The Year in American Soccer - 1986

Written by David Litterer (spectrum@sover.net)


MISL | AISA | WSA | Men's National Team | Women's National Team | College Game | Other Action

Major Indoor Soccer League

Twelve teams were in the MISL for its eight season. This year the league saw another infusion of fresh talent as more players from the defunct NASL came looking for jobs. The result was the league's best year ever as far as quality of play was concerned. average attendance climbed to 8,696, nearly matching the all-time record of 8,735 set in 1981-82. Total was just over 2,500,000, and Cleveland set a single game record with 20,176 watching the Force clinch the Eastern division after the closest and most expansion divisional race in league history. The league inaugurated a 15-game broadcasting schedule on ESPN this year for its best television exposure yet. With little competition in the outdoor game, and the National Team in disarray, the MISL was the main source of soccer activity in the country this year.

Although San Diego repeated as the class of the league, dashing any hopes of exciting races in the West, the Eastern Division was a cauldron of shifting fortunes and nailbiting comebacks, as the entire division finished within four games in the standings. The Cleveland Force finally emerged the victor in the East after the toughest and most exciting divisional race in league history. The force finished a single game ahead of Minnesota, who finished a game ahead of Dallas. Likewise, Baltimore trailed Dallas by a single game, and Pittsburgh and Chicago a game behind the Blast. This was in marked contrast to the west where Wichita was nine games behind the titleist Sockers. Steve Zungul again finished as the top scorer for the league, closely followed by Erik Rasmussen and Branko Segota. A new scoring star, who would become a longtime indoor scorer and then make significant headway in the MLS and with the National team in World Cup 1998, was Preki Radislogevic

Although the race in the East was tight, this did not lead to upsets in the playoffs. Only Tacoma's four game defeat of Wichita could fall into that category, and that was a close one. Otherwise, all the higher ranked teams advanced, although the formidable San Diego Sockers were taken to four games by the lowly St. Louis Steamers, a below .500 club. In the semifinals, Minnesota edged a feisty Cleveland side, while San Diego had a somewhat easier time of it downing Tacoma in four. The championship series went all the way, and at first it looked like the teams were fielding alternating lineups. After trouncing Minnesota 7-2 in the opener, San Diego was nearly shut out as they were humiliated 6-1 in the rejoinder. Minnesota went for the upset, embarrassing the Sockers again 2-7, and taking the fourth game 3-4, to leave them only one game from the title. As this point, the Sockers found their nerve, and took the next three games to earn their most hard fought championship ever, the first time an MISL team had rebounded from 1-3 to take the league championship.

After the season, the MISL announced its return to New York City by awarding an expansion franchise, the New York Express. In June, the league sponsored the Budweiser Classic, a new indoor tournament to showcase top collegiate players, which was held in Richfield Coliseum near Cleveland on June 1. A month later, the league entered a new three-year agreement with the players, ending a two-week lockout.

 
 1985-86 MISL Final League Standings
 
 
 G W L GF GA % GB
  Eastern Division
Cleveland Force 48 27 21 252 212 .563 --
Minnesota Strikers 48 26 22 232 242 .542 1
Dallas Sidekicks 48 25 23 220 231 .521 2
Baltimore Blast 48 24 24 211 201 .500 3
Chicago Sting 48 23 25 196 196 .479 4
Pittsburgh Spirit 48 23 25 221 237 .479 4
 
  Western Division
San Diego Sockers 48 36 12 308 195 .750 --
Wichita Wings 48 27 21 258 226 .563 9
Tacoma Stars 48 23 25 208 232 .479 13
St. Louis Steamers 48 23 25 223 233 .479 13
Kansas City Comets 48 18 30 217 268 .375 18
Los Angeles Lazers 48 13 35 197 270 .271 23
 
Quarterfinals: Cleveland def. Baltimore, 7-2, 3-8, 6-8, 4-3(OT), 5-1
 Minnesota defeated Dallas, 5-3, 7-2, 1-4, 7-4
 San Diego defeated St. Louis, 7-6(OT), 5-3, 7-8, 10-4
 Tacoma defeated Wichita, 5-6, 5-4, 5-4(OT), 3-2
Semifinals: Minnesota defeated Cleveland, 2-5, 6-2, 5-4(OT), 7-3
 San Diego defeated Tacoma, 10-4, 7-2, 3-4, 8-5
CHAMPIONSHIP: San Diego def. Minnesota, 7-2, 1-6, 2-7, 3-4, 7-4, 6-3, 5-3
 
After the season, Pittsburgh folded.
 
