1988 American Soccer League

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The 1988 American Soccer League was the first season of the third American Soccer League which took place during the summer of 1988.

History[edit]

The third American Soccer League owed its creation to several events in the early 1980s. In 1983, the second American Soccer League collapsed from over-expansion, runaway spending and a restricted fan base. A year later, the North American Soccer League collapsed for essentially the same reasons. In 1985, the West-coast based Western Soccer Alliance was created as a regional, financially austere league. This new league kept expenditures low while building its fan base. In 1987, the Lone Star Soccer Alliance began its first season, mimicking the WSA model with teams in or near Texas. On May 7, 1987, several team executives led by Clive Toye announced the creation of an east coast-based league using the WSA model.[1] This new league, named the American Soccer League, planned to begin its first season in 1988. Chuck Blazer was announced as the league's commissioner and Clive Toye was named its chairman. The league planned a twenty-game schedule with at least six teams having a $75,000 salary cap.[2] The league initially concentrated on the northeast, but in August 1987, plans expanded to include teams situated in Florida.[3] This was soon followed by announcements of the entry of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies. By October 1987, the list of teams was finalized with the addition of the Orlando Lions and Miami Sharks. The league now divided itself into two five-team divisions. On April 9, 1988, the American Soccer League began its first season when the New Jersey Eagles defeated the Miami Sharks, 2-1. When the regular season ended the first week of August, Eagles had topped the standings with forty-five points. Four teams made the playoffs, the top two from both the Northern and Southern Divisions. The Washington Diplomats which had the worst record of the four playoff teams, stunned the league by defeating first the New Jersey Eagles, then the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to win the first league championship.

League standings[edit]

Northern Division[edit]

Place Team GP W L GF GA Points
1 New Jersey Eagles 20 15 5 39 24 45
2 Maryland Bays 20 12 8 32 31 36
3 Washington Stars 20 11 9 31 28 33
4 Boston Bolts 20 9 11 31 33 27
5 Albany Capitals 20 7 13 26 35 21

Southern Division[edit]

Place Team GP W L GF GA Points
1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 20 14 6 46 25 42
2 Washington Diplomats 20 10 10 27 30 30
3 Tampa Bay Rowdies 20 10 10 23 21 30
4 Orlando Lions 20 8 12 21 31 24
5 Miami Sharks 20 4 16 24 42 12

Playoffs[edit]

Semifinal 1[edit]

August 13, 1988
3:00 PM EST
Maryland Bays (MD) 2-5 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Florida)
Sylvanus Oriaikhi Goal 44'
Kurt Rasbach Goal 80'
Goal 17' Ray Hudson
Goal 65' Steve Kinsey
Goal 75' Steve Kinsey
Goal 85' Steve Kinsey
Goal 85' Ricardo Alonso
Byrd Stadium, Columbia, Maryland
Attendance: 1,808


Semifinal 2[edit]

August 13, 1988
8:00 PM EST
Washington Diplomats (DC) 4-1 New Jersey Eagles (NJ)
Duncan Reynard Goal 13'
Jean Harbor Goal 18'
Jean Harbor Goal 65'
Leonel Suazo Goal 84'
Goal 78' Mario Chavez
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 2,346


August 14, 1988
5:00 PM EST
New Jersey Eagles (NJ) 1-0 Washington Diplomats (DC)
Ken Lolla Goal 64'


August 14, 1988
New Jersey Eagles (NJ) 1-4 Washington Diplomats (DC)
Mario Chavez Goal 2' Goal 11' Jean Harbor
Goal 13' Marco Casas-Cordero
Goal 20' Fernando Iturbe
Goal 26' Marco Casas-Cordero

Final[edit]

August 21, 1988
8:00 PM EST
Washington Diplomats (DC) 5-3 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Florida)
Michael Brady Goal 18'
Michael Brady Goal 22'
Joaquin Canales Goal 55'
Ronald Simmons Goal 90' (PK)
Goal 57' Ricardo Alonso
Goal 58' Mark Schwartz
Goal 87' Thomas Rongen
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 5,745


August 27, 1988
8:00 EST
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Florida) 2-3 Washington Diplomats (DC)
Ricardo Alonso Goal 28'
Ricardo Alonso Goal 34'
Goal 30' Leonel Suazo
Goal 31' Keith Trehy
Goal 36' Michael Brady

Points leaders[edit]

Rank Scorer Club Goals Assists Points
1 Jorge Acosta New Jersey Eagles 14 4 32
2 Steve Kinsey Fort Lauderdale Strikers 10 3 23
3 Teófilo Cubillas Fort Lauderdale Strikers 7 5 17
4 Mark Lamb Orlando Lions 8 1 17
5 Scott Snyder Washington Stars 8 1 17
6 Maicol Antelo New Jersey Eagles 6 4 16
7 Roger Chavez New Jersey Eagles 5 6 16
8 Marcelo Carrera Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4 8 16
9 Mirko Castillo Fort Lauderdale Strikers 5 5 15
10 Guillermo Pizzaro Miami Sharks 6 2 14
11 Andy Bing Boston Bolts 5 4 14
11 Russ Downing Albany Capitals 4 6 14
11 Leonel Suazo Washington Diplomats 6 1 13
11 Mike Sweeney Boston Bolts 5 3 13
11 Kurt Manal Boston Bolts 5 3 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ NEW SOCCER LEAGUE SETS NEWS CONFERENCE The Record (New Jersey) - Thursday, May 7, 1987
  2. ^ NEW LOCAL SOCCER FRANCHISE WILL WATCH EXPENSES The Record (New Jersey) - Friday, May 8, 1987
  3. ^ ASL TO DISCUSS EXPANSION TO FLORIDA Sun-Sentinel - Wednesday, August 19, 1987

External links[edit]