Montreal Manic

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Montreal Manic / Manic de Montréal
Full nameMontreal Manic / Manic de Montréal
Nickname(s)The Manic / Le Manic
StadiumOlympic Stadium
Montreal Forum (indoor)
OwnerMolson Brewery
ChairmanRoger Samson
CoachEddie Firmani
Andy Lynch
LeagueNorth American Soccer League

The Montreal Manic or the Manic de Montréal were a professional soccer team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, that played in the North American Soccer League.


"Le Manic" as they were called by the locals, were Montreal's first professional soccer team since the NASL's Montreal Olympique folded in 1973. The team was named after a river in northeast Quebec, the Manicouagan, the site of a massive hydroelectric project.[1]

The Montreal Manic competed from 1981 to 1983, with their home field being the Montreal Olympic Stadium. Previous to Montreal, the team played as the Philadelphia Fury from 1978 through 1980 and ten Fury players as well as manager Eddie Firmani moved to Montreal for 1981.

After defeating the Los Angeles Aztecs in the first round of the 1981 NASL playoffs, the Manic faced the Chicago Sting. A 58,542 Olympic Stadium crowd saw the Manic defeat the Sting in the opening match before the series shifted to Chicago where the Manic lost twice and were eliminated. In 1982 the Manic performed better in the regular season than in 1981, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Firmani was fired.

In 1983 the interest in the team and the average attendance fell sharply.[2] The Manic's opening home match in 1983 versus the Tampa Bay Rowdies was witnessed by just 6,460 fans.[3] However, in their final season, the Manic produced one of the great shocks in NASL history by eliminating the New York Cosmos in the quarterfinals of the 1983 playoffs, winning the first match away 4-2 and winning the second match at home in a shootout. The Manic then lost to the Tulsa Roughnecks in the next round.

In the 1983 season, the Manic hosted Nottingham Forest (a 4-3 extra time loss) and FC Nantes (a 2-1 shootout victory for Montreal) at the Olympic Stadium.[4]

In his book, Soccer in a Football World, North American soccer historian Dave Wangerin partially attributes the downfall of the Manic organization to the Molson ownership's declaration to attempt to build a Team Canada roster for the 1984 season.[5] The new direction of the team meant many of the team's players who originated from foreign countries would be let go, to emphasize an all Canadian roster instead. Given that Canada had a relatively poor track record at producing world class soccer talent, Montreal fans were likely put off by the prospect that the quality of the team's play would instantly diminish for the 1984 season.[6] More importantly, the team was allegedly in financial trouble despite the fact that the Manic had some of the highest attendances in the NASL. Reports indicated that during the first two seasons, the Manic lacked profitability as they had lost $7 million. Manic president Roger Samson blamed the losses on bad stadium deals, high rents, having the concession profits going directly to the Montreal Expos, a lack of a television deal, and that an average attendance of over 20,000 was insufficient to keep the franchise solvent.[7]


Year League W L Pts Reg. season Playoffs Avg Attend
1981 NASL 15 17 141 2nd, Eastern Division Won 1st Round (Los Angeles)
Lost Quarterfinal (Chicago)
1981–82 NASL Indoor 9 9 1st, American Conference, East Division Lost 1st Round (Tampa Bay)
1982 NASL 19 13 159 2nd, Eastern Division Lost 1st Round (Ft. Lauderdale) 21,348
1983 NASL Indoor Grand Prix 5 3 53 1st, Grand Prix preliminaries Runners-up (Tampa Bay) 6,972
1983 NASL 12 18 124 4th, Eastern Division Won 1st Round (New York)
Lost Semifinal (Tulsa)



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  1. ^ Gammon, Clive "Manic but not depressive", "Sports Illustrated", June 15, 1981. Retrieved on November 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "Le Manic se range derrière l'Impact". February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  3. ^ "1983 Rowdies vs. Manic Game Report". Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Montreal Manic Friendlies". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Wangerin, Dave. (2008), Soccer in a Football world: The Story of America's Forgotten Game, Temple University Press. (ISBN 1592138853)
  6. ^ "Le Manic, c'est fini". February 8, 1983. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Manic Depression". October 14, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015. External link in |publisher= (help)
  8. ^,1706476&dq=championship+effort+carried+rowdies&hl=en
  9. ^,1706476&dq=championship+effort+carried+rowdies&hl=en
  10. ^,1706476&dq=championship+effort+carried+rowdies&hl=en
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  12. ^,8303699
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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