All-Star Game: Western Division defeated Eastern Division 5-3.
(at Chicago, IL. Att: 12,456. MVP: Branko Segota)
 
Leading Scorers GP G A TP
Steve Zungul, San Diego 46 55 60 115
Erik Rasmussen, Wichita 47 67 41 108
Branko Segota, San Diego 45 60 46 106
Tatu, Dallas 44 49 32 81
Craig Allen, Cleveland 43 50 31 81
Stan Stamenkovic, Baltimore 45 37 44 81
Karl-Heinz Granitza, Chicago 43 28 47 75
Chico Borja, Wichita 37 33 41 74
Preki, Tacoma 48 41 30 71
Hugo Perez, San Diego 41 41 25 66
Kim Roentved, Wichita 47 28 38 64
Dale Mitchell, Kansas City 48 37 26 63
Keith Furphy, Tacoma 47 33 27 61
Drago Dumbovic, Chicago 47 47 14 61
Thompson Usiyan, Minnesota 40 30 30 60
Ali Kazemaini, Cleveland 47 38 21 59
Poli Garcia, Los Angeles 44 36 21 57
Jean Wilrich, San Diego 45 27 30 57
 
LEADING GOALKEEPERS (Min. 1200 minutes to qualify)
 
 GP Min. Sho Svs GA W-L GAA
Scott Manning, Baltimore 27 1491 632 319 91 14-10 3.66
Jim Gorsek, San Diego 24 1323 565 286 82 19-2 3.72
David Brcic, Pittsburgh 43 2659 1206 598 167 21-22 3.77
Mike Dowler, Tacoma 23 1327 535 274 92 9-12 4.16
Zoltan Toth, San Diego 28 1562 714 384 109 17-9 4.19
Cris Vaccaro, Cleveland 36 2012 974 445 143 19-14 4.26
Victor Nogueira, Chicago 37 1905 799 372 137 17-14 4.31
Tino Lettieri, Minnesota 41 2386 1162 559 175 24-15 4.40
Krys Sobieski, Dallas 40 2469 1003 497 182 24-16 4.42
Slobo Iljevski, St. Louis 39 2178 989 512 163 19-17 4.49
Scott Manning, Baltimore 25 1360 589 300 104 10-13 4.59
Alan Mayer, Kansas City 36 2060 1052 519 163 15-20 4.75
 
Most Valuable Player: Steve Zungul, Tacoma Stars/San Diego Sockers
Coach of the Year: Gordon Jago, Dallas Sidekicks
MISL Scoring Champion: Steve Zungul, Tacoma Stars/San Diego Sockers
MISL Pass Master (most Assists): Steve Zungul, Tacoma Stars/San Diego Sockers
Defender of the Year: Kim Roentved, Wichita Wings
Goalkeeper of the Year: Keith Van Eron, Baltimore Blast
Rookie of the Year: David Boncek, Kansas City Comets
Championship Series Player of the Year: Brian Quinn, San Diego Sockers
 
All-MISL team:
 
G - David Brcic, Pittsburgh Spirit
D - Fernando Clavijo, San Diego Sockers
D - Kim Roentved, Wichita Wings
M - Branko Segota, San Diego Sockers
F - Steve Zungul, Tacoma Stars
F - Erik Rasmussen, Wichita Wings

American Indoor Soccer Association

The AISA began their second season encouraged by the modest, but real success of the last season. Attendance climbed slightly to 1,960 per game, for a total of 252,832. This was basically the "Canton Invaders" League, as Canton dominated the regular season and playoffs with an impressive record of 33-7. This was no cakewalk though as they were chased right to the finish by the Louisville Thunder, who finished two games behind. Louisville boasted the better scorers, with league leading Zoran Savic, who scored 46 goals and 81 points, along with Chris Hellenkamp, but Canton had the two top goalkeepers in the league with rookie sensation Jamie Swanner and Bill Naumovski. It was no surprise when Canton and Louisville met in the league final, where the Invaders proved its superiority once and for all with a three game sweep of the Thunder.

The league showed notable improvement this season, although Kalamazoo and Columbus were granted one year sabbaticals from which they would never return. Still, the front office felt secure enough to award expansion franchises to Ft. Wayne, Tampa Bay, Memphis and Toledo for the 1986-87 season. The AISA All-Star game was inaugurated this year, with defending champs Canton Invaders playing an all-star team.

