1986–87 Major Indoor Soccer League season

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The 1986-87 Major Indoor Soccer League season was the ninth in league history and ended with the Dallas Sidekicks winning their first MISL title over the Tacoma Stars.

It was a topsy-turvy season. Attempts to stabilize the league's presence in New York by moving the league office and putting the league's newest franchise there were unsuccessful. The New York Express barely made it to the All-Star break. A stock sale had been a massive failure and results were equally bad on the field.[1] With the club's record at 3-23, management announced on February 16 that they would be unable to finish the season.[2]

As for matters on the field, league officials made plans to expand the schedule further despite losing the Pittsburgh Spirit the previous spring. Not only would each team play 52 games, the playoffs would be expanded to include two best-of seven rounds.[3] With all but one of the six preceding series going to a deciding game, Game 7 of the championship series would be played on June 20, the latest date in MISL history and six days after the conclusion of the NBA Finals. Games 3 and 6 at Dallas' Reunion Arena were sellouts, and the Tacoma Dome attracted crowds of 20,284 and 21,728 for Games 5 and 7, the two largest crowds in MISL playoff history.[4]

The San Diego Sockers' dominance ended this season, as long-term injuries to last year's playoff MVP Brian Quinn and other Sockers had the team uncharacteristically struggling.[5] They would finish eight games behind the Stars, who were led by Steve Zungul and owned the MISL's best regular-season record. Despite Quinn's return for the playoffs,[6] Tacoma defeated San Diego in Game 7 of their division final matchup.[7] It was the first indoor playoff series loss ever for the Sockers, ending a run of 15 straight series wins dating back to the 1981-82 NASL Indoor season.

In the end, the Sidekicks epitomized the MISL season. The club folded in June 1986,[8] yet a last-ditch effort by fans brought the club back to life within three weeks.[9] Tatu led the league in goals and points, and earned both the regular-season and playoff MVP awards. Dallas rallied from a 2-1 series deficit to beat the Baltimore Blast in the first round, and won Games 6 and 7 of the championship series in overtime.[10] Mark Karpun scored both overtime goals, and his Game 6 double overtime winner ended the longest game in MISL playoff history.[11]

On June 24, the league made tentative plans to expand to Denver for the 1988-89 season, reliant on ownership selling 5,000 season tickets by November 15.[12] Four months later, plans went by the wayside as only 400 season tickets had been sold.[13] Despite overtures by Chicago Sting management to move the team west in the spring of 1988,[14] the Denver Desperados never played a game.

Teams[edit]

Team City/Area Arena
Baltimore Blast Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena
Chicago Sting Rosemont, Illinois Rosemont Horizon
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
New York Express Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
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 1986-87 regular season schedule ran from November 13, 1986 to May 3, 1987. The schedule was lengthened to 52 games per team, the longest to date in MISL history.[15]

Final Standings[edit]

Playoff teams in bold.

Eastern Division W L Pct. GB GF GA Home Road
Cleveland Force 34 18 .654 -- 252 218 20-6 14-12
Baltimore Blast 33 19 .635 1 239 201 20-6 13-13
Dallas Sidekicks 28 24 .538 6 209 197 15-11 13-13
Minnesota Strikers 26 26 .500 8 205 198 14-12 12-14
Chicago Sting 23 29 .442 11 263 265 15-11 8-18
New York Express 3 23 .115 18 97 159 2-11 1-12
Western Division W L Pct. GB GF GA Home Road
Tacoma Stars 35 17 .673 -- 249 211 17-9 18-8
Kansas City Comets 28 24 .538 7 271 253 18-8 10-16
San Diego Sockers 27 25 .519 8 214 200 16-10 11-15
Wichita Wings 27 25 .519 8 268 265 18-8 9-17
St. Louis Steamers 19 33 .365 16 195 224 13-13 6-20
Los Angeles Lazers 16 36 .308 19 183 254 12-14 4-22

Playoffs[edit]

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

Division Semifinals[edit]

