New England Tea Men

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New England Tea Men
logo
Full name New England Tea Men
Founded 1978
Dissolved 1980
Stadium Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts, United States
Providence Civic Center (indoor) Providence, Rhode Island
Ground Capacity 60,000
11,940 (indoor)
Coach Noel Cantwell
League NASL

The New England Tea Men were a soccer team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts in the Boston metropolitan area. They played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1978 to 1980. Their home field was Schaefer Stadium. They also played one season of indoor soccer in the NASL, using the Providence Civic Center for home games.

The Tea Men were owned by tea company Lipton, who gave them their unusual name, which recalled both the company's tie-in and the Boston Tea Party. They won their division in 1978 and made a further playoff run in 1980. However, the team struggled for financial solvency in Massachusetts. Right at the start of the 1980–81 indoor season[1] they relocated to Jacksonville, Florida and became the Jacksonville Tea Men.[2]

History[edit]

Led in its initial season by former Charlton Athletic F.C. striker Mike Flanagan, the Tea Men won their division to much public acclaim, with Flanagan winning the league MVP award. Subsequent seasons proved not as successful for two important reasons: Flanagan, contracted to Charlton, remained in England (an attempt to secure him via a transfer failed, reportedly over endorsement rights), and the team was temporarily evicted from Schaefer Stadium when the owners of Bay State Raceway next door claimed the Tea Men's matches were causing problems on racing dates. After spending one unhappy season at Nickerson Field, the team reached an accord with Bay State to play at Foxboro but not on racing dates, so the Tea Men had to play many Monday night dates, which caused attendance to dwindle. After leaving Boston, the team moved to Jacksonville and became the Jacksonville Tea Men. The original owner of the team was the Lipton Tea company and so the name was given with the Boston Tea Party in mind.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year League W L Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1978 NASL 19 11 165 1st(t), American Conference, Eastern Division Lost 1st Round (Ft. Lauderdale) 12,064
1979 NASL 12 18 110 4th, American Conference, Eastern Division Did not qualify 6,562
1979-80 NASL Indoor 2 10 5th, Eastern Division Did not qualify
1980 NASL 18 14 154 3rd, American Conference, Eastern Division Lost 1st Round (Tampa Bay) 8,748

Honors[edit]

Division Champions (1)
  • 1983 Southern Division

NASL Most Valuable Player

U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame

All-Star First Team Selections

All-Star Honorable Mentions

Staff[edit]

                  Steve Glendye - Color Commentator on Northeast Sports Network

Coaches[edit]

Former players[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]