Thompson Usiyan

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Thompson Usiyan
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-04-27) 27 April 1956 (age 62)
Place of birth Effurun, Nigeria
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1977–1980 Appalachian State Mountaineers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1982 Montreal Manic 58 (21)
1981–1982 Montreal Manic (indoor) 16 (13)
1983–1984 Tulsa Roughnecks 11 (1)
1983–1984 Tulsa Roughnecks (indoor) 13 (3)
1984 Oklahoma City Stampede
1984–1987 Minnesota Strikers (indoor) 87 (66)
1985 Tulsa Tornados
1987–1988 Los Angeles Lazers (indoor) 66 (63)
1989 Maryland Bays
1989–1991 St. Louis Storm (indoor) 97 (92)
1991 Hamilton Steelers
1991–1992 San Diego Sockers (indoor) 62 (58)
1992–1993 St. Louis Ambush (indoor) 11 (2)
1993 San Diego Sockers (indoor) 22 (29)
1995 San Jose Grizzlies (indoor) 11 (18)
National team
1976–1981 Nigeria ? (?)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thompson Usiyan (born 27 April 1956) is a retired Nigerian football (soccer) player. He holds the NCAA Division I career scoring record and played in the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League, American Soccer League and Continental Indoor Soccer League. He was a member of the Nigerian Olympic soccer which boycotted the 1976 Olympics. He made several appearances for the Nigerian national football team.


In 1976, Usiyan was selected as a member of the Nigerian 1976 Olympic team. Although the team travelled to the Olympics, which was held in Montreal, Canada, it did not compete as a result of a boycott of the games by African and Arab nations. Usiyan chose to remain in North America and received scholarship offers to attend Clemson University, Howard University and Appalachian State University.[1] He chose Appalachian where he set an NCAA record of 109 career goals. Usiyan also set records for most career points (255), goals in a season (46 in 1980), and points in a season (108 in 1980).[2] He was the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 1977, '78, and '80.


In 1981, he signed with the Montreal Manic of the North American Soccer League. The Manic traded Usiyan to the Tulsa Roughnecks following the 1982 season. Leg injuries limited him to eleven games for the Roughnecks in 1983. The team released him on 11 March 1984.[3] On 12 April 1984, he signed with the Oklahoma City Stampede of the United Soccer League.[4] He led the league in scoring and finished third in the points standings.[5] In the fall of 1984, he signed with the Minnesota Strikers of the Major Indoor Soccer League. In 1985, he briefly returned to the outdoor game when he signed with the Tulsa Tornados of the USL, but the league collapsed after only six games.[6] Usiyan had arthroscopic surgery later in the summer, but returned to the Strikers in the fall of 1985 and spent the next two seasons in Minnesota. On 26 March 1987, the Strikers traded Usiyan to the Los Angeles Lazers in exchange for Greg Ion after Usiyan had a locker room fight with Strikers goalkeeper Tino Lettieri.[7] Usiyan remained with the Lazers through the 1987–1988 season. He did not play again until signed by the Maryland Bays of the American Soccer League in June 1989.[8] During his time away from soccer, he finished his business degree at Appalachian State. On 9 August 1989, he returned to MISL when he signed with the St. Louis Storm.[9] During his two seasons in St. Louis, Usiyan began working as a tax consultant. After finishing his degree, he had spent some time as an accountant and after his retirement, he became a full-time tax consultant.[10] During the summer of 1991, Usiyan played for the Hamilton Steelers in the Canadian Soccer League. On 9 September 1991, the Storm traded Usiyan to the San Diego Sockers in exchange for Branko Segota and the Sockers 1992 first round draft choice.[11] Usiyan won the 1992 MISL championship with the Sockers. On 20 November 1992, Usiyan signed with the St. Louis Ambush of the National Professional Soccer League.[12][13] On 1 June 1993, the Arizona Sandsharks drafted Usiyan in the first round of the 1993 Continental Indoor Soccer League supplemental draft.[14] Two days later, the San Diego Sockers traded Wes Wade to the Sandsharks in exchange for Usiyan, Alex Golovnia and Nassim Olabi.[15] On 10 September 1993, the league suspended Usiyan indefinitely for accumulated red cards. On 21 June 1995, the San Jose Grizzlies of the CISL drafted Usiyan after he was cleared by the league to play.[16] He retired permanently at the end of the season.

Usiyan was the MISL's sixteenth leading scorer in 1984–85 as a member of the Minnesota Strikers, with 62 points in 47 games. He was fifteenth best a season later with 60 points in 40 contests. Usiyan finished eighth in scoring in the 1987–88 season as a member of the Los Angeles Lazers with 88 points in 51 games. He was sixth best in 1990–91 with 102 points in 51 games played for the St. Louis Storm. Usiyan was amongst the leaders one final time (in the league's last season) finishing fifteenth with 57 points in 40 games playing with the San Diego Sockers. He was named Championship Series Most Valuable Player as the Sockers won the championship.


Usiyan made several appearances for Nigeria, including a 0–2 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifying loss to Algeria on 10 October 1981 in Lagos. He scored on his debut, a friendly match against Kenya in 1976.[17] Usiyan also played for Nigeria at the 1976 African Cup of Nations finals in Ethiopia.[18] He won a silver medal with the Nigerian squad at the 1978 All-Africa Games in Algiers.

Usiyan makes his home in San Diego where he is a tax consultant.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Records weren't made to be broken
  2. ^ NCAA Record Book
  3. ^ "3 Players, 2 Coaches Out in Tulsa" The Daily Oklahoman Friday, 16 March 1984
  4. ^ "Proven Stars Sign Pacts With 'Pede" The Daily Oklahoman Friday, 13 April 1984
  5. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1984
  6. ^ "THE USL TEAMS" Miami Herald, The (FL) Sunday, 19 May 1985
  7. ^ "Strikers Usiyan, Lettieri maintain Tacoma's fighting tradition" San Diego Union (CA) Tuesday, 24 March 1987
  8. ^ "SOCCER – DIPLOMATS RALLY TO UPEND BAYS" Washington Post Monday, 12 June 1989
  9. ^ "Ilijevski 'Comes Home' – Ex-Steamers Goalie Signs With Storm" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Wednesday, 9 August 1989
  10. ^ "Tax Man: Usiyan Puts Up Big Numbers For Storm" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Wednesday, 3 April 1991
  11. ^ "Storm Acquires Segota From Sockers For Usiyan" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tuesday, 10 September 1991
  12. ^ "HOME AT LAST – O'KEEFE, AMBUSH PLAY FIRST NPSL GAME AT ARENA TONIGHT" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday, 20 November 1992
  13. ^ NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE FINAL OFFICIAL STATISTICS – 1992–1993 Archived 29 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Sockers get only Eric Ople in short draft" San Diego Union-Tribune (CA) Wednesday, 2 June 1993
  15. ^ "Sockers deal Wes Wade for three players" San Diego Union-Tribune (CA) Thursday, 3 June 1993
  16. ^ "DRAFT HINTS PRO LEAGUE IN TROUBLE" The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) Thursday, 22 June 1995
  17. ^ Solaja, Kunle (10 February 2011). "Ehiosun is 58th scoring debutant". 
  18. ^ Boesenberg, Eric, Stokkermans, Karel and Mazet, François (21 February 2007). "African Nations Cup 1976". RSSSF. 

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