1985–86 Major Indoor Soccer League season

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The 1985-86 Major Indoor Soccer League season was the eighth in league history and ended with the San Diego Sockers winning their third MISL title in four seasons over the Minnesota Strikers. It was the Sockers' fifth straight indoor title, as they had also won the North American Soccer League's indoor league in 1982 and 1984.

For the most part, the league format remained unchanged. A 48-game season would be followed with an eight-team playoff, similar to the playoff system used from 1982 to 1984. There would be one major change in gameplay, however. The shootout, part of the MISL since its inception, was dropped in favor of multiple overtime periods to decide games, if necessary.[1] There was a steady national TV contract for the first time since 1983, as ESPN would televise 15 regular-season games and assorted playoff games.[2]

The East and West division races were a study in contrasts. San Diego ran away with the West again, despite selling reigning league MVP Steve Zungul to the Tacoma Stars for $200,000 halfway through the regular season.[3] Tacoma would go 11-8 with Zungul, who won the league scoring title for the sixth time in the MISL's eight years. However, the Stars lost in four games to the Sockers in the league semifinals.[4]

In the East, the six-team division was separated by only four games. The playoff positions were only confirmed when the Baltimore Blast defeated the Pittsburgh Spirit in the season finale.[5] The Dallas Sidekicks switched divisions and promptly won 13 more games than the previous year, making the playoffs for the first time and earning Gordon Jago Coach of the Year honors.

For the second straight year, the Strikers and Sockers went to a deciding game in their playoff matchup. San Diego became the first team to rally from a two-game deficit to win a MISL playoff series, as the Strikers' 3-1 lead in the championship series disappeared under three straight Socker wins. In the first seventh game in MISL history, the Sockers held off a late Minnesota charge to win 5-3. San Diego's Brian Quinn scored two goals and an assist on his way to playoff MVP honors.[6]

After the season, the Spirit folded,[7] and the league made plans to return to New York with an expansion franchise.

Teams[edit]

Team City/Area Arena
Baltimore Blast Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena
Chicago Sting Chicago, Illinois Chicago Stadium
Cleveland Force Cleveland, Ohio Richfield Coliseum
Dallas Sidekicks Dallas, Texas Reunion Arena
Kansas City Comets Kansas City, Missouri Kemper Arena
Los Angeles Lazers Inglewood, California The Forum
Minnesota Strikers Bloomington, Minnesota Met Center
Pittsburgh Spirit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Civic Arena (Pittsburgh)
San Diego Sockers San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena
St. Louis Steamers St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena
Tacoma Stars Tacoma, Washington Tacoma Dome
Wichita Wings Wichita, Kansas Kansas Coliseum

Regular Season Schedule[edit]

The 1985-86 regular season schedule ran from October 25, 1985 to April 6, 1986. Despite the loss of two teams from the 1984-85 lineup, the schedule remained at 48 games.[8]

Final Standings[edit]

Playoff teams in bold.

Eastern Division W L Pct. GB GF GA Home Road
Cleveland Force 27 21 .563 -- 252 212 15-9 12-12
Minnesota Strikers 26 22 .542 1 232 242 16-8 10-14
Dallas Sidekicks 25 23 .521 2 220 231 16-8 9-15
Baltimore Blast 24 24 .500 3 211 201 17-7 7-17
Chicago Sting 23 25 .479 4 196 196 14-10 9-15
Pittsburgh Spirit 23 25 .479 4 221 237 18-6 5-19
Western Division W L Pct. GB GF GA Home Road
San Diego Sockers 36 12 .750 -- 308 195 21-3 15-9
Wichita Wings 27 21 .563 9 252 212 15-9 12-12
Tacoma Stars 23 25 .479 13 208 232 15-9 8-16
St. Louis Steamers 23 25 .479 13 223 233 16-8 7-17
Kansas City Comets 18 30 .375 18 217 268 12-12 6-18
Los Angeles Lazers 13 35 .271 23 197 270 9-15 4-20

Playoffs[edit]

Division Semifinals Division Finals Championship Series
                 
E1 Cleveland Force 3
E4 Baltimore Blast 2
E1 Cleveland Force 1
E2 Minnesota Strikers 3
E2 Minnesota Strikers 3
E3 Dallas Sidekicks 1
E2 Minnesota Strikers 3
W1 San Diego Sockers 4
W1 San Diego Sockers 3
W4 St. Louis Steamers 1
W1 San Diego Sockers 3
W3 Tacoma Stars 1
W2 Wichita Wings 1
W3 Tacoma Stars 3

