Vancouver Whitecaps (1974–1984)
|Full name||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Founded||December 11, 1973|
|Stadium||Empire Stadium (1974–1983)|
BC Place (1983–1984)
Pacific Coliseum (1980–81, 1983–84)
PNE Agrodome (1981–1982)
|Capacity||30,000 (Empire) |
60,000 (BC Place)
The Whitecaps of that era included international players such as Alan Ball, Ruud Krol and Bruce Grobbelaar, but also British Columbian stars like Bobby and Sam Lenarduzzi, Buzz Parsons, and Bruce Wilson.
In 1979, the team from the "Village of Vancouver" (a reference to ABC TV sportscaster Jim McKay's observation that "Vancouver must be like the deserted village right now", with so many people watching the game on TV) beat the powerhouse New York Cosmos in one of the most thrilling playoff series in NASL history to advance to the 1979 Soccer Bowl. They triumphed against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Giants Stadium before a crowd of 50,699 (66,843 tickets had been sold for the game).
It was during this short period that soccer interest peaked in Vancouver. The Whitecaps attendance at Empire Stadium grew to an average of 28,000 per game with playoff matches reaching the 32,000 capacity. The team also recorded two tracks, with "White Is the Colour" (a takeoff on Chelsea's "Blue Is the Colour") becoming a hit on local radio during the run-up to their championship win.
After playing at Vancouver's 32,000-seat Empire Stadium for most of their existence, the team moved into the new 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium in 1983.
The team played indoor soccer on and off during their existence. The Pacific Coliseum served as the home field for their 1980–81 and 1983–84 NASL indoor seasons. However for the 1981–82 indoor season the Whitecaps used the much smaller PNE Agrodome, as the Pacific Coliseum became unavailable.
With the demise of the NASL in 1984 the Whitecaps, along with many other teams in the NASL, were forced to fold.
|1974||NASL||5||11||4||70||4th, Western Division||Did not qualify|
|1975||NASL indoor||1||1||—||2||2nd, Region 4||Did not qualify|
|1975||NASL||11||11||—||99||4th, Western Division||Did not qualify|
|1976||NASL indoor||0||2||—||0||4th, West Regional||Did not qualify|
|1976||NASL||14||10||—||120||3rd, Pacific Conference, Western Division||Lost 1st Round (Seattle)|
|1977||NASL||14||12||—||124||2nd, Pacific Conference, Western Division||Lost Division Championship (Seattle)|
|1978||NASL||24||6||—||199||1st, National Conference, Western Division||Won 1st Round (Toronto)|
Lost Conference Semifinal (Portland)
|1979||NASL||20||10||—||172||1st, National Conference, Western Division||Won Conference Quarterfinal (Dallas)|
Won Conference Semifinal (Los Angeles)
Won Conference Championship (New York)
Won Soccer Bowl '79 (Tampa Bay)
|1979/80||NASL Indoor||Did not enter|
|1980||NASL||16||16||—||139||3rd, National Conference, Western Division||Lost 1st Round (Seattle)|
|1980/81||NASL Indoor||11||7||—||—||1st, Northern Division||Won 1st Round (California)|
Lost Semifinal (Edmonton)
|1981||NASL||21||11||—||186||1st, Northwest Division||Lost 1st Round (Tampa Bay)|
|1981/82||NASL Indoor||10||8||—||—||2nd, National Conference, Northwest Division||Lost 1st Round (San Diego)|
|1982||NASL||20||12||—||160||3rd, Western Division||Lost 1st Round (San Diego)|
|1982/83||NASL Indoor||Season cancelled|
|1983||NASL||24||6||—||187||1st, Western Division||Lost 1st Round (Toronto)|
|1983/84||NASL Indoor||12||20||—||—||5th||Did not qualify|
|1984||NASL||13||11||—||117||2nd, Western Division||Lost Semifinal (Chicago)|
NASL attendance leader
NASL coach of the year
North American player of the year
NASL playoff MVP
NASL leading goalkeeper
U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame members
Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame members
Indoor All-Star game
All-Star First Team selections
All-Star Second Team selections
All-Star honourable mentions
Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame members
The record home attendance for a Whitecaps game was on June 20, 1983. 60,342 came to watch the caps take on the Seattle Sounders in the first game at BC Place Stadium. It was also the largest crowd to ever see a club soccer match in Canada until the Montreal Impact surpassed the mark with 60,860 on May 12, 2012.
Average yearly attendance
- 1974 10,098
- 1975 7,579
- 1976 8,656
- 1977 11,897
- 1978 15,724
- 1979 22,962
- 1980 26,834
- 1981 23,236
- 1982 18,251
- 1983 29,164
- 1984 15,208
- "'Caps Coaches – The NASL Days | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". Whitecapsfc.com. August 29, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- "The Morning Record and Journal - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Vancouver's soccer boom kicks sports scene up a notch". Vancouver Sun. November 6, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
Five years later, the average was 28,000 and the club was selling out playoff games at 32,000.
- "The Vancouver Sun - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Home". indoorsoccerhall.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Hey Now, You're An All-Star". kenn.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "NASL all-stars". Chicago Tribune. April 10, 1984. p. 4; sec 4. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "The New York Cosmos, who won the regular-season point..."
- https://web.archive.org/web/20140810194037/http://www.thesoccerhalloffame.ca/en-us/halloffame/halloffameinducteeannouncements/2014inductees.aspx. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. Missing or empty