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National Professional Soccer League (1967)

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National Professional Soccer League
Founded1967; 57 years ago (1967)
Foldedmerged with USA
to form NASL in 1968
CountryUnited States
Other club(s) fromCanada
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid1
Last championsOakland Clippers
Most championshipsOakland Clippers (1)
TV partnersCBS

The National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) was a North American professional soccer league that existed for only the 1967 season before merging with the United Soccer Association (USA) to form the North American Soccer League. It was a "wild league", i.e. unlike its competitor, the USA, not associated with FIFA. It had ten charter members, nine from the United States and one from Canada. To encourage attacking play, the NPSL introduced a new standings points system that was later used by the NASL – 6 points for a win, 3 for a draw, 0 for a loss and 1 bonus point for each of the first three goals scored. The circuit's commissioner was Ken Macker, an American publisher of three Philippines-based newspapers. The name National Professional Soccer League was revived in 1990 and used by a United States professional indoor soccer league.


In 1966, a group of sports entrepreneurs led by Bill Cox and Robert Hermann formed a consortium called the North American Professional Soccer League with the intention of forming a professional soccer league in United States and Canada. However, this was just one of three groups with similar plans. The NAPSL eventually merged with one of these groups, the National Soccer League, led by Richard Millen, to form the National Professional Soccer League. A third group, the United Soccer Association was sanctioned by both the USSFA and FIFA. The NPSL did not receive sanctioning by the USSFA as they refused to pay the $25,000 fee,[1] was branded an outlawed entity by FIFA, and players faced penalties for signing with it. Despite this the NPSL, which secured a TV contract from CBS, set about recruiting players, and announced it would be ready to launch in 1967.


Franchises Stadiums (capacity) Owners
Atlanta Chiefs Atlanta Stadium (50,893) William Bartholomay (Atlanta Braves)
Baltimore Bays Memorial Stadium (52,185) Jerold Hoffberger (Baltimore Orioles)
Chicago Spurs Soldier Field (100,000) William B. Cutler, Michael Butler
Los Angeles Toros Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (93,000) Dan Reeves (Los Angeles Rams)
New York Generals Yankee Stadium (67,000) RKO General Inc., Elser Enterprises Inc.
Oakland Clippers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (53,000) Joseph O'Neill, H.T. Hilliard
Philadelphia Spartans Temple University Stadium (20,000) John Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Pittsburgh Phantoms Forbes Field (35,714) Peter Block, Richard George (Pittsburgh Penguins)
St. Louis Stars Busch Memorial Stadium (50,000) Bob Hermann/Bill Bidwill (St. Louis Cardinals football)
Toronto Falcons Varsity Stadium (25,000) Joseph Peters

1967 season recap[edit]

The NPSL kicked off on Sunday, April 16 with a full slate of five matches attended by a total of 46,547 fans. The largest crowd of the day was found in Philadelphia, where 14,163 cheered the hometown Spartans to a 2–0 victory over the Toronto Falcons.[2] The most notable game however, was Baltimore's 1–0 home victory over Atlanta in front of a crowd of just 8,434. It was televised by CBS which had signed a two-year contract to broadcast a game every Sunday afternoon live and in color. Play-by-play voice Jack Whitaker was joined by the former Northern Ireland international Danny Blanchflower as a pundit. Blanchflower was not impressed with the standard of play and did not hesitate to say so.[3]

The NPSL was also criticised after Pittsburgh's 2–1 triumph over Toronto in the Falcons' home opener on Sunday, May 14. Of the twenty-one fouls that afternoon, eleven were called to allow CBS to insert commercials into its telecast. Referee Peter Rhodes also admitted that he had forced players to fake injuries to serve the same purpose. This raised many questions about whether the television networks and its sponsors were having too much influence over televised sporting events.

The NPSL did however attract some notable players including three former Aston Villa players Phil Woosnam, Vic Crowe and Peter McParland who, together with another veteran of the English League, Ron Newman, all turned out for the Atlanta Chiefs. Two ex-Real Madrid players, Juan Santisteban and Yanko Daucik, also turned out for the Baltimore Bays and Toronto Falcons respectively. Santisteban made the NPSL All-Star team and Daucik finished as the league's top scorer.