Quarterfinals[edit]

Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Date Away Home Attendance
April 8 Baltimore 2 Cleveland 7 8,666
April 13 Baltimore 8 Cleveland 3 19,468
April 15 Cleveland 6 Baltimore 8 7,631
April 18 Cleveland 4 Baltimore 3 12,232
Kai Haaskivi scored at 3:21 of overtime
April 20 Baltimore 1 Cleveland 5 16,626
Cleveland wins series 3-2
Minnesota vs. Dallas
Date Away Home Attendance
April 12 Dallas 3 Minnesota 5 7,101
April 13 Dallas 2 Minnesota 7 5,151
April 16 Minnesota 3 Dallas 4 10,218
April 19 Minnesota 7 Dallas 4 13,908
Minnesota wins series 3-1
San Diego vs. St. Louis
Date Away Home Attendance
April 10 St. Louis 6 San Diego 7 7,506
Gary Collier scored at 11:31 of overtime
April 12 St. Louis 3 San Diego 5 10,123
April 16 San Diego 7 St. Louis 8 7,506
April 19 San Diego 10 St. Louis 4 9,464
San Diego wins series 3-1
Wichita vs. Tacoma
Date Away Home Attendance
April 9 Tacoma 5 Wichita 6 7,382
April 12 Tacoma 5 Wichita 4 9,561
April 16 Wichita 4 Tacoma 5 14,162
Fran O'Brien scored at 8:02 of overtime
April 18 Wichita 1 Tacoma 3 17,094
Tacoma wins series 3-1

Semifinals[edit]

Cleveland vs. Minnesota
Date Away Home Attendance
April 25 Minnesota 2 Cleveland 5 18,797
April 27 Minnesota 6 Cleveland 2 16,877
May 2 Cleveland 5 Minnesota 6 10,254
Thompson Usiyan scored at 2:08 of overtime
May 4 Cleveland 3 Minnesota 7 10,351
Minnesota wins series 3-1
San Diego vs. Tacoma
Date Away Home Attendance
April 23 Tacoma 4 San Diego 10 8,308
April 29 Tacoma 2 San Diego 7 9,432
May 1 San Diego 3 Tacoma 4 15,290
May 7 San Diego 8 Tacoma 5 19,476
San Diego wins series 3-1

Championship Series[edit]

San Diego vs. Minnesota
Date Away Home Attendance
May 9 Minnesota 2 San Diego 7 10,370
May 11 Minnesota 6 San Diego 1 9,172
May 16 San Diego 2 Minnesota 7 15,756
May 18 San Diego 3 Minnesota 4 15,849
May 21 Minnesota 4 San Diego 7 10,613
May 23 San Diego 6 Minnesota 3 15,944
May 26 Minnesota 3 San Diego 5 10,613
San Diego wins series 4-3

Regular Season Player Statistics[edit]

[9]

Scoring Leaders[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Steve Zungul San Diego/Tacoma 46 55 60 115
Erik Rasmussen Wichita Wings 47 67 41 108
Branko Segota San Diego Sockers 45 60 46 106
Tatu Dallas Sidekicks 44 49 32 81
Craig Allen Cleveland Force 43 50 31 81
Stan Stamenkovic Baltimore Blast 45 37 44 81
Karl-Heinz Granitza Chicago Sting 43 28 47 75
Chico Borja Wichita Wings 37 33 41 74
Preki Tacoma Stars 48 41 30 71
Hugo Perez San Diego Sockers 41 41 25 66

Leading Goalkeepers[edit]

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

Player Team GP Min GA GAA W L
Keith Van Eron Baltimore Blast 27 1491 91 3.66 14 10
Jim Gorsek San Diego Sockers 24 1323 82 3.72 19 2
David Brcic Pittsburgh Spirit 43 2659 167 3.77 21 22
Mike Dowler Tacoma Stars 23 1327 92 4.16 9 12
Zoltan Toth San Diego Sockers 28 1562 109 4.19 17 9
Cris Vaccaro Cleveland Force 36 2012 143 4.26 19 14
Victor Nogueira Chicago Sting 37 1905 137 4.31 17 14
Tino Lettieri Minnesota Strikers 41 2386 175 4.40 24 15
Krys Sobieski Dallas Sidekicks 40 2469 182 4.42 24 16
Slobo Illjevski St. Louis Steamers 39 2178 163 4.49 19 17

