United Soccer Association

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United Soccer Association
United Soccer Association 1967 logo.gif
Country United States
Other club(s) from Canada
Confederation CONCACAF
Founded 1966
Folded merged with NPSL to form NASL in 1968
Number of teams 12
Levels on pyramid 1
Promotion to None
Relegation to None
Last champions Los Angeles Wolves
(1967)
Most championships Los Angeles Wolves (1)

The United Soccer Association is a former professional soccer league featuring teams from the United States and Canada. The league survived only one season before merging with the National Professional Soccer League to form the North American Soccer League. All the teams in the league were imported from Europe and South America. Dick Walsh served as the commissioner.

Origins[edit]

In 1966 a group of sports entrepreneurs, led by Jack Kent Cooke and including Lamar Hunt and Steve Stavro, formed a consortium known as the North American Soccer League with the intention of forming a professional soccer league in North America. This group was subsequently sanctioned by both the USSFA and FIFA. However a rival consortium known as the National Professional Soccer League also emerged and to avoid confusion Cooke renamed his consortium the United Soccer Association. The USA originally intended to launch its league in the spring of 1968. However the NPSL, which secured a TV contract from CBS, announced it was ready to launch in 1967. Not wanting to lose ground to its rival, the USA decided to fast track its launch. Without any players of its own, it opted to import whole teams from Europe and South America. It was intended that these teams would represent the franchises during the inaugural season, giving them time to build their own squads for the following season. By May 1967, the USA had garnered applications for franchises wanting to create teams for the next season. An application was made for a team in Miami, to be called the Miami Cobras.[1] A Calgary-based franchise was also in the offing.[2]

Competing teams[edit]

Franchises Stadiums (Capacity) Owners Imported Teams
Boston Rovers Manning Bowl, Lynn, MA (21,000) Weston Adams (Boston Bruins) Republic of Ireland Shamrock Rovers
Chicago Mustangs Comiskey Park (46,550) Arthur Allyn Jr. (Chicago White Sox) Italy Cagliari Calcio
Cleveland Stokers Cleveland Stadium (78,000) Vernon Stouffer, Gabe Paul (Cleveland Indians) England Stoke City
Dallas Tornado Cotton Bowl (75,504) Lamar Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) Scotland Dundee United
Detroit Cougars Tiger Stadium (36,000) William Clay Ford (Detroit Lions) Northern Ireland Glentoran
Houston Stars Astrodome (44,500) Judge Roy Hofheinz (Houston Astros) Brazil Bangu AC
Los Angeles Wolves Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (93,000) Jack Kent Cooke (Los Angeles Lakers & Kings) England Wolverhampton Wanderers
New York Skyliners Yankee Stadium (67,000) Madison Square Garden Corporation Uruguay C.A. Cerro
San Francisco Golden Gate Gales Kezar Stadium (59,942)[3] George Fleharty (Ice Follies) Netherlands ADO Den Haag
Toronto City Varsity Stadium (25,000) Steve Stavro Scotland Hibernian
Vancouver Royal Canadians Empire Stadium (33,000) Brigadier General E.G. Eakins England Sunderland
Washington Whips D.C. Stadium (46,000) Earl Foreman Scotland Aberdeen

1967 Season[edit]

After a series of exhibition games, the USA began playing on May 28 and got off to a good start. The Houston Stars attracted an opening crowd of 34,965.[4] However subsequent attendances did not keep pace and the league finished with an average of 7,890 per game. Of the twelve teams, the Los Angeles Wolves, represented by Wolverhampton Wanderers and featuring Derek Dougan, the Cleveland Stokers, represented by Stoke City and featuring Gordon Banks, and the Washington Whips, represented by Aberdeen, emerged as the strongest sides. Roberto Boninsegna of Chicago Mustangs finished as the league's top scorer with 10 goals. The USA entered its playoff stage in July 1967. The Western Division champion Los Angeles Wolves, by the flip of a coin, won the right to host the championship game against the Eastern Division champion Washington Whips. The match drew 17,824 to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Wolves won the championship beating the Whips 6-5 after 36 minutes of extra-time. The wide-open final feature two hat-tricks, three penalties given (2 converted), four goals scored within a 4 minute period midway through the second half and each team scoring during (non-golden goal) extra time. The game was finally decided when Whips defender Ally Shewan scored an own goal shortly after the start of golden goal extra time.

