  22  59
Andy Chapman, Detroit      28  38  21  59
Jean Harbor, Seattle       26  40  18  58

Goalkeeping Leaders: (Min 810 minutes)
                                Min     Svs  GA   GAA
Ruben Fernandes, Anahiem       1147:19  338  100  5.23
Juan de la O                   1026:27  160   93  5.45
Antonio Cortes, San Diego      1505:31  368  149  5.94
Mike Dowler, Sacramento        1246:15  294  124  5.97
Raul Salas, Monterrey          1571:58  333  157  5.99
Dan Madsen, San Jose           1596:14  372  165  6.20

Most Valuable Player:  Preki, San Jose
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Mike Dowler, Sacramento
Coach of the Year:  Eric Geyer, Monterrey
Defender of the Year:  Danny Pena, Sacramento
Rookie of the Year:  Mark Chung, San Diego
Playoff MVP:  Zizinho, Monterrey

All-CISL First Team:

G - P. J. Johns, Pittsburgh
D - Sean Bowers, Anahiem
D/M - Iain Fraser, Sacramento
M - Mark Chung, San Diego
F - Jon Parry, Sacramento
F - Jeff Betts, Portland

1995 Women’s World Championship

The second Women’s World Champions proved to be a disappointment for the USA team, who had been favored to win, but came up short in the semifinals. This tournament (called in the USA the World Cup) was held in Sweden. Consistent with FIFA’s intention to hold a small, low-key affair, it was held mostly in smaller towns and was not given the promotion that it deserved. Crowds were small, averaging about 5,000 per game, but the competition was as intense as ever, and showed clearly the substantial gains the sport had made in the leading countries over the past four years.

The US had breezed through its qualifying round in 1994, defeating more than one team by double digit margins. They prepped for the event by attending the Algarve Cup, and playing a series of friendlies against major competition. The team looked fairly good after this performance, despite two losses at the Algarve Cup, against Norway and surprisingly, against Denmark.

In the Cup itself, the US had a scare as they were drawn 3-3 by China, on June 6, at Gavle, Sweden. Much worse for the US, was the loss to Michelle Akers to a concussion, and a knee injury. Tisha Venturini and Mia Hamm were the scorers in this one. Two days later, the US beat Denmark 2-0 on goals by Kristine Lilly and Tiffany Milbrett, but also suffered misfortune as Brianna Scurry was sent off after a dubious call, for handling outside the penalty area, facing a two-game suspension. Since the US had already used their three substitutions, they had to finish the game with Mia Hamm in goal. The Americans finished the pool play with a convincing 4-1 victory over Australia (goals scored by Fawcett, Overbeck, Foudy and Keller), with the game winning margin putting them atop the standings, and giving them an easier slot in the quarterfinals. Their quarterfinal foe, Japan was no match as the US prevailed 4-0. Kristine Lilly started the scoring with a spectacular 35 yard free kick in the 8th minute.

This lead to the fateful semifinal match against Norway. The US suffered as Michelle Akers returned to the lineup at less than full strength. Norway scored their only goal early in the game, by Ann Kristin Aarones off of a corner kick by Gro Espeseth. The US had several chances to tie the score, especially after a Norwegian player was sent off in the 76th minute, but to no avail. Even though two strong shots by Fawcett hit the bar with less than five minutes left, they simply could not land one in the net as the Norwegian goalkeeper tipped shots by Venturini and Milbrett over the bar, and Norway went on to the championship while the US had to settle for the consolation game. They kept their full lineup for that game, beating China 2-0.

The result was a huge disappointment given the favored status of the US. But at least they wouldn’t have to wait four years for the rematch — Soccer had been added as a medal sport for the 1996 Olympic games, to be held in the US.

Complete 1995 Women’s World Championship results

Men’s National Team

The Men’s team, under new interim coach Steve Sampson, changed their focus, working to develop a more offense-oriented game, focusing on attacking offense-oriented soccer. This led to some surprising results, including a successful USA Cup followed by a stunning performance in Copa America which gained Sampson an assignment as permanent head coach. The new focus, and renewed enthusiasm for the team lead to greatly increased attendance at home games, and augured well for World Cup 1998, although the optimism would later be exposed as premature.

The year started out slowly with a 2-2 draw against Uruguay in Dallas on March 25, followed by losses to Belgium and Costa Rica in April. June saw the debut of Sam’s Army, an internet-based group of fans dedicated to supporting the national team. The Army made their debut at the USA’s opening game at USA Cup ’95 at Foxboro, Mass on June 11, 1995.