Playoff Player Statistics[edit]

[10]

Scoring Leaders[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Branko Segota San Diego Sockers 13 13 19 32
Brian Quinn San Diego Sockers 13 13 10 23
Jan Goossens Minnesota Strikers 15 12 9 21
Jean Willrich San Diego Sockers 15 9 10 19
Thompson Usiyan Minnesota Strikers 15 11 8 19
Juli Veee San Diego Sockers 15 8 11 19

Leading Goalkeepers[edit]

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

Player Team GP Min GA GAA W L
P.J. Johns Cleveland Force 5 277 14 3.03 3 1
Tino Lettieri Minnesota Strikers 15 866 51 3.52 9 6
Zoltan Toth San Diego Sockers 7 414 27 3.09 5 2
Scott Manning Baltimore Blast 3 175 13 4.45 3 1
Seamus McDonough Wichita Wings 2 128 10 4.65 1 1

All-MISL Teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team
David Brcic, Pittsburgh G Jim Gorsek, San Diego
Kim Roentved, Wichita D Bruce Savage, Baltimore
Fernando Clavijo, San Diego D Bernie James, Cleveland
Branko Segota, San Diego M Chico Borja, Wichita
Steve Zungul, San Diego/Tacoma F Tatu, Dallas
Erik Rasmussen, Wichita F Craig Allen, Cleveland
Honorable Mention   Position  
Krys Sobieski, Dallas G
Kevin Crow, San Diego D
Victor Moreland, Dallas D
Brian Quinn, San Diego F
Stan Stamenkovic, Baltimore F

League Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Player: Steve Zungul, San Diego/Tacoma

Scoring Champion: Steve Zungul, San Diego/Tacoma

Pass Master: Steve Zungul, San Diego/Tacoma

Defender of the Year: Kim Roentved, Wichita

Rookie of the Year: Dave Boncek, Kansas City Comets

Goalkeeper of the Year: Keith Van Eron, Baltimore

Coach of the Year: Gordon Jago, Dallas

Championship Series Most Valuable Player: Brian Quinn, San Diego

Team Attendance Totals[edit]

Club Games Total Average
Cleveland Force 24 307,040 12,793
Kansas City Comets 24 298,269 12,428
Baltimore Blast 24 246,046 10,252
St. Louis Steamers 24 244,543 10,189
San Diego Sockers 24 229,935 9,581
Wichita Wings 24 202,725 8,447
Pittsburgh Spirit 24 186,597 7,775
Tacoma Stars 24 182,696 7,612
Chicago Sting 24 176,287 7,345
Dallas Sidekicks 24 165,694 6,904
Minnesota Strikers 24 156,071 6,503
Los Angeles Lazers 24 114,480 4,770
OVERALL 288 2,510,383 8,717

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MISL's Seven New Rules". Los Angeles Times. October 23, 1985. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  2. ^ MISL Official Guide 1989-90. 1989. p. 49. 
  3. ^ Reinmuth, Gary (February 6, 1986). "Sockers` Zungul Sold To Tacoma". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  4. ^ Appleman, Marc (May 8, 1986). "Sockers Rally for 8-5 Win: San Diego Opens MISL Finals Friday Against Minnesota". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  5. ^ Tuma, Gary (April 7, 1986). "Typical Spirit Ending: On Road Without Offense". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 19. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  6. ^ Appleman, Marc (May 27, 1986). "Sockers Take 7 to Win 5; Strikers Bow Out, 5-3 : There Are a Few Twists to the Story This Time as San Diego Struggles to Win 5th Consecutive Indoor Title". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  7. ^ Tuma, Gary (April 12, 1986). "DeBartolo folds losing Spirit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. pp. 9–10. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  8. ^ 1985-86 MISL Media Guide. 1985. pp. 38–39. 
  9. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. p. 50. 
  10. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. p. 79. 

1985-86 MISL Media Guide. Chicago, IL: Major Indoor Soccer League. 1985. 

Leary, Dan; Griffin, John (1987). MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. New York, NY: Major Indoor Soccer League Communications Department. 

Griffin, John, ed. (1989). MISL Official Guide 1989-90. Overland Park, KS: Major Indoor Soccer League Communications Department. 

External links[edit]