Pittsburgh Spirit

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1985-86 Away
Nickname(s) Spirit
Founded 1978
Dissolved 1986
Stadium Civic Arena
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ground Capacity 16,940
Owner United States Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. (1981-86)
League Major Indoor Soccer League

Pittsburgh Spirit were an indoor soccer team based out of Pittsburgh and were one of the original six teams that played in the Major Indoor Soccer League. Despite being founded in 1978, the Spirit took leave of absence from the MISL beginning August 28, 1980 and ending June 10, 1981. The team lasted until April 11, 1986 when owner DeBartolo folded it. [1]

1981-82[edit]

The Pittsburgh Spirit were reinstated into the Major Indoor Soccer League for the 1981-82 season. Stan Terlecki led the team with 74 goals, which was second only to Steve Zungul's 103 goals. Both Terlecki and Zungul were named MISL regular season MVP. Goaltender Krys Sobieski had the third-lowest goals-against average with a 4.20 GAA.

The Spirit would face the third-place Baltimore Blast in the playoffs. The Spirit lost the first game of the playoffs 3-1 but took the second game with a 6-5 overtime victory. The Spirit lost the third game of the series 6-2, which eliminated the Spirit from post-season play.[1]

1982-83[edit]

The Spirit did not repeat the success of their previous season and played .500 soccer for the 1982-83 season (24-24-0). Stan Terlecki once again led the Spirit in goals (65) and points (105), and forward Paul Child finished in the top 25 in points (68). Krys Sobieski played sub-.500 goal, going 19-20 and watched his GAA fall to 4.88. The Spirit did not qualify for the playoffs during this season.[2]

1983-84[edit]

The Spirit would have their best season in 1983-84, going 32-16 despite losing two-time leading scorer Terlecki to the Golden Bay Earthquakes. The Spirit's attendance would peak during this season, drawing 8,000 fans. By comparison, the Pittsburgh Penguins averaged around 6,000 during the same season. Zeee Kapka would lead the Spirit with 66 points and former first round draft pick Joe Papaleo led the Spirit with a 16-8 record with a 4.12 GAA. Kevin Maher would earn the honor of MISL Rookie Of The Year. The Spirit made the playoffs, but would lose to the Cleveland Force three games to one.[3]

1984-85[edit]

Two-time former leading scorer Stan Terlecki returned to the team, but the Spirit finished in sixth place ten games under .500, going 19-29. Terlecki led the team with 39 goals and 66 points and goaltender Peter Mowlik finished the season 11-13 with a 4.71 GAA.[4]

1985-86[edit]

The 1985-1986 season would be the final season for the Spirit. Although they finished only four games out of first place of the MISL's Eastern Division, they also finished in last place with a record of 23-25. Goaltender David Brcic was named to the All-MISL team. After the completion of the season, the Pittsburgh Spirit folded.[5]

Return[edit]

There was an attempt to revive the Spirit for the final Major Soccer League season, but it did not come to be. An ownership group known as Pittsburgh Soccer Inc. was approved to operate the Major Soccer League expansion team for three years.[6]

Staff[edit]

Former players[edit]

Former coaches[edit]

Individual Honours[edit]

MISL MVP

MISL All-Star Team

MISL Rookie of the Year

Coach of the Year

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dave Litterer/Steve Holroyd. "The 1981-82 MISL season". The US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  2. ^ Dave Litterer/Steve Holroyd. "The 1982-83 MISL season". The US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  3. ^ Dave Litterer/Steve Holroyd. "The 1983-84 MISL season". The US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  4. ^ Dave Litterer/Steve Holroyd. "The 1984-85 MISL season". The US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  5. ^ Dave Litterer/Steve Holroyd. "The 1985-86 MISL season". The US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  6. ^ Bill Free (1991-04-30). "Pittsburgh Returns To Indoor League". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 

External links[edit]