1978 North American Soccer League season

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North American Soccer League
Season 1978
Champions Cosmos
(3rd title)
Premiers Cosmos
(2nd title)
Matches played 360
Goals scored 1240 (3.44 per match)
Top goalscorer Italy Giorgio Chinaglia
(34 goals)
Biggest home win DET 10-0 SJ
(July 12)[1]
Biggest away win LA 0–5 MIN
(August 2)[2]
Highest scoring DET 10-0 SJ
(July 12)[3]
TOR 8-2 OAK
(June 30)[4]
Longest winning run 13, Vancouver
(June 22 – August 6)[5]
Longest losing run 13, San Jose
(May 31 – July 19)[6]
Highest attendance 71,219
Seattle at Cosmos
(May 21)
[7]
Lowest attendance 1,538
N.E. at Chicago (May 7)[8]
Average attendance 13,084[9]
1977
1979

The 1978 North American Soccer League season was the 66th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 11th with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada.

Season recap[edit]

Bolstered by the success of the previous season, the league added six teams to reach 24 in total.[10] The Colorado Caribous launched in Denver,[11] the Detroit Express[12] and Houston Hurricane[13] became the second and third team to play indoors, the Philadelphia Fury brought soccer back to Philadelphia,[14] the New England Tea Men would be the third attempt to have NASL soccer succeed in the Boston area and the Memphis Rogues would bring pro soccer to Tennessee.

There were also the usual franchise movements. Team Hawaii became the Tulsa Roughnecks,[15] the Las Vegas Quicksilver became the San Diego Sockers, the Connecticut Bicentennials became the Oakland Stompers and the St. Louis Stars moved to Anaheim to become the California Surf.

With so many new clubs, the NASL realigned into a six-division format while expanding the playoffs to include 16 teams. The new alignment was a direct copy of the NFL's setup, as the new three-team conferences were called the 'American Soccer Conference' and the 'National Soccer Conference', respectively. Each conference had East, Central and West divisions as well.[16]

The top two teams in each division would quality for the playoffs. The other spots would go to the next best two teams in the conference, regardless of division. The top three seeds went to the division winners, seeds 4-6 went to the second place teams and the last two seeds were known as 'wild-cards' – another nod to the NFL. The winners of each successive round would be reseeded within the conference. The first round and the Soccer Bowl were single games, while the conference semifinals and championships were two-game series. As in the 1977 playoffs, if both teams were tied at one win apiece at the conclusion of Game 2, there would be a 30-minute sudden-death mini-game and a shootout if necessary.[17]

The Cosmos would set records for most wins and points in an NASL season, thanks to their 24-6 regular-season mark (shared with the Vancouver Whitecaps) and 212 points. The Cosmos beat the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 7-0 on opening day[18] and never looked back, scoring 88 times while losing just three games in regulation. Giorgio Chinaglia scored 34 goals and 79 points, setting league records in the process. He didn't win regular season MVP honors, however. That award went to New England's Mike Flanagan, who scored 30 goals and 68 points while leading the Tea Men to an unlikely ASC East title. At the age of 36, Alan Hinton of Vancouver set a league record of his own with 30 assists.[19]

Still, the Cosmos needed a major rally to beat the Minnesota Kicks in the NSC playoffs. The Kicks won the first game by an extraordinary 9-2 score behind Alan Willey's five goals,[20] but the Cosmos won Game 2 4-0 back at Giants Stadium. The resulting mini-game went to a shootout, and Carlos Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer scored goals to keep the Cosmos alive.[21] The Portland Timbers were shut out over both games of the National Conference final,[22] and the Tampa Bay Rowdies were beaten before 74,901 fans at Giants Stadium in the Soccer Bowl.[23] The Cosmos became the first back-to-back champions in NASL history.

After the season Colorado would move to Atlanta,[24] while Oakland would move to Edmonton just two months before the start of the 1979 NASL season.[25] The Stompers had drawn over 32,000 for their opening game at the Oakland Coliseum,[26] but were drawing crowds under 10,000 by the end of the season. The Caribous had the worst record in the league and only drew one crowd bigger than 10,000 the entire year.

Regular season[edit]

W = Wins, L = Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, BP = Bonus Points, Pts = Point System

6 points for a win, 0 points for a loss, 1 point for each regulation goal scored up to three per game.

