New York Arrows

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New York Arrows
NY Arrows logo.png
Full name New York Arrows
Founded 1978
Ground Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,
Uniondale, New York
Ground Capacity 16,234
League Major Indoor Soccer League

The New York Arrows was an indoor soccer team that played in the original Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) from 1978 to 1984. They won the first four MISL championships.

History[edit]

Preparing for the first season[edit]

In 1978, the New York Arrows began its first season as an indoor soccer team in the newly established Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). They were owned by Bernie Rodin, who also owned the Rochester Lancers. As they began preparation for the first MISL season, Arrows management pondered how they would build a team from scratch. Management hit on an inspired concept which mirrored the creation of the United Soccer Association in the 1960s. The USA had imported professional teams from Europe as a means of quickly creating teams. The Arrows decided to revisit this concept and imported the Rochester Lancers from upstate New York. The Lancers played in the North American Soccer League which had a spring to fall schedule. After negotiating with the Lancers front office, the Arrows signed nearly the entire roster. However, they did make one significant, and crucial, addition, they signed a virtually unknown Yugoslavian player by the name of Steve Zungul. Zungul was a seasoned outdoor player from Hajduk Split who had gained the approval of the Yugoslavia Football Federation to play outside of his native country for a few months. When he refused to return to Split Hejduk, the Yugoslavian Football Federation gained a ruling from FIFA forbidding any outdoor team from signing him. This ruled out nearly every club in the world and forced him to sign with a newly established MISL team.[1] On December 22, 1978, the New York Arrows kicked off the first season of MISL, playing in the league's first game, at home versus the Cincinnati Kids.

Champions[edit]

The decision to import the Lancers paid off as the Arrows finished second out of six teams. Only the Houston Summit, essentially the NASL Houston Hurricanes had a better record, but it was the Arrows which took the title, defeating the Philadelphia Fever. The Arrows winning ways continued for the next three seasons as they ran to first in their division before taking the titles over the Houston Summit (1979–80), and the St. Louis Steamers (1980–81 and 1981–82).

Dominating players[edit]

While the Arrows dominated the league as a team, several Arrows players gained repeated individual recognition. In his four seasons with the Arrows, Steve Zungul, "The Lord of All Indoors", regularly scored nearly 5 goals per game and on one instance, scored seven in a game vs. the Phoenix Inferno in 1981. His scoring exploits led to his selection as League MVP four times running. He was also the four time league scoring leader and a two time assists leader. While Zungul was head and shoulders above nearly every other player in the league, he was not the only Arrows great. Shep Messing was the first championship series MVP and a perennial all star. His replacement, Zoltan Toth, was the 1982-1983 Goalkeeper of the Year. Juli Veee was an outstanding midfielder while Branko Segota was a perennial All Star. However, these are merely a handful of great Arrows players.

Decline and bankruptcy[edit]

Though a powerhouse on the field, they were not a powerhouse at the box office. Shortly after the team won its fourth and final MISL title, the team was sold. In January 1983, the team traded Steve Zungul to the San Jose Earthquakes for Gary Etherington and Gordon Hill.[2] While billed as a move to "Americanize" the Arrows, it was largely a cost saving device. While Zungul went on to become the NASL League MVP in 1984, the Arrows collapsed and folded at the end of the season. The six seasons in the MISL the Arrows avg. 6,440 per game.

Arena[edit]

Their home arena was Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

Management[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Record Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1978-1979 16-8 2nd Champions 5,446
1979-1980 27-5 1st Atlantic Division Champions 7,813
1980-1981 35-5 1st Atlantic Division Champions 8,083
1981-1982 36-8 1st Eastern Division Champions 6,429
1982-1983 24-24 4th Eastern Division 1st Round 5,623
1983-1984 20-28 4th Eastern Division 1st Round 5,478

Honors[edit]

MISL Championship

  • 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982

League MVP

Championship MVP

Scoring Champion

Pass Master (Assists Leader)

Defender of the Year

Goalkeeper of the Year

Coach of the Year

First Team All MISL

Significant players[edit]

External links[edit]