Friday, May 27, 2011

This Week in American Soccer History: Minnesota Kicks v Glasgow Rangers

This week in Soccer History: Minnesota Kicks versus Glasgow Rangers, May 26 1976

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

The Scottish powers Rangers toured North America in May 1976 with a stop in Minnesota, marking the first time a professional soccer team in Minnesota played an international squad.

The game in Bloomington, MN on May 26, 1976 was publicized as a physical battle against a team who had won the Scottish Triple (the division, League Championship and the Scottish FA Cup) and that fielded 8 players from the national squad that had recently defeated the English National Squad 2-1. This resonated with the Kicks, a team loaded with English talent who wanted to enact some revenge.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw with over 11,000 in attendance watching a great back and forth match where a relatively unknown South African Chaka Ncgobo teamed up with fellow South African Ace Ntsolengque (who had good chemistry from playing together with Soweto's Kaizer Chiefs) to mesmerize the crowds with amazing footwork and the Kicks opening goal, and impress the Scottish press.

Though Rangers had a wonderful tour record wise, with wins against the Timbers and Sounders and scored some awesomely cheesy mosquito T-shirts while in Minneapolis, they were less than impressed with the astroturf out west.


(Ed Note: Dillon discovered this absolutely amazing (and post-ironic) pennant that pretty much says it all, especially considering the 1980's was by far the worst decade in American soccer's modern era.)


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