1984 North American Soccer League season

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North American Soccer League -1984 Season-
Season 1984
Champions Chicago Sting
(2nd title)
Premiers Chicago Sting
most total points
*San Diego
best Won/Loss record
Matches played 108
Goals scored 427 (3.95 per match)
Top goalscorer Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Steve Zungul
(20 goals)
Highest attendance 52,621
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
(May 28)
Lowest attendance 2,267
Tampa Bay at San Diego
(August 12)
Average attendance 10,759
1983
Final Season →

The 1984 North American Soccer League season was the 72nd season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 17th with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada. It would be the 17th and final season of the NASL.

Season recap[edit]

By 1983, the NASL had shrunk to half of the 24 teams that made up the league in 1980. The ongoing salary war with the Major Indoor Soccer League had taken its toll, along with shrinking attendances and a lack of interest from American network TV broadcasters.[1] The league made plans to have both an outdoor and indoor presence, with a 24-game outdoor season and 40-game indoor season scheduled for 1984 and beyond.[2]

The winter of 1983 saw three more teams fall by the wayside. The Montreal Manic,[3] Team America,[4] and Seattle Sounders [5] would all fold. On top of that, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers decided to move to Minnesota due to a lack of suitable indoor arenas in the local area.[6] Things had gotten so bad for the league that the champion Tulsa Roughnecks almost folded two weeks after winning the Soccer Bowl. They survived, thanks to a fundraiser that put $65,000 in the team's coffers.[7] The league would soldier on with nine teams. While there wouldn't be huge changes on the field, the single game Soccer Bowl would be no more as the league moved to a best-of-three championship series format.[8] The revised NASL playoff format had the two division winners and the two next best teams qualify. The four teams would be seeded 1 to 4.[9]

When the season finally got underway in May, the nine teams were bunched together for most of the year as six teams finished within five points of each other. A hoped-for renaissance in New York never materialized, as the return of former Cosmos coach Eddie Firmani didn't lead the team back to the playoffs. Rumors about a possible return by Pelé proved to be without merit. However, not everyone struggled on the field. In Oakland, Steve Zungul and Branko Segota were able to translate their talents from the MISL to the outdoor game, finishing 1-2 in the league's scoring race. Zungul would earn league MVP honors despite the Golden Bay Earthquakes' last-place finish. For the fifth time (and second year in a row), the NASL's points system rewarded a team other than the one with the best record (Chicago instead of San Diego) the regular season title and number one playoff seed. Moreover Toronto and Minnesota also had better won-loss records than Chicago. Minnesota would not even qualify for the playoffs, despite having a better record than both Chicago and Vancouver.[10]

The Chicago Sting won the last NASL title with a two-game sweep over the Toronto Blizzard.[11] The Sting needed a last-second victory over the Cosmos in their regular season finale to qualify for the playoffs[12] and knock New York out. In the playoffs hey won a deciding game over the Vancouver Whitecaps, who themselves only made the playoffs thanks to the Cosmos' loss. Vancouver's Bob Lenarduzzi scored the quickest goal in NASL playoff history 46 seconds into the match, but Chicago rallied for the win.[13]

There were still plans for a 1985 outdoor season as the year ended, but the departures of Chicago Sting, Minnesota Strikers, New York Cosmos and the San Diego Sockers to the MISL for the indoor season made that difficult.[14] The Cosmos left both the NASL and MISL on February 22.[15] A month later, on March 28, 1985, the NASL suspended operations when only Toronto and Minnesota were interested in fielding teams for a 1985 "outdoor" season.[16] [17]

Regular Season[edit]

W = Wins, L = Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, BP = Bonus Points, Pts= point system

6 points for a win, 4 points for a shootout win, 0 points for a loss, 1 point for each regulation goal scored up to three per game.

