New England Tea Men
|Full name||New England Tea Men|
|Ground||Schaefer Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts|
Nickerson Field, Boston, Massachusetts
Providence Civic Center (indoor) Providence, Rhode Island
The New England Tea Men were a soccer team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Boston, Massachusetts. They played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1978 to 1980. Their home venues for outdoor play were Schaefer Stadium (1978 and 1980) and Nickerson Field (1979). They also played one season of indoor soccer in the NASL, using the Providence Civic Center for home games.
The Tea Men won their division in 1978 and made a further playoff run in 1980. However, the team struggled for financial solvency in Massachusetts. Right at the start of the 1980–81 indoor season they relocated to Jacksonville, Florida and became the Jacksonville Tea Men.
Subsequent seasons proved not as successful for two important reasons. First, Flanagan, contracted to Charlton, remained in England (an attempt to secure him via a transfer failed, reportedly over endorsement rights). Second, the team was temporarily evicted from Schaefer Stadium when the owners of Foxboro Raceway - located next door - claimed that the Tea Men's matches were causing traffic problems on racing dates.
After spending one unhappy season at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University, the team reached an accord with Foxboro Raceway to play in Foxboro, but not on racing dates. As a result, the Tea Men had to play many Monday night matches, which caused attendance to dwindle.
|Year||League||W||L||Pts||Reg. Season||Playoffs||Avg. Attendance|
|1978||NASL||19||11||165||1st(t), American Conference, Eastern Division||Lost 1st Round (Ft. Lauderdale)||12,064|
|1979||NASL||12||18||110||4th, American Conference, Eastern Division||Did not qualify||6,562|
|1979–80||NASL Indoor||2||10||—||5th, Eastern Division||Did not qualify||3,249|
|1980||NASL||18||14||154||3rd, American Conference, Eastern Division||Lost 1st Round (Tampa Bay)||8,748|
|Division Champions (1)
NASL Most Valuable Player
U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame
All-Star First Team Selections
All-Star Honorable Mentions
- Derek Carroll – President
- Bill Alex – Play-by-Play Announcer
- Steve Glendye – Color Commentator on Northeast Sports Network
- Bart Hubbuch (June 25, 2006). "Remember the Tea Men? A pro kickoff". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 14, 2011.