Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week in American Soccer History: Team America

Contributing Editor Dillon Young
(links posted are to images of the original documents from the era)

This Week in Soccer History: 1983

With the NASL failing at the gate, the USSF, NASL and MISL created Team America, a team that would represent the US in internationals (there was hope of fielding the team in the 1986 World Cup- which at the time the USSF were bidding for) as well in the NASL season. Although they were expected to make US soccer a “force at the world class level”, and did open their season this week in 1983 with a victory, they eventually finished dead last, lost 20 of 30 matches, only scored 33 goals all year, struggled to field a squad and folded at season's end. This was widely accepted as the death for the original NASL.


Blogger timpramas said...

The Team America reference was a terrific flashback I hadn't thought of in quite some time. That reminded me of a couple of other related facts of interest. Some of the other NASL teams that had Americans playing important roles on their team did not want to release their American players to "Team America." Those players had value to the other franchises that was both tactical (teams were required to have a minimum number of Americans on the field) and marketing. Also, many of the Americans who had established themselves as starters for other franchises did not want to leave the franchises where they were established to play for Team America. So Team America ended up pieced together with some good players, but not a lot of quality depth relative to the other teams.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Mario in SJ said...

Thanks for the memmories. It highlights just how far Soccer and the USMNT have come.

8:43 AM  

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