1978 Vancouver Whitecaps season

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1978 season
ChairmanHerb Capozzi[1]
ManagerTony 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 manager 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. Position Player
1 England GK Phil Parkes
2 Canada DF Garry Ayre
3 England DF Steve Harrison
4 England DF John Craven
5 Canada DF Robert Lenarduzzi
6 Canada DF Silvano Lenarduzzi
7 Canada MF Buzz Parsons
8 England MF Jon Sammels
9 Canada MF Drew Ferguson
10 Canada MF Bob Bolitho
11 England FW Kevin Hector
No. Position Player
12 Canada DF Paul Nelson
14 England MF Steve Kember
15 Canada MF Wayne Jentas
16 Canada MF Dale Mitchell
17 England DF Peter Daniel
18 Canada DF Dan Lenarduzzi
19 Canada FW Sam Saundh
20 England FW Alan Hinton
21 England FW Mickey Lambert
21 Northern Ireland FW Robert Campbell
22 England GK Steve Humphreys
24 England FW Derek Possee

Team management[edit]

Tony Waiters' first full season as manager of Vancouver Whitecaps manager 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]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-04-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ http://soccerstats.us/c/north-american-soccer-league/1978/games/
  3. ^ http://soccerstats.us/c/north-american-soccer-league/1978/games/
  4. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. 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 2014-03-09. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.nasljerseys.com/Rosters/Whitecaps_Rosters.htm#1975
  8. ^ http://www.nasljerseys.com/Rosters/Whitecaps_Rosters.htm
  9. ^ Litterer, david (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved March 5, 2014.