That opening game started out badly for the US, falling behind twice in the opening 20 minutes of the game. John Harkes scored first to answer Nigeria’s goal in the 11th minute, and then Marcelo Balboa tied it up just before halftime. Early in the second half, a large contingent of Sam’s Army, frustrated at being forced to sit and keep quiet in their front row seats along the sideline, noticed the empty end zone section nearby, and exited en masse to sit in the end zone right behind the Nigeria goal. There they were able to stand, cheer, band their drum, chant and make a noisy show of support for the team. Inspired, the US picked up the offense, as other fans, noticing the commotion came over en masse. With the new cheering section eventually numbering several hundred, the atmosphere in the stadium became electric, and exploded when Cobi Jones scored in the 68th minute, leading to the USA’s eventual 3-2 victory.

This game set the pattern for Sam’s Army at future US home games, and inspired the US for the rest of the Cup, as they subsequently clobbered Mexico 4-0 in Washington on June 18, and drew with Colombia in a World Cup rematch, 0-0 at Piscataway, NJ, to take the Cup.

The big event of the year came shortly afterwards, Copa America ’95. The US had been invited along with Mexico to this South American tournament, and quickly made their impact felt in a 2-1 upset over Chile on July 8. This followed a surprising loss to Bolivia 0-1. The US needed to beat powerhouse Argentina (at this time ranked #8 by FIFA) to advance. Argentina, not needing another win to advance, and seeing the US as an easy win, rested several of their starters. They may well wish they hadn’t. In a stunner on July 14, the US shut out Argentina 3-0 on goals by Frank Klopas, Alexi Lalas and Eric Wynalda, to oust the Argentinians and advance to the quarterfinals. This sent a message out to the world that top players can only be rested at your peril.

This allowed the US to draw Mexico rather than Brazil in the quarterfinals. Once again, the US was victorious against Mexico, and this time in a major tournament, winning on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. Even the best things had to end, as the Americans fell to Brazil in the semifinal, but for the second time in a row, the US had held Brazil to a single goal, and went out with pride, although they slacked off in the 3rd place game, losing to Colombia 1-4. Midfielder John Harkes was named co-MVP of the tournament, and the US went home having marked their best performance ever in a major world soccer event. Shortly afterwards, Steve Sampson was given the head coach job on a permanent basis.

In early August, the US hosted the Parmalat Cup in East Rutherford, NJ. Parmalat just being an exhibition tournament, the US rested a few starters, and split the series, losing to Parma FC 1-2 and beating Benfica 2-1. The team took it easy for the rest of the year, just playing two friendlies, a 0-1 loss to Sweden on August 16, and beating Saudi Arabia 4-3 on October 8 in an exciting match that saw the US come back from a 3-0 deficit.

1995 USA Men’s National Team results

Women’s National Team

The Women’s National team had a hectic spring, practicing for the World Cup. The first major tournament was the Algarve cup in Portugal, during March. The Americans started off well, defeating Finland 2-0 and Portugal 3-0, but their game against Denmark was the day after the Portugal victory. The team, exhausted, lost 0-2, and lost the 3rd place game 3-3 on penalty kicks. Lilly scored 3 goals, and Gabarra had two to lead the US in scoring. Next up was the Tournoi International Feminin in France in April. The team was back in shape for this one, sweeping their matches 3-0 over Italy, 3-0, Canada 5-0 (A hat trick by Mia Hamm), and 3-0 against host France.

The next two months consisted of six friendlies, all victories. The victims included Finland (beaten twice, 2-0 and 6-0), Brazil (two more, 3-0 and 4-1), Canada (9-1, double scores by Hamm, Gabarra, Akers and Lilly), and a final 2-1 victory over Canada just two weeks before World Cup 1995 (See section above).

The US didn’t take long to recover from their disappointing World Cup bronze medal. Two weeks later, on July 30, they opened USA Cup ’95 in New Britain, CT with a 9-0 whomping of Chinese Taipei (Overbeck, Venturini, Hamm and Akers had two goals each). They followed that with a 4-2 victory over Australia and a 2-1 defeat of WWC’95 champion Norway in Washington, DC to take the Cup. Overall, the US still reigned supreme among women’s soccer, and the World Championship finish didn’t diminish their accomplishments one whit. Already the United States Soccer Federation was actively working to bring the World Cup to the United States for 1999, and were committed to making it a world-class event. Meanwhile, the US stars were just reaching their prime, and a long successful future lie ahead of them.