 
 1985-86 AISA Final league Standings
 
Before the season, Chicago changed their nickname to the Shoccers.
 
 G W L % GB GF GA
Canton Invaders 40 33 7 .825 -- 243 149
Louisville Thunder 40 31 9 .775 2 251 185
Kalamazoo Kangaroos 40 17 23 .425 16 176 179
Chicago Shoccers 40 15 25 .375 18 196 225
Columbus Capitals 40 13 27 .325 20 200 270
Milwaukee Wave 40 11 29 .275 22 189 247
 
Semifinals: Canton defeated Chicago 14-7, 5-3, 3-2 
Louisville defeated Kalamazoo 2-1, 4-3, 4-3(OT)
FINALS: Canton defeated Louisville 6-3, 7-3, 10-5
 
After the season, Columbus and Kalamazoo folded.
 
All-Star Game: Canton Invaders defeated AISA All-Stars 9-4.
(at Canton, OH. Att: 2,720. Goals: Kia Haaskivi 3, Ian Anderson 1)
 
 
Leading Scorers GP G A TP
Zoran Slavic, Louisville 40 46 35 81
Ross Ongaro, Milwaukee 40 40 33 73
Kia Zolgharnain, Canton 37 52 15 67
Pete Knezic, Milwaukee 38 31 31 62
Chris Hellenkamp, Louisville 38 37 24 61
Ted Powers, Kalamazoo 40 42 17 58
Lesh Skhreli, Columbus 40 29 30 59
Don Tobin, Canton 40 19 39 58
Art Kramer, Canton 35 33 24 57
Mike Fall, Louisville 38 18 38 56
 
LEADING GOALKEEPERS (Min. 800 minutes to qualify)
 
 GP Min. Sho Svs GA W-L GAA
Jamie Swanner, Canton 25 1485 785 407 88 20-3 3.55
Bill Naumovic, Canton 16 971 418 217 59 13-3 3.64
A. J. Lachowecki, Louisville 16 881 462 230 57 12-3 3.88
Victor Petroni, Kamamazoo 33 1979 1075 606 135 14-8 4.09
Jose Garcia, Chicago 22 1085 620 345 86 8-12 4.75
 
Most Valuable Player: Don Tobin, Canton Invaders
Coach of the Year: Trevor Dawkins, Canton Invaders
Defender of the Year: Oscar Pisano, Canton Invaders
Goalkeeper of the Year: Victor Petroni, Kalamazoo Kamgaroos
Rookie of the Year: Jamie Swanner, Canton Invaders
 
All-AISA team:
 
G - Victor Petroni, Kalamazoo Kangaroos
D - Oscar Pisano, Canton Invaders
D - Tim Tyma, Canton Invaders
M  Art Hughes, Louisville Thunder
M - Don Tobin, Canton Invaders
F - Kia Zolgharnain, Canton Invaders
F - Zoran Savic, Louisville Thunder

Western Soccer Alliance (Div. 3)

Last season the WSA Challenge Series was the only semi-pro soccer in the country after the demise of the USL. Buoyed by the enthusiastic response of the series, the three American clubs decided to form a full-fledged league, adding four more clubs. San Jose Earthquakes president Peter Bridgewater was named the league's first Commissioner. They expanded into California with the Hollywood Kickers, L. A. Heat and San Diego Nomads, and the successful Canadian club, Edmonton Brickmen. The season was expanded to 14 games. Like last season, foreign teams took part, with Manchester City and Dundee FC played each club once, with their games counted in the standings.

The Hollywood Kickers immediately established their presence, being the class of the league with an 8-2-4 record. With no playoffs, Hollywood won the championship based on season record. They won based on their tenacious defense, only allowing 13 goals for the season. This strategy was not lost on the opponents; although San Jose scoring a league leading 23 goals, their defense was like a sieve, and their 32 goals allowed resulted in a 3-7-4 record and sixth place finish. Making his debut was a player who would become an all-time leading WSA/ASL/APSL/A-League player, Chance Fry. Beginning his career in San Jose, he would have a long career with the Seattle Sounders in the 1990's. Another prominent WSA player was MVP Paul Caligiuri, who would spent most of the 1990's performing major feats for the US National Team.

 
 Final WSA League Standings, 1986
 
Before the season, Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Edmonton were added.
Seattle changed their name to Seattle Storm.
 
