Staten Island Vipers
|Full name||Staten Island Vipers|
|Ground||Tottenville High School
Huguenot, Staten Island
New York City, New York
The Staten Island Vipers were a soccer club that competed in the USL A-League in 1998 and 1999. The club was based on Staten Island, New York City. The team played its games at Tottenville High School and Wagner College. The team dissolved following the 1999 season.
The Vipers debuted in the USISL A-League in 1998, co-owned by Staten Island businessman and local soccer enthusiast Joe Manfredi and Roger Gorevic, who moved his New York Fever A-League franchise to Staten Island. The team was started up and managed initially by Tom Neale (General Manager) and Mike Winograd (Director of Youth and Team Development), who were college roommates and teammates at Lafayette College. Neale, former General Manager of the New York Fever, went on to be General Manager of the San Jose Earthquakes and COO of the New York Metrostars of MLS, and Winograd, a former professional soccer player in Kfar Saba, Israel and assistant coach at the University of Richmond, went on to law school at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Vipers initially struggled to find a ground at which to play, debuting first at Monsignor Farrell High School in Oakwood before being forced out by community opposition. The club would land at Tottenville High School in Huguenot after reaching an agreement to refurbish the school's field and bleachers and adding lights for night games, along with a commitment for the team to work with the school to develop a city soccer program. The club was coached by Adrian Gaitan.
The team mascot was a costumed character in a green outfit called the "Hyper Viper." Among the Staten Islanders who donned the costume was Jay Akselrud, who also entertained at Staten Island Yankees games.
The club averaged an attendance of over 1,500 fans per game and finished their first season in 1998 with a 15-11-1-1 (W-L-SOW-SOL) record, placing third in the Northeast Division but losing the Conference Quarterfinal. The team improved their record to 19-9-2-1 in 1999, finishing 2nd in the division and advancing to the Conference Semifinal but eventually losing to the Hershey Wildcats.
Notable former players
|Year||Division||League||Reg. Season||Playoffs||Open Cup|
|1998||2||USISL A-League||3rd, Northeast||Conference Quarterfinals||Did not qualify|
|1999||2||USL A-League||2nd, Northeast||Conference Semifinals||Quarterfinals|
- Jack Bell (1998-05-19). "Soccer Notebook: A-League; A Home At Last For Vipers". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
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- A-League 1998 Season
- A-League 1999 Season