Cleveland vs. Minnesota
Date Away Home Attendance
May 9 Minnesota 5 Cleveland 4 11,461
Hector Marinaro scored at 2:07 of overtime
May 10 Minnesota 6 Cleveland 7 7,165
May 13 Cleveland 6 Minnesota 5 5,766
Michael King scored at 12:55 of overtime
May 16 Cleveland 4 Minnesota 5 6,888
May 19 Minnesota 3 Cleveland 7 11,808
Cleveland wins series 3-2
Baltimore vs. Dallas
Date Away Home Attendance
May 7 Dallas 2 Baltimore 3 6,224
May 9 Dallas 7 Baltimore 6 7,306
May 15 Baltimore 3 Dallas 2 9,182
Andy Chapman scored at 1:54 of overtime
May 17 Baltimore 3 Dallas 4 5,149
Tatu scored at 4:53 of overtime
May 19 Dallas 7 Baltimore 4 7,918
Dallas wins series 3-2
Tacoma vs. Wichita
Date Away Home Attendance
May 6 Wichita 7 Tacoma 9 9,385
May 8 Wichita 1 Tacoma 9 11,842
May 10 Tacoma 3 Wichita 10 6,846
May 13 Tacoma 2 Wichita 6 9,023
May 14 Wichita 2 Tacoma 4 7,254
Tacoma wins series 3-2
Kansas City vs. San Diego
Date Away Home Attendance
May 7 San Diego 5 Kansas City 4 8,141
Waad Hirmez scored at 5:58 of overtime
May 10 San Diego 1 Kansas City 5 8,127
May 12 Kansas City 9 San Diego 7 7,685
May 17 Kansas City 2 San Diego 5 7,946
May 20 San Diego 9 Kansas City 5 11,136
San Diego wins series 3-2

Division Finals[edit]

Cleveland vs. Dallas
Date Away Home Attendance
May 23 Dallas 3 Cleveland 5 12,034
May 24 Dallas 9 Cleveland 6 13,051
May 27 Cleveland 2 Dallas 5 9,107
May 29 Cleveland 4 Dallas 9 16,824
May 31 Dallas 4 Cleveland 3 8,859
Dallas wins series 4-1
Tacoma vs. San Diego
Date Away Home Attendance
May 22 San Diego 6 Tacoma 5 11,884
May 24 San Diego 2 Tacoma 7 9,055
May 27 Tacoma 3 San Diego 2 9,704
May 30 Tacoma 2 San Diego 6 11,436
May 31 San Diego 6 Tacoma 5 12,934
June 2 Tacoma 4 San Diego 3 12,884
June 4 San Diego 5 Tacoma 8 16,054
Tacoma wins series 4-3

Championship Series[edit]

Tacoma vs. Dallas
Date Away Home Attendance
June 9 Dallas 4 Tacoma 10 11,496
June 11 Dallas 4 Tacoma 7 14,643
June 13 Tacoma 3 Dallas 5 16,824
June 14 Tacoma 3 Dallas 6 13,597
June 16 Dallas 3 Tacoma 5 20,284
June 18 Tacoma 4 Dallas 5 16,824
Mark Karpun scored at 20:30 of overtime
June 20 Dallas 4 Tacoma 3 21,728
Mark Karpun scored at 9:23 of overtime
Dallas wins series 4-3

Regular Season Player Statistics[edit]

[16]

Scoring Leaders[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Tatu Dallas Sidekicks 51 73 38 111
Jan Goossens Minnesota Strikers 45 51 44 95
Kai Haaskivi Cleveland Force 49 34 55 89
Steve Zungul Tacoma Stars 51 42 47 89
Preki Tacoma Stars 51 41 47 88
Chico Borja Wichita Wings 46 51 36 87
Batata Chicago Sting 52 37 48 85
Godfrey Ingram Tacoma Stars 51 52 29 81
Dale Mitchell Kansas City Comets 48 51 24 75
Branko Segota San Diego Sockers 38 34 41 75

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
Tino Lettieri Minnesota Strikers 35 2058 116 3.38 15 19
Krys Sobieski Dallas Sidekicks 43 2525 145 3.45 24 19
Scott Manning Baltimore Blast 24 1314 76 3.47 14 9
Zoltan Toth San Diego Sockers 33 1875 110 3.52 17 13
Jim Gorsek San Diego Sockers 25 1265 82 3.89 10 12
Keith Van Eron Baltimore Blast 26 1390 91 3.93 15 6
Joe Papaleo Tacoma Stars 31 1808 120 3.98 22 9
Slobo Illjevski St. Louis Steamers 46 2631 176 4.01 16 28
Cris Vaccaro Cleveland Force 36 2012 116 4.02 20 9
P.J. Johns Cleveland Force 24 1406 95 4.05 14 8