Final Standings[edit]

Eastern Division[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Washington Whips (Q) 12 5 5 2 19 11 +8 15 1967 USA Championship
2 Cleveland Stokers 12 5 4 3 19 13 +6 14
3 Toronto City 12 4 5 3 23 17 +6 13
4 Detroit Cougars 12 3 6 3 11 18 −7 12
5 New York Skyliners 12 2 6 4 15 17 −2 10
6 Boston Rovers 12 2 3 7 12 26 −14 7

Source: American Soccer History Archives
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Note: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss

Western Division[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Los Angeles Wolves (Q) 12 5 5 2 21 14 +7 15 1967 USA Championship
2 San Francisco Golden Gate Gales 12 5 3 4 25 19 +6 13
3 Chicago Mustangs 12 3 7 2 20 14 +6 13
4 Houston Stars 12 4 4 4 19 18 +1 12
5 Vancouver Royal Canadians 12 3 5 4 20 28 −8 11
6 Dallas Tornado 12 3 3 6 14 23 −9 9

Source: American Soccer History Archives
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Note: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss

USA Final 1967[edit]

Main article: USA Final 1967
July 14, 1967
Los Angeles Wolves 6–5[5] (a.e.t.) Washington Whips
Knowles Goal 3'
Burnside Goal 65'67'82'
Dougan Goal 113'
WhartonPenalty missed 118' (pen.)
Shewan Golden goal in the 122nd minute 122'  (o.g.)
Smith Goal 21'
Munro Goal 64' (pen.)89'120'(pen.)
Storrie Goal 66'
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
Attendance: 17,842[6]
Referee: Dick Giebner[7]

1967 USA Champions: Los Angeles Wolves

USA All-Stars[edit]

First Team[8][9]   Position   Second Team
Bobby Clark, Washington G Gordon Banks, Cleveland
Mario Tito, Houston D Eric Skeels, Cleveland
Jose Fidelis, Houston D Jan Villerius, San Francisco
Pat Stanton, Toronto M Joe Davis, Toronto
Jim Baxter, Vancouver M John Moore, Cleveland
Tommy McMillan, Washington M Miguel Angelo Longo, Chicago
Ary Clemente, Houston F Doug Smith, Dallas
Paulo Borges, Houston F Henk Houwaart, San Francisco
Peter Dobing, Cleveland F Roberto Boninsegna, Chicago
George Eastham, Cleveland F Benedicto Ribeiro, New York
Roy Vernon, Cleveland F Peter Cormack, Toronto

Coach of the year[edit]

NASL[edit]

In December 1967 the USA merged with National Professional Soccer League to form the North American Soccer League, taking the original name of the USA group. As a result of the merger several of the original USA franchises folded. This was partly to avoid some cities having two teams. As a result Toronto City, New York Skyliners and San Francisco Golden Gate Gales were disbanded in favor of their NPSL rivals, Toronto Falcons, New York Generals and Oakland Clippers. The owners of the Gales franchise subsequently merged with Vancouver Royal Canadians and Boston Rovers were relaunched as Boston Beacons. Together with Cleveland Stokers, Los Angeles Wolves, Houston Stars, Washington Whips and Dallas Tornado, these teams then became founding members of the NASL. However, after the 1968 season all of these franchises, with the exception of Dallas Tornado folded. They became NASL champions in 1971 and continued to play in the NASL until 1981.

The idea of importing teams to represent franchises was revived during the 1969 NASL season. Both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Dundee United returned. This time the former represented Kansas City Spurs and again emerged as champions. The latter linked up once again with Dallas Tornado. Two other English League teams West Ham United and Aston Villa represented Baltimore Bays and Atlanta Chiefs while Kilmarnock of the Scottish Football League played as the St. Louis Stars.

Selected players[edit]

References[edit]

General[edit]

  • Official 1968 North American Soccer League Guide. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1968.
  • Durso, Joseph. "Local Pro Soccer Teams May Share Stadium With Yanks in Spring," The New York Times, Sunday, February 12, 1967.

Specific[edit]

  1. ^ Cronauer, Bill (May 26, 1967). "City Soccer Stars Seek Berths On Miami Team". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Calgary Seeks Berth In United Soccer". Schenectady Gazette. May 12, 1967. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Happel’s “Monster” Dutchmen Take San Francisco By Storm". The Soccer Observer. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "New Soccer League Greeted By Huge Crowd In Houston". The Miami News. May 29, 1967. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Wolves v Aberdeen, United Soccer Association Championship, 14th July 1967". YouTube. July 25, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ United Press International (July 16, 1967). "Wolves capture U.S. soccer title". The New York Times. p. 152. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Past Winners | North American Soccer League". Naslsoccerbowl.com. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ "NASL Homepage". Web.archive.org. May 1, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Steve Dimitry's NASL Web Page". Oocities.org. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Wolves left out". Leader-Post (Regina). Associated Press. July 18, 1967. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]