Boston Beacons

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Boston Beacons
Boston beacons logo.png
Full nameBoston Beacons
Nickname(s)Beacons
Founded1968
Dissolved1968; 54 years ago (1968)
StadiumFenway Park
Capacity33,375
LeagueNASL
19685th, Atlantic Division

The Boston Beacons were an American soccer professional team that competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1968. The team was based in Boston and played their home games at Fenway Park. Originally intended to be a charter member of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1967, the team played its first and only season in the 1968 NASL following the merger of the NPSL and rival United Soccer Association.

History[edit]

In 1966, several groups of entrepreneurs were exploring the idea of forming a professional soccer league in United States and Canada. Two of these groups merged to form the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and franchise rights were awarded to ten ownership groups[citation needed]. Boston was originally chosen as a team location, but withdrew from the 1967 season as the organization was unable to find a suitable stadium.[a][1] The NPSL announced that Boston would join the league in 1968 with a team owned by retired Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach and Boston Red Sox executive vice president Dick O'Connell.[2] In April 1967, General Manager Joe McKenney announced that the team name of Beacons had been chosen based on fan suggestions and that the team would start play in 1968 at Fenway Park.[3] In June 1967, Jack Mansell was hired as head coach, resigning from Rotherham United to take the position.[4] In preparation to join the league, the organization hosted an exhibition match between the Baltimore Bays and the Chicago Spurs in July 1967.[5]

Following the merger of the NPSL and the United Soccer Association, it was announced that the city of Boston would be represented by one of the 20 teams in the North American Soccer League (NASL)[6][b]; the Boston Shamrock Rovers of the former USA folded, leaving the New England region to Beacons.[7][8][9]

The Beacons opened their season on the road against the Oakland Clippers with a 2–1 loss in front of 5,714 fans, losing due to a botched clearance that bounced off a Beacon player and into the net for the Clipper's winning goal.[10] On 8 July 1968, the Beacons lost by a score of 7–1 to Brazilian team Santos FC, who were touring the United States and playing a series of exhibition matches against NASL and international teams. Santos star Pelé scored a goal and created an assist in the game played before a crowd of 18,431, the largest to attend a Beacons match at Fenway Park.[11] The team finished the season in last place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 9 wins, 17 losses and 6 draws, and an average attendance of 4,004. [12]

During a meeting of NASL officials on 24 October 1968, GM Joe McKenney stated that the team would "100 per cent chance" quit the league. The team officially folded shortly after.[13]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year League W L T Pts Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1968 NASL 9 17 6 121 5th, Atlantic Division Did Not Qualify 4,004

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The NPSL selected San Francisco to take Boston's place, the team became the Oakland Clippers
  2. ^ 17 teams contested the 1968 NASL season with three teams folding before the season began

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frisco Gets Pro Soccer Loop Spot". Schenectady Gazette. 24 October 1966. p. 34.
  2. ^ Heufelder, Bill (23 February 1967). "Knight Helps Crank Up NPSL". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Boston Beacons". The Norwalk Hour. 7 April 1967. p. 21. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Beacons Sign English Coach". The Nashua Telegraph. 5 June 1967. p. 10. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  5. ^ "New England Sports Briefs". The Nashua Telegraph. 7 July 1967. p. 13. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Differences Settled, Soccer Leagues Merge". The Phoenix. 14 December 1967. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  7. ^ Seese, D.J. (2015). The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days of the United Soccer Association. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442238954.
  8. ^ "Chicago Loses Pro Soccer Team". Warsaw Times - Union. 5 January 1968. p. 8. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Beacons Survive Rovers In Major Soccer Merger". The Telegraph. 8 December 1967. p. 14. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  10. ^ "..Sports News In Brief." The Nashua Telegraph. 1 April 1968. p. 12. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Brazil Wins Hub Soccer". The Morning Record. 9 July 1968. p. 8. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  12. ^ "North American Soccer League". rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Beacon May Call It Quits". Meriden Journal. 25 October 1968. p. 12. Retrieved 16 December 2021.