Houston Hurricane

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Not to be confused with Houston Hurricanes.
Houston Hurricane
Logo
Full name Houston Hurricane
Nickname(s) Hurricane
Founded 1978
Dissolved 1980
Stadium Astrodome
Ground Capacity 45,000
Chairman Hans Von Mende
Manager Timo Liekoski
Eckhard Krautzun
League NASL

The Houston Hurricane was a soccer team based out of Houston that played in the NASL.[1] They played from 1978 to 1980. Their home field was the Astrodome. Their colors were orange, white and red.

The team was the last of six expansion teams granted for the season and had about three months to sign players and sell tickets. Though the coach, Timo Liekoski, who had been an assistant with the Dallas Tornado, was capable, assembling a competitive team in so short a time would be daunting. In any case, the Hurricane placed last in its first season with ten wins of thirty matches (there were no draws in the NASL) and drew a miserable average attendance of 5,806, with only the Chicago Sting and San Diego Sockers drawing less in the thirty-team league.

For 1979, the Hurricane did much better, winning the division with 22 wins in thirty matches, and Liekoski was awarded Coach of the Year honors.[2] But the Hurricane could not do as well in the playoffs, losing to the Philadelphia Fury in two straight. Attendance was better at 6,211 a match but still was next to last in the league - the worst being Philadelphia. Considering that Kyle Rote, Jr. had joined the Hurricane that season, it must have been a disappointment. In any case, Rote left the Hurricane on a relief mission to Cambodia and later retired.

The Hurricane didn't do as well in what turned out to be their final season, placing second in the division and again losing in the playoffs versus the Edmonton Drillers. They won fourteen and lost eighteen in the expanded schedule, and attendance fell to 5,818 a match, with only the Atlanta Chiefs and, again, Philadelphia being the only teams with worse gates. That was enough for the Hurricane's owners (who were actually based in Denver, Colorado) and the team folded in late 1980.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year League W L Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Attendance
1978 NASL 10 20 96 4th, American Conference, Central Division Did not qualify 7,750
1979 NASL 22 8 187 1st, American Conference, Central Division Lost Conference Quarterfinal (Philadelphia) 6,212
1979–80 NASL Indoor Did not enter
1980 NASL 14 18 130 2nd, American Conference, Central Division Lost 1st Round (Edmonton) 5,818

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conway, Joe (January 30, 2006). "Can 1836 be a hit where other soccer teams have missed?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "NASL Honors Houston Coach". Salina Journal (Salina, Kansas). August 26, 1979.