Eastern Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
Chicago Sting 13 11 50 49 44 120 6-6 7-5
Toronto Blizzard 14 10 46 33 35 117 9-3 5-7
New York Cosmos 13 11 43 42 39 115 9-3 4-8
Tampa Bay Rowdies 9 15 43 61 35 87 9-3 0-12
Western Division W L GF GA BP Pts Home Road
San Diego Sockers 14 10 51 42 40 118 9-3 5-7
Vancouver Whitecaps 13 11 51 48 43 117 10-2 3-9
Minnesota Strikers 14 10 40 44 35 115 8-4 6-6
Tulsa Roughnecks 10 14 42 46 38 98 8-4 2-10
Golden Bay Earthquakes 8 16 61 62 49 95 4-8 4-8

Scoring Leaders[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Steve Zungul Golden Bay Earthquakes 24 20 10 50
Branko Šegota Golden Bay Earthquakes 24 18 11 47
Ron Futcher Tulsa Roughnecks 23 18 8 44
Karl-Heinz Granitza Chicago Sting 24 16 12 44
Peter Ward Vancouver Whitecaps 24 16 10 42
Ade Coker San Diego Sockers 22 16 7 39
David Byrne Toronto Blizzard 20 12 13 37
Alan Willey Minnesota Strikers 24 15 4 34
Jean Willrich San Diego Sockers 22 5 20 30
Roberto Bettega Toronto Blizzard 23 8 13 29

Leading Goalkeepers[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
Paul Hammond Toronto Blizzard 21 1937 25 1.16 14 7 7
Hubert Birkenmeier New York Cosmos 22 2007 34 1.50 13 9 2
Tino Lettieri Minnesota Strikers 18 1622 28 1.55 10 8 4
Victor Nogueira Chicago Sting 18 1663 30 1.62 9 9 3
Winston DuBose Tulsa Roughnecks 22 1931 38 1.77 10 12 4
Paul Bradshaw Vancouver Whitecaps 24 2161 46 1.92 13 11 4
Jim Gorsek San Diego Sockers 15 1369 32 2.10 7 7 0
Arnie Mausser Tampa Bay Rowdies 23 2100 57 2.44 9 14 3
Bill Irwin Golden Bay Earthquakes 21 1964 54 2.48 7 14 2

All-NASL Teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team Honorable Mention
Hubert Birkenmeier, New York G Paul Hammond, Toronto Paul Bradshaw, Vancouver
Andranik Eskandarian, New York D Dwight Lodeweges, Minnesota Gregg Thompson, Tampa Bay
Johan Neeskens, New York D Victor Moreland, Tulsa Fernando Clavijo, Golden Bay
Kevin Crow, San Diego D Bob Lenarduzzi, Vancouver Dan Canter, New York
Bruce Wilson, Toronto D Terry Moore, Tulsa Barry Wallace, Minnesota
Ray Hudson, Minnesota M Pato Margetic, Chicago Kaz Deyna, San Diego
Frans Thijssen, Vancouver M Jimmy Nicholl, Toronto Brian Quinn, San Diego
Vladislav Bogicevic, New York M Fran O’Brien, Vancouver Ace Ntsoelengoe, Toronto
Steve Zungul, Golden Bay F Alan Willey, Minnesota Carl Valentine, Vancouver
Karl-Heinz Granitza, Chicago F Branko Šegota, Golden Bay Roberto Cabañas, New York
Peter Ward, Vancouver F David Byrne, Toronto Ron Futcher, Tulsa

Playoffs[edit]

Top team from each division qualified automatically. The next two teams with the highest point totals qualified regardless of which division they were in.[18]

Semifinals Soccer Bowl Series '84
           
1 Chicago Sting 2
4 Vancouver Whitecaps 1
1 Chicago Sting 2
3 Toronto Blizzard 0
2 San Diego Sockers 0
3 Toronto Blizzard 2


Semifinals[edit]

Series Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Chicago Sting 2 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps 0 - 1 (OT) 3 - 1 4 - 3 September 18 -5,484
September 23 -14,753
September 28 -10,139
San Diego Sockers 0 - 2 Toronto Blizzard 1 - 2 0 - 1 x September 18 -4,204
September 21 -12,460


Soccer Bowl Series '84[edit]

Main article: Soccer Bowl '84
Series Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Chicago Sting 2 - 0 Toronto Blizzard 2 - 1 3 - 2 x October 1 Comiskey Park 8,352
October 3 Varsity Stadium 16,842

Game One[edit]

October 1
Chicago Sting 2–1 Toronto Blizzard
Margetic Goal 51'
Rojas Goal 86'
Wilson Goal 16'
Comiskey Park, Chicago[19]
Attendance: 8,352
Referee: David Socha[20][21]

Game Two[edit]

