Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This Week in American Soccer History

Contributing Editor Dillon Young

This Week in Soccer History: 1976 - Ace comes for the Kicks

On April 26, 1976, the Minnesota Kicks signed South African great Patrick "Ace" Ntsoelengoe for their inaugural season. During that season, Ace went on to score five goals in his first five games and became an instant fan favorite for amazing footwork on the field and his shockingly shy personality off of it.

Ace was arguably the best South African footballer to ever play the game. He played 11 seasons in the NASL, most with Minnesota and Toronto, while also playing during the South African summers with the South African giants Kaizer Chiefs F.C., a team started by fellow South African and NASL great Kaizer Motaung.

Unfortunately, The world never got to see Ace represent his country at the highest level due to the boycott of apartheid South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. He would eventually pass away in 2006 of a heart attack. Still, Minnesotans were lucky enough to see one of the best ever playing at the Met.

(links posted are to images of the original documents from the era)

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Anonymous ajwatt said...

He was truly amazing. I idolized him as a kid.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I usually hate NASL revivalism, but I'd love to see the Kicks come back. I loved the logo, loved the color scheme - it was adorable. Probably "adorable" isn't what teams are trying to evoke these days, but still.

10:01 PM  

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