1995 USA Women’s National Team results

Pan-American Games, 1995

The 1995 Pan-American soccer tournament was held in Argentina, and like many of the previous tournaments, the US had little to be proud of in its performance, especially considering that this U-23 team would be playing in the Olympics on home turf the following year. The United States lost to Argentina 0-3, on March 12, then to Paraguay 0-2 March 14, and Honduras 0-4 two days later. Things don’t get much worse than this. The US could take comfort from the fact that Argentina went on to win the cup, defeating Mexico on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. After the Games, the US U-23 team played a hectic schedule during June and July, splitting games with Canada 1-3 and 4-2, beating St. Maarten’s national squad, and Sparta Rotterdam of the Netherlands 1-0. On July 2, the US defeated Chile 2-0, followed by a 0-2 loss at the hands of the USISL’s Hampton Roads Mariners, and a victory over the Trinidad national team. This see-saw ride showed that anything could happen, but if the US was to be successful in the Olympics, they had a lot of work ahead of them.

Complete results of 1995 U-20 World Cup<>/a>

Complete Pan-American game results

U-17 World Cup

Like the US Pan-American Games performance, this was nothing to write home about. At least the Americans hit the net. The first US game, in Quito, Ecuador on August 3, 1995, was against the host country, and Ecuador shut out the Americans 2-0. This was followed by a 1-2 loss to Japan on Saturday the 5th, and a 0-2 loss to Ghana on August 8th. Ghana and Ecuador advanced to the second round from Group A, and Ghana went on to win the cup, defeating Brazil 3-2 on August 20, off of goals by Bentil, (twice) and Iddrissu. This had to be a cause of concern, as these teams represented the generation that would be coming of age for the 1998 and 2002 world cups.

Complete results of 1995 U-17 World Cup<>/a>

World University Games

The 1995 World University Games were played in Fukuoka, Japan. The US got off to a bad start, being shut out 2-0 by Russia, and losing to South Korea 3-1. This was followed by a 2-1 victory over Nigeria, a draw with Uruguay (US won on PK’s), and a 3-0 shutout of Slovakia, leading the US to a ninth place overall finish.

U. S. Open Cup

The U. S. open Cup entered a new era as professional teams returned to participate for the first time since the early 1930s. The A-League and USISL both sent their top teams to take part, with 8 USISL and 4 A-League teams joining four amateur USASA survivors in the round of 16. The A-League had their day in this round, sending all four teams – Atlanta Ruckus, New York Centaurs, Colorado Foxes and Seattle Sounders, to the Quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, it was a different matter, with the USISL winning three of 4 matches. The richmond Kickers defeated Atlanta 2-1, Chicago Stingers beat New York 1-0, and El Paso Patriots defeated the Colorado Foxes 2-0. The Seattle Sounders defeated Chico Rooks 5-0 to keep A-League hopes alive.

In the semifinals, the Richmond Kickers defeated Chicago 4-0 and El Paso Patriots eliminated Seattle 1-0. The final was held August 17, 1995 at Socorro Sportsplex in El paso before 7,378 where the Richmond Kickers played El paso to a 1-1 draw before winning on penalty kicks.

The College Game

This was yet another year of rapid growth for college soccer. NCAA varsity teams increased from 641 to 676 for men, and 506 to 619 for women. The growth in women’s programs was particularly astonishing, and part of the credit must go to Title IX. This mandates equality between men and women in BOTH participation and funding of varsity sports. Soccer was a ready-made sport for adding to women’s programs. Paradoxically, Title IX sometimes created challenges for men’s programs at the division I level, as some universities were tempted to replace men’s programs with women’s, to help move the college towards compliance. Fortunately, few men’s programs were actually dropped, but the growth was definitely held back, with much of it occurring at the lower divisions. For people concerned about the vitality of men’s college soccer, blaming Title IX or women’s soccer for the men’s woes is missing the target, a more appropriate target would be varsity football which uses an enormous number of men’s scholarships, and causes problems for many men’s sports, not just soccer.

In the 1995 Men’s Division 1 Tournament, third round action saw Virginia defeat Brown 4-1, Duke defeat James Madison 3-2, Portland defeat Santa Clara 2-1, and Wisconsin defeat Southern Methodist 2-0. In the semifinals, Duke defeated Virginia 3-2 and Wisconsin defeated Portland 1-0. The championship was held on December 10 at Richmond, VA, where Wisconsin defeated Duke 2-0.

In the Women’s Division 1 tournament, third round action saw North Carolina defeat Santa Clara 2-0, Notre dame defeated Connecticut 2-0, Southern Methodist defeated North Carolina State 4-3 and Portland defeated Maryland 1-0. In the semifinals, Notre Dame defeated North Carolina 1-0 to end the Tar Heel’s decade-long streak of national championships, and Portland defeated Southern Methodist 4-2. The championship, minus its host team, was again held at Chapel Hill, NC, where on December 3, Notre Dame defeated Portland 1-0 in three overtimes, to become the first new champion of the 1990’s.