 G W T L GF GA PTS 
Hollywood Kickers 14 8 4 2 21 13 28
F. C. Portland 14 6 2 6 20 19 20
Seattle Storm 14 6 2 6 19 22 20
Los Angeles Heat 14 4 5 5 15 14 17
San Diego Nomads 14 4 4 6 18 20 16
San Jose Earthquakes 14 3 4 7 23 32 13
Edmonton Brickmen 14 3 3 8 18 28 12
 
Standings include games played against Manchester City and Dundee FC.
 
LEAGUE CHAMPION: Hollywood
 
After the season, Edmonton left the league to join the Canadian Soccer League.
 
Leading Scorers: G A Pts
Brent Goulet, Portland 9 2 20
M. Miller, Portland 7 5 19
Chance Fry, San Jose 8 2 18
Dennis Gunnell, Seattle 7 1 15
C. Marquez, Edmonton 5 5 15
Rob Ryerson, San Diego 6 0 12
Derek Sanderson, San Jose 5 2 12
Michael Brady, Los Angeles 5 1 11
Norm Odinga, Edmonton 5 1 11
Steve McCargo, San Jose 5 0 10
 
Leading Goalkeepers: Min GA SV SO GAA
Loranzo Caccialanza, Hollywood 1035 11 55 6 0.95
Jeff Koch, Seattle 871 11 54 3 1.13
Jeff Duback, San Diego 990 13 62 5 1.18
David Vanole, Los Angeles 765 11 29 2 1.29
Todd Strobek, Portland 1170 21 81 1 1.61
 
Most Valuable Player: Paul Caligiuri, San Diego Nomads

The US Men's National Team

The US Men's National Team was almost dormant this year, only regrouping briefly in February for a fair of friendlies in Miami. The team was embarking on a complete makeover, an almost entirely new roster featured all college players, with a strong UCLA contingent. Paul Caligiuri and Brent Goulet were standouts (they would make their debut with the WSA this summer). The results were not incredible but not disastrous either, a 1-1 draw against Uruguay and a scoreless draw against Canada. The team then took an extended break, not regrouping until May 1987, with a substantially changed lineup. This was the beginning of the rebirth of the National Team, with the faces that would remain through the 1990's.

 
 USA Men's National Team results (+ = not full internationals)
 
 1986 Totals: 0W, 2D, 0L
=======================================================================
Feb 07 86 D 1-1 Uruguay Miami, FL, USA
 Murray
Feb 05 86 D 0-0 Canada Miami, FL, USA

The US Women's National Team

The Women's Team made major strides in their second year, with a string of victories over other major powers. April Heinrichs established herself as the dominant scorer, Debbie Belkin and Michelle Akers providing solid support.

The team had its first home series, held at the new National Soccer Complex in Blaine, Minnesota. There they played a three game series against Canada, gaining two shutouts and a close 1-2 loss. Returning to Jesolo, Italy, the winning continued, with the US winning a pair against Brazil, 2-1 and 3-1, and their first match against China, 2-1, before losing again to host Italy 1-0. Five of the thirteen goals were scored by April Heinrichs, who established herself as the team's first scoring sensation.

 
 USA Women's National Team Results
 
 1986 results: 5W, 0D, 2L
=============================================================================
Jul 26 86 L 0-1 Italy Jesolo, Italy
Jul 25 86 W 3-1 Brazil Jesolo, Italy
 Heinrichs, McDermott (2)
Jul 22 86 W 2-1 Brazil Jesolo, Italy
 Pickering, Heinrichs
Jul 20 86 W 2-1 China Jesolo, Italy
 Heinrichs, McDermott
Jul 09 86 W 3-0 Canada Blaine, MN, USA
 Heinrichs (2), Cornell
Jul 09 86 L 1-2 Canada Blaine, MN, USA
 Gmitter
Jul 07 86 W 2-0 Canada Blaine, MN, USA
 McDermott, Dunlap

The College Game

In 1986 the number of men's varsity soccer teams increased from 544 to 550. This was the continuation of a trend that had started in the late 1970's. In women's soccer, the growth was dramatic, as women's varsity clubs increased from 133 on 1983-84 to 165 in 1984-85 and 201 in 1985-86. In response to this dramatic growth, the NCAA inaugurated a divisional lineup, and established a championship series for Division III. The women's Division 1 tournament remained at 12 teams, while Division 3 had 12 teams as well.

