Washington Darts

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Washington Darts
Washington Darts Logo.gif
Full name Washington Darts
Nickname(s) Darts
Founded 1967
Dissolved 1971
(rebranded to Miami Gatos)
Ground Brookland Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Capacity 30,000
Chairman William Cousins Jr.
General Manager Norman Sutherland
League ASL (1967–69)
NASL (1970–71)

The Washington Darts were an American soccer club based in Washington, D.C. that played in the American Soccer League from 1967 to 1969 and the North American Soccer League in the 1970 and 1971 seasons, though in 1967 they were known as Washington Britannica. They won two ASL championships and played for the NASL championship once. They also won the 1970 NASL International Cup. The club left Washington after 1971 and became the Miami Gatos (1972), Miami Toros (1973–76), Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83), and Minnesota Strikers (1984) in the NASL's final season. The club's colors were blue, white and gray.

History[edit]

In December 1963, Scottish immigrant Norman Sutherland[1] and soccer players in the Washington, D.C. area created the amateur team, Washington Britannica. In 1967, the team went professional when it joined the American Soccer League. In 1968, they changed their name to the Washington Darts. Following the 1969 season, after winning two consecutive league titles, the Darts left the ASL to join the first division of the American soccer pyramid at the time, the North American Soccer League.[2] After the 1971 NASL season, the team moved to Miami becoming the Miami Gatos.

In 1968, they played their home games at Woodrow Wilson Stadium on the campus of Woodrow Wilson High School on Nebraska Avenue NW.[3] In 1969 they moved their home games to Brookland Stadium on the campus of Catholic University. In 1970 they also played three matches against international teams at RFK Stadium.[4]

In 1968 the Darts became the first professional soccer team to have a black coach in U.S. history when Lincoln Phillips, the goalkeeper, became player-coach.[5]

In 1970, NASL teams rounded out their schedules by playing an assortment of foreign teams including Hoepel from Israel, Varzim from Portugal, Hertha Berlin from Germany and England's Coventry City. These games weren't just for attendance but also counted in the standings. The Washington Darts went 2-2-0 versus the international teams earning the "International Cup". Many teams also played games against Pele's Santos squad.[6] The 1970 game against Pele and Santos crushed the Darts previous attendance record of 6,215 against Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C., with 13,878 fans in attendance at RFK Stadium. It was the largest crowd to ever watch a Darts match.[7]

Club colors[edit]

During their time in the NASL, the Darts home colors were gray with blue sleeves, and the away colors were blue.[8]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League W L T Pts Reg. Season Playoffs
1967–68 2 ASL 7 6 2 16 2nd(t), First Division Did not qualify
1968 2 ASL 9 1 1 19 1st Champions (no playoff)
1969 2 ASL 14 1 5 33 1st, Southern Division Won Championship (Syracuse)
1970 1 NASL 14 6 4 137 1st, Southern Division Lost Championship (Rochester)
1971 indoor 1 NASL 0 2 0 n/a 4th place Lost 3rd place match (St. Louis)
1971 1 NASL 8 6 10 111 3rd, Southern Division Did not qualify

Coaches[edit]

  • Trinidad and Tobago Lincoln Phillips (1968–1970)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington Darts General Manager gets new contract". Washington Afro-American. May 20, 1969. Retrieved Sep 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Washington Set to Return to Soccer League". The Cumberland News. 13 November 1969. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ The Washingtonian (Volume 4). 1968 https://books.google.com/books?id=yepNAQAAIAAJ. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "D.C. Soccer Scheduled". The Federal Times (1). Army Times Publishing Company. May 13, 1970. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Trinidad Native is 1st Black U.S. Soccer Coach". 21 November 1968. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  6. ^ Dunn, Don (17 September 1970). "Pele Amazing to Soccer Experts, Meets Darts Tomorrow at RFK". Cumberland Evening Times. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Washington Darts Games". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Washington Darts". sportslogos.net. Retrieved 11 September 2012.