Jeff Durgan

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Jeff Durgan
Personal information
Full name Jeffrey D. Durgan
Date of birth (1961-08-29) August 29, 1961 (age 53)
Place of birth Tacoma, Washington, United States
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980-1982 New York Cosmos 81 (0)
1981-1982 New York Cosmos (indoor) 13 (3)
1983 Team America 27 (0)
1983-1984 New York Cosmos 13 (0)
1984 New York Cosmos (indoor) 24 (2)
1984-1985 New York Cosmos (MISL) 14 (0)
1985 F.C. Seattle 4 (0)
National team
1983-1985 United States 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jeffrey "Jeff" Durgan (born August 29, 1961 in Tacoma, Washington) is a retired U.S. soccer defender who played professionally for the New York Cosmos and seven times for the U.S. national team.


Durgan was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington where he attended Stadium High School.[1] After graduating, Durgan turned professional with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL), debuting in April 1980.[1] In his first year in the league he started 28 of the Cosmos' 32 regular games.[2] Showing what sportswriter George Vecsey called "a controlled aggressiveness characteristic of a player far beyond his years", he was named the league's Rookie of the Year, beating fellow Tacoma youth team mate Mark Peterson of the Seattle Sounders.[3][4] In 1982, he was selected as a second team NASL All Star.[5] Durgan won the Soccer Bowl, the NASL championship, with the Cosmos in 1980[6] and 1982,[7] but they lost in 1981 to the Chicago Sting after a penalty shootout.[8]

In 1983, the U.S. Soccer Federation attempted to create a more successful U.S. national team by entering the team into the NASL as a franchise, known as Team America. USSF then invited players from throughout the NASL, Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and American Soccer League to leave their teams to play for Team America. Although he expressed doubts about the new team,[9] Durgan left the Cosmos and signed with Team America, who he captained.[10] Many top players stayed with their previous clubs, something Durgan criticised, saying "let them come and help. You have to get off the fence." Team America ended the season at the bottom of the league[11] and when USSF pulled the national team from the NASL at the end of the 1983 season, Durgan rejoined the Cosmos. In May 1984, the Cosmos asked Durgan and two other players to take a 20% pay cut, and another to take a 45% pay cut.[12] When they refused to accept the cuts the team waived them, and then re-signed Durgan and two other players for less pay after the other eight teams in the NASL declined to sign them under the terms of their original contracts.[13]

When the league folded after the 1984 season, the Cosmos moved to the MISL, but did not make it through the end of the 1984-1985 season before folding.[14]

F.C. Seattle[edit]

When the Cosmos collapsed, Durgan moved back to the Seattle area to sign with the semi-professional F.C. Seattle in the MISL on May 20, 1985, and he captained the team. Seattle coach Bruce Rioch released Durgan from the team on July 29, 1985, after an incident involving a tackle with Canadian player John Catliff.[15][dubious ]

National team[edit]

Durgan earned seven caps with the U.S. national team between 1983 and 1985. He scored one goal. He was also part of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[16] Due to a leg injury he only played in the third match, against Egypt, and had to retire in the first half. The game was a 1-1 draw and ended the U.S.'s progression in the tournament.[17]

Durgan was named 46th of the top 50 athletes of the 20th century from Washington State by Sports Illustrated.[18]

Personal life[edit]

After retiring from soccer, Durgan earned a bachelors degree from the University of Washington.[citation needed] Durgan currently lives in Michigan with his wife and three children.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Yannis, Alex (28 April 1980). "Durgan, 18, Helping Cosmos as a Reserve". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Wires (17 September 1980). "Sports over lightly". The Ledger. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Vecsey, George (25 September 1981). "Sports of The Times; An American Soccer Ace". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Beard, Randy (1 July 1983). "His days as America's 'one and only' numbered". The Evening Independent. Retrieved 23 November 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "No Sockers on All-Star Team". Los Angeles Times. 5 September 1982. Retrieved 23 November 2009. Named to the second team were goalkeeper Jan van Beveren of Fort Lauderdale; defenders Barry Wallace of Tulsa, Jeff Durgan and Carlos Alberto of the Cosmos 
  6. ^ Gammon, Clive (29 September 1980). "The Joint Was Jumping". Sports Illustrated (CNN). Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "NASL Championship Game Summaries". National Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (28 September 1981). "Windy City fans show they love a champion". Evening Independent. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Red, White, Blue And New". Sports Illustrated (CNN). 7 March 1983. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  10. ^ McDonald, Tim (2 June 1983). "Team America is fighting fatigue". Evening Independent. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  11. ^ Falla, Jack (22 August 1983). "Red, White, Black And Blue". Sports Illustrated (CNN). Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  12. ^ Yannis, Alex (22 May 1984). "4 Cosmos Facing Pay-Cut Deadline". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  13. ^ "Cosmos Clear Waivers". New York Times. 26 May 1984. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "COSMOS FOLD INDOOR SQUAD". The New York Times. February 23, 1985. 
  15. ^ Shine, Tom; Gary Myers, Knight-Ridder News Service (5 August 1985). "...AROUND THE MISL". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  16. ^ New York Times (13 July 1984). "Eight Cosmos added to U.S. Olympic soccer team roster". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  17. ^ Graswich, R.E. (3 August 1984). "TIE ENDS US HOPES IN SOCCER". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 24 November 2009. Jeff Durgan, who has not played in the tournament because of a leg injury, began the match at stopper ... Durgan didn't complete the first half. He reinjured his muscle in 36th minute and retired from the match. 
  18. ^ "The 50 Greatest Washington Sports Figures". Sports Illustrated (CNN). 27 December 1999. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 

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