Calgary Mustangs (USL)

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Calgary Storm (2001–2003)
Calgary Mustangs (2004)
CalgaryMustangsSC.png
Full nameCalgary Mustangs Soccer Club
Nickname(s)Storm, Mustangs
Founded2001 (as Calgary Storm)
Dissolved2004
StadiumFoothills Stadium (USL PDL), (USL A-League)
McMahon Stadium (USL A-League)
LeagueUSL PDL (2001)
USL A-League (2002–2004)

The Calgary Mustangs (formerly the Calgary Storm and Team Calgary) were a soccer team in Calgary, Alberta that played in the semi-professional USL Premier Development League in 2001 and the professional USL A-League from 2002 to 2004.

History[edit]

Calgary Storm SC.png

In 2001, the Calgary Storm was formed to play in the semi-professional USL Premier Development League.[1] They finished as the regular season champions[2] and in the playoffs advanced to the Championship final, where they finished as runner-ups after being defeated by the Westchester Flames.[3]

In 2002, the Storm moved to the professional USL A-League.[4] In their debut professional season, the Storm finished last in their division failing to qualify for the playoffs.[5] During the season, the season was complicated by player walkouts, a coach's firing, financial problems that forced several players to play without being paid, and some games being played without substitutes available.[6]

In 2003, the team once again continued to struggle in the standings, once again finishing last in their division.[5] During the season, team owner Michael Vandale resigned as team owner citing personal issues and mounting financial losses, handing over the operation of the team to the United Soccer Leagues, who would seek a new ownership group.[7][8] The USL managed the team for the remainder of the season, with funding pooled from the other 18 A-League franchises, who approved the decision to take over operation of the team, with the team finishing the season under the name Team Calgary.[9][10]

For 2004, a new ownership group consisting of Storm head coach Thomas Niendorf, John Torode, and Juergen Hanne were granted the rights to the franchise, choosing to operate the franchise as a non-profit organization.[11][12] The team continued in the USL A-League, changing its name to the Calgary Mustangs for the 2004 season (a previous team in the Canadian Professional Soccer League had operated as the Calgary Mustangs in 1983).[13] Following another last place finish, the Mustangs halted operations following the 2005 season, initially planning to return for the 2006 season,[14] however, they ultimately never returned.[15]

The team never acquired a significant profile in the Calgary sports marketplace and never had great fan support. The USL PDL Calgary Storm averaged 2,003 fans per game at Foothills Stadium. In their final season the team's average attendance was just 1,258 at 35,650 capacity McMahon Stadium.[16]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs
2001 4 USL PDL 1st, League Runner-up
2002 2 USL A-League 5th, Pacific Did not qualify
2003 4th, Pacific Did not qualify
2004 6th, Western Did not qualify

Honours[edit]

  • USL PDL Regular Season Champions: 2001

Reserve Team[edit]

After the Storm moved to the A-League from the PDL following the 2001 season, the club established a second team in the PDL known as the Calgary Storm Select, later known as the Calgary Storm Prospects in 2003. After the first team was taken over by the league mid-season in 2003, the reserve team was disbanded, with the Abbotsford Rangers who were operating a provisional league member taking over the remainder of their fixtures.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacKinnon, Jeff (December 3, 2014). "Another step forward for pro soccer in Calgary". Calgary Herald.
  2. ^ Rowaan, Dave (July 29, 2013). "Canadian clubs turning heads with PDL success". Waking the Red.
  3. ^ "Calgary United Soccer Association 2016 Annual Report" (PDF). Calgary United Soccer Association.
  4. ^ "United Soccer Leagues (1986-Present)". Fun While it Lasted.
  5. ^ a b Tomasch, Kenn. "All-Time Division II Standings". kenn.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014.
  6. ^ Rauw, Murray (March 20, 2003). "Storm full of optimism after tough debut season". Calgary Herald.
  7. ^ Busby, Ian (July 4, 2003). "Owner gives Storm the boot". Calgary Sun.
  8. ^ Johnson, George (July 4, 2003). "Vandale gives up on A-League dream". Calgary Herald.
  9. ^ a b "USL to manage Calgary franchise". United Soccer Leagues. July 10, 2003. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  10. ^ "A-League Will Keep Storm Afloat". Calgary Herald. July 10, 2003.
  11. ^ Maxwell, Cameron (October 8, 2003). "Group Buys Soccer Side". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Rauw, Murray (October 7, 2003). "Niendorf Arranges New Team". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Maxwell, Cameron (November 18, 2003). "A-League Team Gets A Name". Calgary Sun.
  14. ^ Maxwell, Cameron (October 28, 2004). "Hold Your Horses". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016.
  15. ^ Willerton, Alana (June 19, 2019). "What You Should Know About Calgary's New Professional Soccer Team, Cavalry FC". Avenue Calgary Magazine.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)