1978 Vancouver Whitecaps season

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1978 season
ChairmanHerb Capozzi[1]
Head coachTony Waiters
NASLDivision: 1st
Overall: 2nd
NASL PlayoffsQuarterfinals
Highest home attendance30,752 vs DT July 12, 1978[2]
Lowest home attendance9,266 vs RL April 16, 1978[3]
Average home league attendance15,736 [4]
← 1977
1979 →

The 1978 Vancouver Whitecaps season was the fifth season of the Whitecaps, and their fifth year in the North American Soccer League and the top flight of Canadian soccer.

This was coach Tony Waiter's first full season with the club. The team was dominant in the 1978 with 68 goals scored, a thirteen-game winning streak, and a 24-6 record – tied with the dramatically higher spending powerhouse New York Cosmos for the best record in the NASL. The Whitecaps achieved this with mainly unrecognized players, nicknamed the "English Mafia" for primarily English foreign players coupled with locals including Italian-Canadians. Due to the large number of teams, 24, the season was not set up with a balanced home and away schedule with some teams played twice, others once, and still others not at all. After the league during the playoff tournament in which 16 of 24 teams competed, the Whitecaps defeated Toronto Metros-Croatia in front of 30,811 at Empire Stadium (at the time the largest crowd to see two Canadian teams play against each other)[5] before being upset by the Portland Timbers in the quarterfinals two games to nil.[6]

'King' Kevin Hector led the Whitecaps with 21 goals and ten assists while tying for fourth in the golden boot race. Bob Lenarduzzi also had a strong season on the score sheet with ten goals and seventeen assists along with Bob Campbell and John Craven. Phil Parkes was the top goalkeeper in the NASL with 29 games played, a 0.95 GAA and 10 clean sheets. Alan Hinton, Steve Kember, and Bob Bolitho also were main contributors over the season.[7] Despite the team's record and strong attendance at fifth highest in the league, the club received little recognition at the All Star Game with only Kevin Hector and John Craven named to the second team. They recouped that recognition though with Tony Waiters awarded Coach of the Year and the North American Player of the Year awarded to Bob Lenarduzzi.



The 1978 squad[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Phil Parkes
2 DF Canada CAN Garry Ayre
3 DF England ENG Steve Harrison
4 DF England ENG John Craven
5 DF Canada CAN Robert Lenarduzzi
6 DF Canada CAN Silvano Lenarduzzi
7 MF Canada CAN Buzz Parsons
8 MF England ENG Jon Sammels
9 MF Canada CAN Drew Ferguson
10 MF Canada CAN Bob Bolitho
11 FW England ENG Kevin Hector
No. Pos. Nation Player
12 DF Canada CAN Paul Nelson
14 MF England ENG Steve Kember
15 MF Canada CAN Wayne Jentas
16 MF Canada CAN Dale Mitchell
17 DF England ENG Peter Daniel
18 DF Canada CAN Dan Lenarduzzi
19 FW Canada CAN Sam Saundh
20 FW England ENG Alan Hinton
21 FW England ENG Mickey Lambert
21 FW Northern Ireland NIR Robert Campbell
22 GK England ENG Steve Humphreys
24 FW England ENG Derek Possee

Team management[edit]

Tony Waiters' first full season as coach of Vancouver Whitecaps coach in 1978 saw the Whitecaps tied for the best record in the NASL at 24-6 and win the Coach of the Year Award.[9]


Results by round[edit]

Source: soccerstats.us
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Match results[edit]

April 2, 1978 1 Vancouver Whitecaps 1 – 4 San Diego Sockers Vancouver
Kevin Hector Report Gerry Ingram
Peter Anderson
Stadium: Empire Stadium
Attendance: 11,425
April 18, 1978 4 California Surf 1 – 0 Vancouver Whitecaps Los Angeles
Malcolm Lord Report Stadium: Anaheim Stadium
Attendance: 10,602
June 7, 1978 15 New England Tea Men 2 – 0 Vancouver Whitecaps Foxborough, Massachusetts
Mike Flanagan
Roger Gibbins
Report Stadium: Foxboro Stadium
Attendance: 4,862
June 10, 1978 16 Washington Diplomats 1 – 1 (SO) Vancouver Whitecaps Washington, D.C.
Mike Bakic Report John Craven Stadium: RFK Stadium
Attendance: 10,615
June 17, 1978 17 Vancouver Whitecaps 0 – 1 Toronto Metros-Croatia Vancouver
Report Marko Vujkovic Stadium: Empire Stadium
Attendance: 15,661
July 8, 1978 22 Dallas Tornado 1 – 2 Vancouver Whitecaps University Park, Texas
Max Thompson Report Bob Campbell
Kevin Hector
Stadium: Ownby Stadium
Attendance: 5,461
July 17, 1978 25 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 1 Oakland Stompers Vancouver
Kevin Hector
Bob Campbell
Report Archie Roboostoff Stadium: Empire Stadium
Attendance: 18,783
July 27, 1978 27 Vancouver Whitecaps 4 – 1 Los Angeles Aztecs Vancouver
Kevin Hector
Bob Campbell
Steve Kember
Report George Dewsnip Stadium: Empire Stadium
Attendance: 22,910


Conference Quarterfinals – vs Toronto (N7)[edit]

Conference Semifinals – vs Portland (N4)[edit]

August 16, 1978 Game 2 Portland Timbers 2 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps Portland, Oregon
Clyde Best 17'
Willie Anderson
Report Steve Kember Stadium: Civic Stadium
Attendance: 32,266

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PCSL - Socer Beginnings in BC". Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "Soccer History | SoccerStats.us".
  3. ^ "Soccer History | SoccerStats.us".
  4. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Farley, Richard (July 26, 2008). ""White is the Colour" -- Vancouver's NASL Success". A More Splendid Life. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "NASL Vancouver Whitecaps Rosters".
  8. ^ "NASL Vancouver Whitecaps Rosters".
  9. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2014.