Division II Men’s champion: Southern Connecticut State defeated South Carolina Spartansburg 3-2 (3 OT)
Division II Women’s champion: Franklin Pierce defeated Barry 5-0
Division III Men’s champion: Williams defeated Methodist 2-1
Division III Women’s champion: UC San Diego defeated Methodist 3-0
NAIA Men’s Champion: Lindsey Wilson defeated Midwestern State 2-1
NAIA Women’s Champion: Lynn defeated Lyndenwood 4-1
NJCAA Division I Men’s Championship: Mercer County Community College 2, Yavapai 0
NJCAA Division III Men’s Championship: Herkimer Community College 4, Nassau Community College 3
NJCAA Women’s Championship: Monroe Community College 1, Champlain College 0
NCCAA Division 1 Championship: Judson College 5, Malone 0
NCCAA Division 2 Championship: Baptist Bible College 4, Northlands Baptist Bible 0

Final Men's Division 1 Coaches' Poll:

1.  Virginia
2.  UCLA
3.  Southern Methodist
4.  South Carolina
5.  Clemson
6.  Creighton
7.  Wisconsin
8.  Indiana
9.  Santa Clara
10. Rhode Island

Final Women's Division 1 Coaches' Poll:

1.  North Carolina
2.  Portland
3.  Southern Methodist
4.  Connecticut
5.  Notre Dame
6.  Maryland
7.  Duke
7.  Santa Clara (tie)
9.  Stanford
10. Virginia

Men's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team):

G - Chris Snitko, UCLA
D - Scott Lamphear, Wisconsin
D - Ian McIntyre, Hartwick
D - Brandon Pollard, Virginia
M - Ben Hickey, St. John's (NY)
M - Jesse Marsch, Princeton
M - Clint Mathis, South Carolina
F - Mike Fisher, Virginia
F - Matt McKeon, St. Louis
F - Toni Siikala, Campbell
F - Andrew Williams, Rhode Island

Women's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team):

G - Maja Hansen, New Hampshire
D - Jessica Fischer, Stanford
D - Erin Lynch, Massachusetts
D - Sara Whalen, Connecticut
D - Staci Wilson, North Carolina
M - Holly Manthei, Notre Dame
M - Jessica Reifer, Hartford
M - Emily Stauffer, Harvard
F - Danielle Garrett, Southern Methodist
F - Debbie Keller, North Carolina
F - Shannon MacMillan, Portland
F - Cindy Parlow, North Carolina

Men's National Award Winners:

Hermann Trophy:  Mike Fisher, Virginia
Missouri Athletic Club Award:  Matt McKeon, St. Louis
ISAA Player of the Year:  Matt McKeon, St. Louis
ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year:  Chris Snitko, UCLA
NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Jim Launder, Wisconsin

Women's National Award Winners:

Hermann Trophy: Shannon MacMillan, Portland
Missouri Athletic Club Award:  Shannon MacMillan, Portland
NSCAA Coach of the Year:  Chris Petrucelli, Notre Dame

Awards & Cups

US Open Cup Championship: Richmond Kickers (USISL) defeated El Paso Patriots (USISL) on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.

National Amateur Cup Championship: Denver Kickers defeated Team Lapine of Rochester on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw.

James P. McGuire Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-19): Countryside Lightning (Tampa, FL)
J. Ross Stewart Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-19): Town & Country Heather (Florida)
Andy Stone Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-18): Vardar (Detroit, MI)
Don Greer Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-17): Southern California Flyers
D.J. Niotis Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-16): Chicago Soccers

Frank Kelly Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-18): Raleigh (NC) Spartans
L. Moynihan Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-17): Central Valley Express (San Jose, CA)
Patricia Masotto Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-16): Sting (Dallas)

CONCACAF Champions Cup: The US did not participate this year. Saprissa Deportivo (Costa Rica) won the final round with 2 wins and 1 loss to take the Cup.

CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup: The US did not participate this year. U.A.G. (Mexico) defeated Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador) 2-1 to take the Cup.

U-20 World Youth Cup: The US did not qualify this year. Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 in the final.

Hall of Fame: In 1995, the US Soccer Hall of Fame inducted Clay Berling, George Brown, Al Kleinitis, Al Miller, and Willie Schaller. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Hall of Fame inducted Walter Bahr, Alden “Whitey” Burnham, Michey Cochrane, and Bill Shellenberger. The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame inducted Walter Ersing, and John McKeon.

Honda Award (Player of the Year): Alexi Lalas

USSF Players of the Year: Alexi Lalas, Mia Hamm

NSCAA Honor Award: Joseph Morrone, Connecticut, and Timothy O. Schum, Binghamton

NISOA Honor Award: Mike Moskowitz, N.Y.

NISOA Merit Award: Layton Shoemaker, Messiah College