Syracuse Salty Dogs
|Full name||Syracuse Football Club|
Syracuse, New York
|Owner(s)||Syracuse Pro Sports Group|
The Syracuse Salty Dogs (formally Syracuse Football Club) were a professional men's soccer team based in Syracuse, New York. The club were a member of the USL A-League, playing only two seasons from 2003-2004. The club was owned and operated by the Syracuse Pro Sports Group and played most home games at P&C Stadium. The team suspended operations in October 2004 due to financial difficulties and has not played since. However, groups have been working to return pro soccer to Syracuse.
The Salty Dogs debuted in their first season in 2003, where they ended with a record of 11-12-5 (W-L-D) under coach Laurie Calloway. The club improved their record to 15-8-5 in their second season and averaged the third highest attendance in the A-League during both years of play.
Financial difficulties & dissolution
Despite high attendance in the A-League over both years of play and reasonable success on the field, the team faltered financially. The club's budget had been strained as a result of using P&C Stadium (now known as NBT Bank Stadium), which is run by the SkyChiefs. During their first season, the team was forced to play several home games at the Liverpool Athletic Complex at Liverpool High School, which was primarily an football field in Liverpool, NY (also shared by the CNY Express, an amateur American football team). During its second season, the team's playoff home games were in Cortland, NY for similar reasons.
During the 2004 season, there were proposals to build a downtown soccer stadium near Armory Square. After the team's folding, Matt Driscoll, Syracuse's mayor, stated that realization of such a stadium is only feasible if a team returns. The Syracuse Pro Sports group filed for bankruptcy and folded the team in October 2004.
Future soccer expansion in Syracuse
The Syracuse-based Monolith Athletic Club had been working to return professional soccer to Syracuse. After over a year of negotiations, the group has cleared two out of the four hurdles necessary to bring USL soccer back to Syracuse. The second hurdle, seen as the pivotal one, involving the Chiefs baseball team, was cleared in April 2006. The final two steps involved a settlement on territorial rights with the Rochester Raging Rhinos and expansion approval from the USL.
In September 2007, Matt Michael of the Syracuse Post-Standard reported that Monolith Athletic Club owner, Vito William Lucchetti, was no longer involved with bringing pro soccer to Syracuse, citing his intent to focus on his other business dealings.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
- Laurie Calloway 2003-2004
|Year||League||Reg. Season||Playoffs||Open Cup||Record||Avg. Attendance|
|2003||USL A-League||4th, Northeast||Did not qualify||Did not qualify||11-12-5 (W-L-D)||6,885|
|2004||USL A-League||3rd, Eastern||Semifinals||3rd Round||15-8-5||6,387|
2003 Player Stats
2004 Player Stats
- "Salty Dogs have big plans for home opener". CNY Business Journal. 2003-05-09. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "Calloway Returns to Menace". www.menacesoccer.com. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- ^ Michael, Matthew: "It's a Deal: Pro Soccer", Post-Standard, 20 April 2006
- ^ Michael, Matthew: "What's next: Making a deal with Rochester's Raging Rhinos", Post-Standard, 20 April 2006