Playoff Player Statistics[edit]

[17]

Scoring Leaders[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Tatu Dallas Sidekicks 17 22 16 38
Steve Zungul Tacoma Stars 19 21 17 38
Preki Tacoma Stars 17 19 18 37
Branko Segota San Diego Sockers 10 19 12 31
Gary Heale Tacoma Stars 19 17 7 24

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
Joe Papaleo Tacoma Stars 9 535 32 3.59 5 4
Scott Manning Baltimore Blast 4 187 12 3.84 1 2
Krys Sobieski Dallas Sidekicks 16 989 70 4.25 11 5
Zoltan Toth San Diego Sockers 11 544 39 4.30 5 5
Tino Lettieri Minnesota Strikers 5 302 23 4.56 2 3

All-MISL Teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team
Krys Sobieski, Dallas G Tino Lettieri, Minnesota
Bruce Savage, Baltimore D Bernie James, Cleveland
Fernando Clavijo, San Diego D Kevin Crow, San Diego
Kai Haaskivi, Cleveland M Branko Segota, San Diego
Tatu, Dallas F Jan Goossens, Kansas City
Steve Zungul, Tacoma F Preki, Tacoma
Honorable Mention   Position  
David Brcic, Los Angeles G
Neil Megson, Tacoma D
Victor Moreland, Dallas D
Chico Borja, Wichita M
Godfrey Ingram, Tacoma F
Batata, Chicago F

League Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Player: Tatu, Dallas

Scoring Champion: Tatu, Dallas

Pass Master: Kai Haaskivi, Cleveland

Defender of the Year: Bruce Savage, Baltimore

Rookie of the Year: John Stollmeyer, Cleveland

Newcomer of the Year: Steve Kinsey, Minnesota

Goalkeeper of the Year: Tino Lettieri, Minnesota

Coach of the Year: Dave Clements, Kansas City

Championship Series Most Valuable Player: Tatu, Dallas

Team Attendance Totals[edit]

Club Games Total Average
Cleveland Force 26 366,887 14,111
Kansas City Comets 26 323,622 12,447
Tacoma Stars 26 269,974 10,384
Baltimore Blast 26 258,333 9,936
San Diego Sockers 26 253,444 9,748
Dallas Sidekicks 26 224,536 8,636
Wichita Wings 26 209,800 8,069
St. Louis Steamers 26 182,984 7,038
Minnesota Strikers 26 181,441 6,977
Chicago Sting 26 152,861 5,879
New York Express 13 67,752 5,212
Los Angeles Lazers 26 113,831 4,376
OVERALL 299 2,605,465 8,714

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New York Express". Fun While It Lasted. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Express Goes Out Of Business". Schenectady Gazette. February 17, 1987. p. 31. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  3. ^ "MISL plans to expand semis to five games". Lawrence Journal-World. June 1, 1986. p. 2B. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  4. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. p. 10. 
  5. ^ Appleman, Marc (April 16, 1987). "Sockers Hit Another Low in Loss: San Diego Drops Fourth Straight as St. Louis Prevails, 2-1". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  6. ^ Appleman, Marc (May 8, 1987). "Sockers of Old Win in Overtime". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  7. ^ Appleman, Marc (June 5, 1987). "Fate Finally Catches Up With Sockers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  8. ^ "MISL Sidekicks fold". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 10, 1986. p. 18. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  9. ^ "SIDEKICKS PURCHASE BACK ON". Wichita Eagle. July 1, 1986. p. 4B. 
  10. ^ "Overtime Goal Gives Dallas Title". Los Angeles Times. June 21, 1987. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  11. ^ "Sidekicks win, force 7th game". Ellensburg Daily Record. June 19, 1987. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  12. ^ "MISL awards Denver expansion franchise". Eugene Register-Guard. June 26, 1987. p. 4C. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  13. ^ "MISL team folds". Wilmington Morning Star. November 6, 1987. p. 2B. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  14. ^ Leptich, John (March 20, 1988). "If Sting Heads West, Halos Could Be Born". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  15. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. pp. 47–49. 
  16. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. p. 33. 
  17. ^ MISL Official Tenth Anniversary Guide. 1987. p. 73. 

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

External links[edit]