Boston Beacons

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Boston Beacons
Full nameBoston Beacons
Dissolved1968; 56 years ago (1968)
StadiumFenway Park
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.


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.[1] 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][2] 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.[3] 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.[4] In June 1967, Jack Mansell was hired as head coach, resigning from Rotherham United to take the position.[5] In preparation to join the league, the organization hosted an exhibition match between the Baltimore Bays and the Chicago Spurs in July 1967.[6]

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)[7][b]; the Boston Shamrock Rovers of the former USA folded, leaving the New England region to Beacons.[8][9][10]

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.[11] On July 8, 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.[12] 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. [13]

During a meeting of NASL officials on October 24, 1968, GM Joe McKenney stated that the team would "100 per cent chance" quit the league. The team officially folded shortly after.[14]


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]


  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


  1. ^ Lewis, Michael (April 17, 2017). "US pro soccer's 50th anniversary: 'They called us communists and midgets'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  2. ^ "Frisco Gets Pro Soccer Loop Spot". Schenectady Gazette. October 24, 1966. p. 34.
  3. ^ Heufelder, Bill (February 23, 1967). "Knight Helps Crank Up NPSL". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "Boston Beacons". The Norwalk Hour. April 7, 1967. p. 21. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  5. ^ "Beacons Sign English Coach". The Nashua Telegraph. June 5, 1967. p. 10. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "New England Sports Briefs". The Nashua Telegraph. July 7, 1967. p. 13. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  7. ^ "Differences Settled, Soccer Leagues Merge". The Phoenix. December 14, 1967. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Seese, D.J. (2015). The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days of the United Soccer Association. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442238954.
  9. ^ "Chicago Loses Pro Soccer Team". Warsaw Times-Union. January 5, 1968. p. 8. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  10. ^ "Beacons Survive Rovers In Major Soccer Merger". The Telegraph. December 8, 1967. p. 14. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  11. ^ "..Sports News In Brief." The Nashua Telegraph. April 1, 1968. p. 12. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  12. ^ "Brazil Wins Hub Soccer". The Morning Record. July 9, 1968. p. 8. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  13. ^ "North American Soccer League". RSSSF. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  14. ^ "Beacon May Call It Quits". Meriden Journal. October 25, 1968. p. 12. Retrieved December 16, 2021.