October 3
Toronto Blizzard 2–3 Chicago Sting
Paskin Goal 71'
Bettega Goal 73'
Simanton Goal 17'
Margetic Goal 68'82'
Varsity Stadium, Toronto[22]
Attendance: 16,842[23]
Referee: Bill Maxwell[24][25]


1984 NASL Champions: Chicago Sting

Playoff Scoring Leaders[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Pato Margetic Chicago Sting 5 6 1 13
Karl-Heinz Granitza Chicago Sting 5 3 6 12
Manny Rojas Chicago Sting 5 2 3 7
Ace Ntsoelengoe Toronto Blizzard 4 1 3 5
David Byrne Toronto Blizzard 4 1 2 4
Roberto Bettega Toronto Blizzard 4 1 2 4

Playoff Leading Goalkeepers[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
Paul Hammond Toronto Blizzard 4 360 6 1.50 2 2 1
Zoltan Toth San Diego Sockers 2 180 3 1.50 0 2 0
Victor Nogueira Chicago Sting 5 459 8 1.60 4 1 0
Paul Bradshaw Vancouver Whitecaps 3 279 7 2.33 1 2 0

Post season awards[edit]

Team Attendance Totals[edit]

Club Games Total Average
Vancouver Whitecaps 12 182,494 15,208
Minnesota Strikers 12 171,151 14,263
New York Cosmos 12 153,807 12,817
Toronto Blizzard 12 137,420 11,452
Tampa Bay Rowdies 12 131,194 10,933
Golden Bay Earthquakes 12 123,383 10,282
Chicago Sting 12 100,512 8,376
Tulsa Roughnecks 12 93,567 7,797
San Diego Sockers 12 68,422 5,702
OVERALL 108 1,161,950 10,759

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miranda, Randy (December 18, 1983). "Soccer: It flourishes for participants, but suffers at gate". Lakeland Ledger. p. 6C. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Must Play in '84, Sting Is Told". New York Times. February 10, 1984. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  3. ^ Phillips, Randy (November 5, 1983). "Molson Sounds Last Call For Manic". Montreal Gazette. p. H-2. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  4. ^ "NASL President Denies Team America Disbanded". Palm Beach Post. September 9, 1983. p. D2. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Seattle Sounders folding". The Spokesman-Review. September 9, 1983. p. C1. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  6. ^ Marmor, Jon (December 1, 1983). "Strikers' Departure Is Official". Palm Beach Post. p. D1. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  7. ^ "NASL results: 1 team lost, 1 team saved". Milwaukee Journal. November 5, 1983. p. 12. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  8. ^ "NASL changes Soccer Bowl format". St. Petersburg Times. September 27, 1983. p. 6C. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  9. ^ "N.A.S.L. Revises Playoff Format". New York Times. March 14, 1984. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  10. ^ http://homepages.sover.net/~spectrum/year/1984.html
  11. ^ "Sting wins Soccer Bowl". Milwaukee Sentinel. October 4, 1984. p. B2. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  12. ^ Yannis, Alex (September 16, 1984). "COSMOS LOSE TO STING AND MISS PLAYOFFS". New York Times. p. E11. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  13. ^ "Sting advances to NASL finals". Milwaukee Sentinel. September 29, 1984. p. B5. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  14. ^ "MISL takes four NASL teams". Boca Raton News. August 31, 1984. p. 2C. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  15. ^ "Cosmos pull out of MISL, NASL". Ellensburg Daily Record. February 23, 1985. p. 11. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  16. ^ "NASL down to two teams, won't play this season". Eugene Register-Guard. March 29, 1985. p. 2D. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  17. ^ "NASL suspends operations for 1985" page 1D Minneapolis Star and Tribune March 29, 1985
  18. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19840428&id=EaBSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=V30DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6993,3735642
  19. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=aeJHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9_8MAAAAIBAJ&pg=3034,181174&dq=toye+sting+champions&hl=en
  20. ^ "NASL Soccer Bowl 84 - Game 1 (Sting vs. Blizzard) - First Half - YouTube". Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  21. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te2aKJWEpLQ
  22. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E3UfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DHIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1307,762232&dq=margetic+leads+sting&hl=en
  23. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ViozAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RO8FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1393,1734763&dq=sting+champs+again&hl=en
  24. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8acj_s5FciE
  25. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U73iltcza7U
  26. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VM1jAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cAENAAAAIBAJ&pg=1813,6450390&dq=soccer+reviews+varied&hl=en

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. 

External links[edit]