American Conference[edit]

Eastern Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
New England Tea Men 19 11 62 39 51 165 10-5 9-6
Tampa Bay Rowdies 18 12 63 48 57 165 11-4 7-8
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 16 14 50 59 47 143 12-3 4-11
Philadelphia Fury 12 18 40 58 39 111 7-8 5-10
Central Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
Detroit Express 20 10 68 36 56 176 10-5 10-5
Chicago Sting 12 18 57 64 51 123 7-8 5-10
Memphis Rogues 10 20 43 58 41 101 8-7 2-13
Houston Hurricane 10 20 37 61 36 96 5-10 5-10
Western Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
San Diego Sockers 18 12 63 56 56 164 12-3 6-9
California Surf 13 17 43 49 37 115 9-6 4-11
Oakland Stompers 12 18 34 59 31 103 7-8 5-10
San Jose Earthquakes 8 22 36 81 35 83 4-11 4-11

National Conference[edit]

Eastern Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
Cosmos 24 6 88 39 68 212 14-1 10-5
Washington Diplomats 16 14 55 47 49 145 11-4 5-10
Toronto Metros-Croatia 16 14 58 47 48 144 9-6 7-8
Rochester Lancers 14 16 47 52 47 131 10-5 4-11
Central Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
Minnesota Kicks 17 13 58 43 54 156 11-4 6-9
Tulsa Roughnecks 15 15 49 46 42 132 11-4 4-11
Dallas Tornado 14 16 51 53 47 131 9-6 5-10
Colorado Caribous 8 22 34 66 33 81 5-10 3-12
Western Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
Vancouver Whitecaps 24 6 68 29 55 199 13-2 11-4
Portland Timbers 20 10 50 36 47 167 13-2 7-8
Seattle Sounders 15 15 50 45 48 138 11-4 4-11
Los Angeles Aztecs 9 21 36 69 34 88 3-12 6-9

NASL League Leaders[edit]

Scoring[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals (worth 2 points), A = Assists (worth 1 point), Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Giorgio Chinaglia Cosmos 30 34 11 79
Mike Flanagan New England Tea Men 28 30 8 68
Trevor Francis Detroit Express 20 22 10 54
Kevin Hector Vancouver Whitecaps 28 21 10 52
Rodney Marsh Tampa Bay Rowdies 26 18 16 52
Jeff Bourne Dallas Tornado 30 21 8 50
Karl-Heinz Granitza Chicago Sting 22 19 9 47
Alan Willey Minnesota Kicks 30 21 3 45
Ivan Lukačević Toronto Metros-Croatia 17 16 5 37
David Irving Fort Lauderdale Strikers 28 16 5 37
Bob Lenarduzzi Vancouver Whitecaps 29 10 17 37
Vladislav Bogićević Cosmos 30 10 17 37

Goalkeeping[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP Min GA GAA W L SO
Phil Parkes Vancouver Whitecaps 29 2650 28 0.95 23 6 10
Erol Yasin Cosmos 22 1916 24 1.13 17 5 6
Mick Poole Portland Timbers 30 2783 36 1.16 20 10 9
Steve Hardwick Detroit Express 30 2734 36 1.19 20 10 9
Kevin Keelan New England Tea Men 29 2609 36 1.24 18 11 7
Winston DuBose Tampa Bay Rowdies 15 1352 19 1.27 8 7 4
Željko Bilecki Toronto Metros-Croatia 17 1550 23 1.34 10 7 6
Dave Jokerst California Surf 17 1574 24 1.37 9 8 6
Colin Boulton Tulsa Roughnecks 28 2531 39 1.39 17 11 10
Tony Chursky Seattle Sounders 28 2617 41 1.41 14 14 9

NASL All-Stars[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team Honorable Mention
Kevin Keelan, New England G Alan Mayer, San Diego Bill Irwin, Washington
Carlos Alberto, Cosmos D Bruce Wilson, Chicago Maurice Whittle, Ft. Lauderdale
Mike England, Seattle D Arsene Auguste, Tampa Bay Werner Roth, Cosmos
Ray Evans, California D John Craven, Vancouver Jim Steele, Washington
Chris Turner, New England D Alan Merrick, Minnesota Dave D'Errico, New England
Franz Beckenbauer, Cosmos M Vladislav Bogićević, Cosmos Ace Ntsoelengoe, Minnesota
Gerry Daly, New England M Alan Ball, Philadelphia George Best, Ft. Lauderdale
Rodney Marsh, Tampa Bay M Ray Hudson, Ft. Lauderdale József Horváth, Rochester
Mike Flanagan, New England F Steve Hunt, Cosmos Dennis Tueart, Cosmos
Trevor Francis, Detroit F Steve Wegerle, Tampa Bay Karl-Heinz Granitza, Chicago
Giorgio Chinaglia, Cosmos F Kevin Hector, Vancouver Clyde Best, Portland / Jorgen Kristensen, Chicago

Playoffs[edit]

Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Championships Soccer Bowl '78
                       
