1981 North American Soccer League season

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North American Soccer League -1981 Season-
Season 1981
Champions Chicago Sting
Premiers New York Cosmos
(5th title)
Matches played 336
Goals scored 1234 (3.67 per match)
Top goalscorer Giorgio Chinaglia
(29 goals)
Highest attendance 50,755
Washington at Montreal
(August 18)
Lowest attendance 1,861
Dallas at Chicago
(May 10)
Average attendance 14,084
1980
1982

Statistics of North American Soccer League in season 1981. This was the 14th season of the NASL.

Overview[edit]

There were a total of 21 teams participating. The Chicago Sting defeated the New York Cosmos in Soccer Bowl '81 on September 26 to win the championship.

Changes from the Previous Season[edit]

New Teams[edit]

  • None

Teams Folding[edit]

  • Houston Hurricane
  • Rochester Lancers
  • Washington Diplomats

Teams Moving[edit]

  • Memphis Rogues to Calgary Boomers
  • Detroit Express to Washington Diplomats
  • New England Tea Men to Jacksonville Tea Men
  • Philadelphia Fury to Montreal Manic

Regular season[edit]

W = Wins, L = Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PT= point system

6 points for a win in regulation and overtime, 4 point for a shootout win, 0 points for a loss, 1 bonus point for each regulation goal scored, up to three per game.[1]

Eastern Division W L GF GA PT
New York Cosmos 23 9 80 49 200
Montreal Manic 15 17 63 57 141
Washington Diplomats 15 17 59 58 135
Toronto Blizzard 7 25 39 82 77
Southern Division W L GF GA PT
Atlanta Chiefs 17 15 62 60 151
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 18 14 54 46 144
Jacksonville Tea Men 18 14 51 46 141
Tampa Bay Rowdies 15 17 63 64 139
Central Division W L GF GA PT
Chicago Sting 23 9 84 50 195
Minnesota Kicks 19 13 63 57 163
Tulsa Roughnecks 17 15 60 49 154
Dallas Tornado 5 27 27 71 54
Western Division W L GF GA PT
San Diego Sockers 21 11 67 49 173
Los Angeles Aztecs 19 13 53 55 160
California Surf 11 21 60 77 117
San Jose Earthquakes 11 21 44 78 108
Northwest Division W L GF GA PT
Vancouver Whitecaps 21 11 74 43 186
Calgary Boomers 17 15 59 54 151
Portland Timbers 17 15 52 49 141
Seattle Sounders 15 17 60 62 137
Edmonton Drillers 12 20 60 79 123

NASL All-Stars[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team[2] Honorable Mention[3]
Jan van Beveren, Ft. Lauderdale G Hubert Birkenmeier, New York Volkmar Gross, San Diego
Frantz Mathieu, Chicago D Barry Wallace, Tulsa Nick Rohmann, San Diego
Wim Rijsbergen, New York D Kevin Bond, Seattle Robert Iarusci, New York
Peter Nogly, Edmonton D Mihalj Keri, Los Angeles Dave Huson, Chicago
John Gorman, Tampa Bay D Pierce O'Leary, Vancouver Carlos Alberto, California
Arno Steffenhagen, Chicago M Alan Hudson, Seattle Juli Veee, San Diego
Vladislav Bogićević, New York M George Best, San Jose Jomo Sono, Toronto
Teófilo Cubillas, Ft. Lauderdale M Peter Lorimer, Vancouver Duncan McKenzie, Tulsa
Brian Kidd, Atlanta F Karl-Heinz Granitza, Chicago Mike Stojanović, San Diego
Gordon Hill, Montreal F Roberto Cabañas, New York Pato Margetic, Chicago
Giorgio Chinaglia, New York F Franz Gerber, Calgary Alan Green, Jacksonville / Steve Wegerle, New York

Playoffs[edit]

First round[edit]

Lower seed Higher seed Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 (higher seed hosts Games 2 and 3)
Tulsa Roughnecks - Minnesota Kicks 1–3 0–1 (SO, 4–5) x August 22 • Skelly Stadium • 16,205
August 26 • Metropolitan Stadium • 10,722
Portland Timbers - San Diego Sockers 2–1 1–5 0–2 August 22 • Civic Stadium • 16,003
August 26 • Jack Murphy Stadium • 12,039
August 30 • Jack Murphy Stadium • 15,244
Jacksonville Tea Men - Atlanta Chiefs 3–2 (OT) 2–1 x August 23 • Gator Bowl • 9,287
August 25 • Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium • 6,572
Fort Lauderdale Strikers - Calgary Boomers 3–1 #2–0 x August 23 • Lockhart Stadium • 12,196
#August 26 • Lockhart Stadium • 11,494
Tampa Bay Rowdies - Vancouver Whitecaps 4–1 1–0 x August 23 • Tampa Stadium • 21,192
August 26 • Empire Stadium • 28,896
Seattle Sounders - Chicago Sting 2–3 *2–0 2–3 August 23 • Comiskey Park • 14,643
*August 26 • Kingdome • 15,176
August 30 • Wrigley Field • 24,080
Montreal Manic - Los Angeles Aztecs 5–3 2–3 2–1 (OT) August 24 • Olympic Stadium • 46,682
August 27 • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • 7,529
August 30 • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • 8,812
(first round bye) New York Cosmos

#Due to a scheduling conflict between the Calgary Boomers and the Billy Graham Crusade, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosted both Games 1 and 2 (instead of Game 1 only), there-by gaining home field advantage even though they were the lower seed.[4]

*Seattle Sounders hosted Game 2 (instead of Game 1) due to a scheduling conflict with the Mariners baseball club.[5]

Quarterfinals[edit]

Lower seed Higher seed Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 (higher seed hosts Games 2 and 3)
Tampa Bay Rowdies - New York Cosmos 3–6 3–2 (SO, 4–2) 0–2 September 2 • Tampa Stadium • 29,224
September 5 • Giants Stadium • 38,691
September 9 • Giants Stadium • 33,754
Montreal Manic - Chicago Sting 3–2 2–4 2–4 September 2 • Olympic Stadium • 58,542
September 5 • Wrigley Field • 24,648
September 10 • Comiskey Park • 27,489
Fort Lauderdale Strikers - Minnesota Kicks 3–1 3–0 x September 2 • Lockhart Stadium • 11,918
September 6 • Metropolitan Stadium • 10,278
Jacksonville Tea Men - San Diego Sockers 2–1 (OT) 1–2 1–3 September 2 • Gator Bowl • 12,252
September 6 • Jack Murphy Stadium • 14,428
September 9 • Jack Murphy Stadium • 14,015

Semifinals[edit]

Lower seed Higher seed Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 (higher seed hosts Games 2 and 3)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers - New York Cosmos 3–4 1–4 x September 12 • Lockhart Stadium • 18,814
September 16 • Giants Stadium • 31,172
[6]
San Diego Sockers - Chicago Sting 2–1 1–2 0–1 (SO, 2–3) September 12 • Jack Murphy Stadium • 18,192
September 16 • Comiskey Park • 21,760
September 21 • Comiskey Park • 39,623

Soccer Bowl '81[edit]

Main article: Soccer Bowl '81

1981 NASL Champions: Chicago Sting

*From 1977 through 1984 the NASL had a variation of the penalty shoot-out procedure for tied matches. The shoot-out started 35 yards from the goal and allowed the player 5 seconds to attempt a shot. The player could make as many moves as he wanted in a breakaway situation within the time frame. Even though this particular match was a scoreless tie after overtime, NASL procedure also called for the box score to show an additional "goal" given to the winning team.[9][10]

Post season awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]