The Oakland Clippers laid claim to the regular season title boasting both the best record and the most total points in either division. In the NPSL Finals the Western Division champion Clippers defeated the Bays, winners of the Eastern Division for the NPSL Championship by virtue of a 4–2 aggregate. Dennis Viollet gave Baltimore a 1–0 win on Sunday, September 3, before a home crowd of 16,619. Six days later, in the second leg at Oakland, Dragan Đukić scored a hat trick as the Clippers won 4–1 in front of 9,037.

On the same day as the second leg of the NPSL final, the St. Louis Stars defeated Philadelphia, 2–1, in a battle of division runner-ups held in St. Louis before a crowd of 9,565. The victory gave the Stars a berth in the Commissioner's Cup versus Oakland.[4] On September 18, the Clippers completed the NPSL treble, by defeating the Stars for the Commissioner's Cup in front of 8,415 fans at Busch Memorial Stadium by the score of 6–3.[5]

1967 Regular season[edit]

P= Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T= Ties GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts= point system

6 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, 0 points for a loss, 1 point for each goal scored up to three per game.

 -Premiers (most points).  -Other playoff team.
Eastern Division P W L T GF GA Pts
Baltimore Bays 32 14 9 9 53 47 162
Philadelphia Spartans 32 14 9 9 53 43 157
New York Generals 32 11 13 8 60 58 143
Atlanta Chiefs 31 10 12 9 51 46 135
Pittsburgh Phantoms 31 10 14 7 59 74 132
Western Division P W L T GF GA Pts
Oakland Clippers 32 19 8 5 64 34 185
St. Louis Stars 32 14 11 7 54 57 156
Chicago Spurs 32 10 11 11 50 55 142
Toronto Falcons 32 10 17 5 59 70 127
Los Angeles Toros 32 7 15 10 42 61 114

NPSL League leaders[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals (worth 2 points), A = Assists (worth 1 point), Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Yanko Daucik Toronto 17 20 8 48
Willy Roy Chicago 27 17 5 39
Rudi Kolbl St. Louis 23 15 8 38
Eli Durante Los Angeles 23 15 5 35
Manfred Rummel Pittsburgh 19 14 4 32
Ilija Mitic Oakland 19 13 3 29
Oscar Lopez Toronto 25 12 5 29
Bora Kostić St. Louis 28 12 5 29
Ernie Winchester Chicago 13 13 2 28
Norbert Pogrzeba St. Louis 31 11 6 28
Orlando Garro Philadelphia 20 12 2 26
Mario Baesso Oakland 17 11 4 26
Co Prins Pittsburgh 21 8 9 25
Sele Milosevic Oakland 12 12 0 24
Manfred Seissler Pittsburgh 16 10 4 24


NPSL All-Stars[edit]

First Team[7][8]   Position  
Mirko Stojanovic, Oakland G
Mel Scott, Oakland D
Badu DaCruz, Baltimore D
Juan Santisteban, Baltimore M
Ilija Mitic, Oakland M
Rubén Navarro, Philadelphia M
Willy Roy, Chicago F
Co Prins, Pittsburgh F
Mario Baesso, Oakland F
Art Welch, Baltimore F
Emment Kapengwe, Atlanta F

NPSL Final 1967[edit]

Western Division Champion Aggregate Eastern Division Champion First leg Second leg Attendance
Oakland Clippers 4–2 Baltimore Bays 0–1 4–1 September 3 • Memorial Stadium • 16,619
September 9 • Oakland-Alameda Coliseum • 9,037
September 3, 1967 First leg Baltimore Bays 1–0 Oakland Clippers Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
2:15 PM EDT Dennis Viollet 71:41' (Santisteban) Report 1
Report 2
Attendance: 16,619
Referee: Walter Crossley (England)[citation needed]
September 9, 1967 Second leg Oakland Clippers[9] 4–1 Baltimore Bays Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, California
12:45 PDT Dragan Djukic 27' (Davidovic)
Dragan Djukic 35' (Davidovic)
Dragan Djukic 38' (pen.)
Edgar Marín (Mitic) 58'
Report 1
Report 2
Juan Santisteban Red card 38'
Guy Saint-Vil 41' (Asher Welch)
Attendance: 9,037
Referee: Mike Ashkenazi