A1 Detroit Express 1
A8 Philadelphia Fury 0
A1 Detroit Express 1
A7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2
A2 New England Tea Men 1
A7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3
A7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
A4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2
A3 San Diego Sockers 2
A6 California Surf 1
A3 San Diego Sockers 1
A4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2
A4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3
A5 Chicago Sting 1
A4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 1
N1 Cosmos 3
N1 Cosmos 5
N8 Seattle Sounders 2
N1 Cosmos 2
N3 Minnesota Kicks 1
N3 Minnesota Kicks 3
N6 Tulsa Roughnecks 1
N1 Cosmos 2
N4 Portland Timbers 0
N2 Vancouver Whitecaps 4
N7 Toronto Metros-Croatia 0
N2 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
N4 Portland Timbers 2
N4 Portland Timbers 2
N5 Washington Diplomats 1


Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

August 8 Detroit Express 1 – 0 Philadelphia Fury Pontiac Silverdome • 22,456

August 9 New England Tea Men 1 – 3 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers Foxboro Stadium • 18,672

August 8 San Diego Sockers 2 – 1 California Surf San Diego Stadium • 6,238

August 8 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 – 1 Chicago Sting Tampa Stadium • 26,596

August 9 New York Cosmos 5 – 2 Seattle Sounders Giants Stadium • 47,780

August 10 Minnesota Kicks 3 – 1 Tulsa Roughnecks Metropolitan Stadium • 36,478

August 9 Vancouver Whitecaps 4 – 0 Toronto Metros-Croatia Empire Stadium • 30,811

August 9 Portland Timbers 2 – 1 (OT) Washington Diplomats Civic Stadium • 14,230


Conference Semifinals[edit]

In 1978, if a playoff series was tied after two games, a 30 minute, golden goal, mini-game was played. If neither team scored in the mini-game, they would move on to a shoot-out to determine a series winner. *Teams were re-seeded for the Conference Semifinals based on regular season point totals. This affected only one of the four series; Tampa Bay versus San Diego.[27]

(higher seed) Game 1 Game 2 Mini-game (lower seed hosts Game 1)
Detroit Express - Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 3 - 4 (SO, 2–3) 1 - 0 0 - 1 August 13 -11,517 • August 16 -32,219
*Tampa Bay Rowdies - San Diego Sockers 1 - 0 1 - 2 1 - 0 August 14 -8,014 • August 17 -32,495
Cosmos - Minnesota Kicks 2 - 9 4 - 0 1 - 0 (SO, 2–1) August 14 -45,863 • August 16 -60,199
Vancouver Whitecaps - Portland Timbers 0 - 1 1 - 2 x August 12 -16,437 • August 16 -32,266


Conference Championships[edit]

(higher seed) Game 1 Game 2 Mini-game (lower seed hosts Game 1)
Tampa Bay Rowdies - Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 2 - 3 3 - 1 1 - 0 (SO, 2–1) August 20 -16,286 • August 23 -37,249
Cosmos - Portland Timbers 1 - 0 4 - 0 x August 18 -24,515 • August 23 -65,287


Soccer Bowl '78[edit]

Main article: Soccer Bowl '78

August 27
4 pm
Cosmos 3–1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tueart Goal (Iarusci, Hunt) 30:42'
Chinaglia Goal  44:38'
TueartGoal (Iarusci, Roth) 76:49'
Mirandinha Goal (Robb) 73:34'
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Attendance: 74,901
Referee: Jim Highet (Canada)

1978 NASL Champions: Cosmos

Playoff Statistics[edit]

Mini-games are not counted as games played when compiling individual statistics. They are included in the minutes played category.

Scoring[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals (worth 2 points), A = Assists (worth 1 point), Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Dennis Tueart Cosmos 6 6 5 17
Alan Willey Minnesota Kicks 3 7 0 14
Giorgio Chinaglia Cosmos 6 5 2 12
David Irving Fort Lauderdale Strikers 5 5 0 10
Rodney Marsh Tampa Bay Rowdies 5 3 3 9

Goalkeeping[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP Min GA GAA W L SO
Phil Parkes Vancouver Whitecaps 3 270 3 1.00 1 2 1
Alan Mayer San Diego Sockers 3 225 3 1.00 1 1 0
Steve Hardwick Detroit Express 3 306 4 1.33 2 1 2
Mick Poole Portland Timbers 5 457 8 1.60 3 2 1
Winston DuBose Tampa Bay Rowdies 6 574 10 1.67 3 3 1

Post season awards[edit]

Team Attendance Totals[edit]

[29]

