Chicago Sockers

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Chicago Sockers
Chicagosockers.png
Full name Chicago Sockers Football Club
Nickname(s) The Sockers
Founded 1995 (as Chicago Stingers)
Dissolved 2000
Stadium Olympic Park
Schaumberg, Illinois
Ground Capacity ????
Chairman Peter G. Richardson
Manager Bret Hall
League Premier Development League
2000 1st, Heartland Division
Playoffs: Champions
Website Club home page
Home colors
Away colors

The Chicago Sockers were an American soccer team, originally founded in 1995 as the Chicago Stingers. The team was a member of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) and played at the professional level in the USISL Pro League, USISL Select League and USISL D-3 Pro League until 1999. The club would be re-named Sockers and self-relegate to the amateur USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid, for the 1999 season.

The Sockers were one of the most successful amateur teams in the late 1990s, winning three national titles including back-to-back PDL Championships in 1999 and 2000, reaching two divisional playoffs, and getting to both the quarterfinal and semifinal of the US Open Cup prior to 2000. Following the 2000 season, despite being reigning PDL Champions, the Sockers folded. However, the club survives as a youth soccer organization under the same name.

The Sockers played their home games at Olympic Park in the village of Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The team's colors were blue and white.

History[edit]

The Chicago Stingers were founded in 1995 as a professional club to play in the United Soccer Leagues (USL). The club would play in various transitional professional leagues in the USL, including the USISL Pro League, USISL Select League and USISL D-3 Pro League, which at the time represented the second or third tier of professional soccer in the American soccer pyramid under Major League Soccer (MLS).

For the 1999 season, the club would be renamed Chicago FC Sockers (or Chicago Sockers) and self-relegated to the amateur USL Premier Development League (PDL), considered the top national amateur league and the fourth tier in the pyramid. The Sockers would have a very successful first season in the PDL, finishing second in the Great Lakes Division and going on to defeat Spokane Shadow 3-1 in the PDL Championship.

The Sockers would repeat as Champions in 2000 after a move to the Heartland Division, finishing first in the regular season and defeating the Mid-Michigan Bucks 1-0 in the Championship final.[1]

Youth programs[edit]

The Chicago Sockers is now a prominent youth soccer program, stationed in Palatine, IL. The program is ranked as the 5th best boys youth soccer program by both nationalsoccerranking.com and Soccer America.[2] The Sockers play in the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL) and Midwest Regional League. The program has won multiple national championships[3] and has sent multiple players to the US Men's National Team and top professional clubs in Major League Soccer and abroad.[4] These players include Jonathan Spector, Michael Bradley, Jay DeMerit, and Bryan Namoff.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup
1995 3 USISL Pro League 2nd, Midwest East Divisional Semifinals Semifinals
1996 3 USISL Select League 5th, Central Did not qualify Did not qualify
1997 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 1st, North Central Division Finals Quarterfinals
1998 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 2nd, North Central Champion 3rd Round
1999 "4" USL PDL 2nd, Great Lakes Champion Did not qualify
2000 "4" USL PDL 1st, Heartland Champion 3rd Round

Coaches[edit]

Notable former players[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2000 PDL Season in Review". USLsoccer.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Sears, Kevin (2011-05-09). "Region II Top Premier Club Comes to McHenry County". Trib Local Crystal Lake. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Club Soccer Championships". Chicago Soccer News. 2 Aug 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Professional Players". Sockers FC Soccer. 24 Apr 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-05.