1967 NPSL Champions: Oakland Clippers

NPSL Commissioner's Cup 1967[edit]

The Commissioner's Cup was a one-off challenge match between the NPSL Champion and the winner of a third-place match between the two division runners-up. On September 9 the St. Louis Stars defeated the Philadelphia Spartans 2–1 to secure their place in the match. Earlier that same day the Oakland Clippers were crowned NPSL champions with a, 4–2, two-match aggregate victory over the Baltimore Bays to claim the other cup spot.[10]

September 18, 1967 Cup match St. Louis Stars 3–6 Oakland Clippers Busch Memorial Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
7:30 PM CDT Norb Pogrezba 36'
Bora Kostić , (pen.)
Report Joe Fuhrman 10' (o.g.)
Edgar Marín 25', 51'
George Lievano 28'
Ilija Mitić 40'
Sele Milosević 80'
Attendance: 8,415
Referee: Emmett Brennan

Post season awards[edit]

NASL formation[edit]

In December 1967, the NPSL merged with the United Soccer Association to form the North American Soccer League. As a result of the merger several of the original NPSL franchises folded or relocated. This was partly to avoid some cities having two teams. Philadelphia Spartans and Pittsburgh Phantoms both folded, while Chicago Spurs became Kansas City Spurs and Los Angeles Toros became San Diego Toros. Together with New York Generals, Baltimore Bays, Atlanta Chiefs, Toronto Falcons, St. Louis Stars and Oakland Clippers, these teams then became founding members of the NASL. However, only Atlanta Chiefs, who won the inaugural NASL title, and St. Louis Stars enjoyed any longevity. The remaining franchises all folded by 1970.

NPSL players[edit]

United States Walter Chyzowych
United States Bob Gansler
United States Pat McBride
United States Ilija Mitic
United States Willy Roy
England Terry Adlington
England Ron Newman
England Dennis Viollet
England John Best
Argentina César Luis Menotti
Argentina Rubén Navarro
Costa Rica Edgar Marin
Czechoslovakia Yanko Daucik
Republic of Ireland Eric Barber
Scotland Bill Brown
Spain Juan Santisteban
Netherlands Co Prins
Northern Ireland Peter McParland
Wales Vic Crowe
Wales Phil Woosnam


  1. ^ Logan, Gabe (2019). The Early Years of Chicago Soccer, 1887–1939. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 240. ISBN 9781498599047.
  2. ^ "The Norwalk Hour - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Maule, Tex "Kickoff For A Babel Of Booters" Sports Illustrated, April 24, 1967
  4. ^ Meyers, Jeff (September 10, 1967). "Stars Take Playoff". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 1B. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Meyers, Jeff (September 19, 1967). "Clippers Down Stars, Win Cup". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 5C. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "North American Soccer League".
  7. ^ "This page is dedicated to the history of the NASL (North American Soccer League)". home.att.net. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  8. ^ "Steve Dimitry's NASL Web Page".
  9. ^ Seese, Dennis J. (2015). The Rebirth of Professional Soccer in America: The Strange Days of the United Soccer Association. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 173–175. ISBN 978-1442238947.
  10. ^ Meyers, Jeff (September 10, 1967). "Stars Take Playoff". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 1B. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "The Year in American Soccer - 1967". homepages.sover.net. Archived from the original on March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2018.

External links[edit]


  • Official 1968 North American Soccer League Guide. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1968.
  • Durso, Joseph. "Local Pro Soccer Teams May Share Stadium With Yanks in Spring", The New York Times, Sunday, February 12, 1967.