Club Games Total Average
Cosmos 15 717,842 47,856
Minnesota Kicks 15 462,904 30,860
Seattle Sounders 15 338,677 22,578
Tampa Bay Rowdies 15 271,856 18,124
Vancouver Whitecaps 15 235,866 15,724
San Jose Earthquakes 15 214,777 14,318
Detroit Express 15 182,906 12,194
New England Tea Men 15 180,954 12,064
Oakland Stompers 15 178,941 11,929
Portland Timbers 15 177,049 11,803
Tulsa Roughnecks 15 168,834 11,256
California Surf 15 167,569 11,171
Washington Diplomats 15 161,741 10,783
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 15 157,188 10,479
Los Angeles Aztecs 15 139,514 9,301
Memphis Rogues 15 135,482 9,032
Dallas Tornado 15 128,149 8,543
Philadelphia Fury 15 121,127 8,075
Houston Hurricane 15 116,247 7,750
Colorado Caribous 15 111,266 7,418
Rochester Lancers 15 101,402 6,760
Toronto Metros-Croatia 15 93,501 6,233
San Diego Sockers 15 77,185 5,146
Chicago Sting 15 69,267 4,618
OVERALL 360 4,710,244 13,084

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Francis steals Express' show". Windsor Star. July 13, 1978. p. 26. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  2. ^ NASL: A Complete Record Of The North American Soccer League. 1989. p. 196. 
  3. ^ 1979 Official North American Soccer League Guide. 1979. p. 152. 
  4. ^ NASL: A Complete Record Of The North American Soccer League. 1989. p. 199. 
  5. ^ "NASL prepares for playoff wars". St. Petersburg Times. August 7, 1978. p. 7C. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  6. ^ NASL: A Complete Record Of The North American Soccer League. 1989. p. 204. 
  7. ^ "Chinaglia powers Cosmos". The Spokesman-Review. May 22, 1978. p. 20. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  8. ^ NASL: A Complete Record Of The North American Soccer League. 1989. p. 188. 
  9. ^ "Attendance Project: NASL". Kenn Tomasch. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ Soccer In A Football World. 2008. pp. 186–187. 
  11. ^ "NASL May Add Six Teams". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 31, 1977. p. 3-C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  12. ^ "Soccer League Eyes Expansion". The Spokesman-Review. October 13, 1977. p. 26. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  13. ^ "Houston May Be Alive And Kicking In NASL". Evening Independent. January 5, 1978. p. 2-C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  14. ^ "NASL Song: Rock Stars Get In Act". Evening Independent. November 16, 1977. p. 2-C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Tulsa Gets Team Hawaii". Milwaukee Sentinel. November 16, 1977. p. 16. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  16. ^ Tierney, Mike (January 10, 1978). "Rowdies, Strikers Mates - But Not Cosmos". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  17. ^ 1979 Official North American Soccer League Guide. 1979. p. 367. 
  18. ^ "Minus A Star, Cosmos Shine". Evening Independent. April 3, 1978. p. 2-C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  19. ^ Pentz, Matt (February 13, 2015). "In his own endearing way, Alan Hinton deals with cancer battle". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2015-02-14. 
  20. ^ "Willey's Five Goals Propel Kicks". Ocala Star-Banner. August 15, 1978. p. 5B. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  21. ^ "Express Fall To Strikers In OT". Lakeland Ledger. August 17, 1978. p. 4D. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  22. ^ "Cosmos Cut Up Timbers". Evening Independent. August 24, 1978. p. 2-C. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  23. ^ Tierney, Mike (August 28, 1978). "Cosmos Spoil Rowdies' Bid For Crown". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1A. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  24. ^ "Sale Of NASL Caribous Approved". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 4, 1978. p. 4-D. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  25. ^ "NASL owners okay move to Edmonton". Lewiston Morning Tribune. February 23, 1979. p. 7B. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  26. ^ "Shootout Thriller: 32,000 See Stompers Edge Earthquakes". Modesto Bee. April 3, 1978. p. B-3. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  27. ^ Rosenblatt, Richard (August 16, 1978). "Complicated Playoffs May Kick Out Best NASL Team". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 1-C. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  28. ^ "NASL all-star team picked". Ellensburg Daily Record. August 26, 1978. p. 8. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  29. ^ "Attendance Project: NASL". Kenn Tomasch. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 

1979 Official North American Soccer League Guide. New York, NY: North American Soccer League. 1979. 

Jose, Colin (1989). NASL: A Complete Record of the North American Soccer League. Derby, England: Breedon Books. 

Jose, Colin (2003). North American Soccer League Encyclopedia. Haworth, NJ: St. Johann Press. 

Wangerin, David (2008). Soccer In A Football World. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. 

External links[edit]