In the NCAA Division 1 tournament, third round action saw Harvard defeat Hartwick 2-0. Duke defeated Loyola (MD) 2-1, Akron defeated Penn State 2-1 on penalty kicks after overtime, and Fresno State defeated Southern Methodist 1-0. In the semifinals, Duke defeated Harvard 2-1 and Akron defeated Fresno State 1-0. The championship was held on December 13 at Tacoma, WA, where Duke defeated Akron 1-0 to take the national title.

In the NCAA Division 2 tournament, second round action saw Bridgeport defeat Southern Connecticut State 2-0. Seattle Pacific defeated Cal State Northbridge 2-1, Davis & Elkins defeated Tampa 3-1 and Oakland defeated Gannon 2-1. In the semifinals, Seattle Pacific defeated Bridgeport 2-1, and Oakland defeated Davis & Ekins 1-0. The Championship was held in Seattle, WA on December 6, where Seattle Pacific defeated Oakland 4-1.

In the NCAA Division 3 tournament, third round action saw Fredonia State defeat Plymouth State 1-0 after OT and penalty kicks. UNC-Greensboro defeated Bethany (WV) 3-2, Messiah defeated Ohio Weslayen 1-0 and UC San Diego defeated St. John's (MN) 1-0. In the semifinals, UNC-Greensboro defeated Fredonia State 3-2 after OT and penalty kicks, and UC San Diego defeated Messiah 2-1 in overtime. The Championship was held in Greensboro NC on November 22, where UNC Greensboro defeated UC San Diego 2-0 for the national crown.

In the NCAA Women's Division 1 tournament, second round action saw North Carolina defeat UC Santa Barbara 8-0. George Mason defeated North Carolina State 1-0 after double overtime and penalty kicks. Colorado College defeated California 1-0 and Massachusetts defeated Connecticut 1-0 on penalty kicks after double overtime. In the semifinals, North Carolina defeated George Mason 3-2 in double overtime and Colorado College defeated Massachusetts 1-0 on penalty kicks after double overtime. The championship was held in Fairfax, VA on November 23, where North Carolina defeated Colorado College 2-0 to take the national title.

In the NCAA Women's Division 3 tournament, second round action saw UC San Diego defeat St. Mary's on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw and double overtime. Rochester defeated Smith 3-1, Cortland state defeated Hartwick 1-0 and Plymouth State defeated St. Lawrence 3-0. In the semifinals, Rochester defeated UC San Diego 2-0 and Plymouth State defeated Cortland State 3-2. The Championship was held in Cortland, NY on November 15, where Rochester defeated Plymouth State 1-0 to take the national title.

NAIA Championship: (Men) Sangamon State defeated Simon Fraser 1-0.

NAIA Championship: (Women) St. Mary's defeated Berry 3-0.

NJCAA Men's Championship: Massassoit Community College 1, Miami-Dade NWC 0

NJCAA Women's Championship: Monroe Community College 3, Nassau Comm. Coll. 2

NCCAA Division 1 Championship: Houghton 3, Biola (CA) 1

NCCAA Division 2 Championship: Philadelphia College of Bible 1, Pillsbury 0

 
Coaches' Final Division 1 Poll - Men:
 
1. Virginia
2. UCLA
3. LIU-Brooklyn
4. Southern Methodist
5. Babson U.
6. Evansville
7. Seton Hall
8. North Carolina State
9. San Francisco
10. Duke
 
Coaches' Final Division 1 Poll - Women:
 
1. North Carolina
2. Massachusetts
3. George Mason
4. Colorado College
5. California
6. William & Mary
7. Brown
8. Central Florida
9. UC Santa Barbara
10. Connecticut
 
College All-Americans - Men:
 
G - Geoffrey Duback, Yale
D - Paul Caligiuri, UCLA
D - Benjamin Okaroh, Boston University
D - Steve Trittschuh, SIU-Edwardsville
M - Mark Francis, Southern Methodist
M - Gary Furlong, Maryland
M - John Harkes, Virginia
F - John Catliff, Harvard
F - Guy Fufaro, Philadelphia Textile
F - George Gelnovatch, Virginia
F - John Kerr, Duke
 
College All-Americans - Women:
 
G - Janine Szpara, Colorado College
D - Debbie Belkin, Massachusetts
D - Monica McDermott, North Carolina
D - Megan McCarthy, William & Mary
D - Maria Montuori, Boston College
D - Denise Regas, Cal State Hayward
F - Julie Angevine, Wisconsin
F - Laurie Collier, Cornell
F - Lisa Gmitter, George Mason
F - April Heinrichs, North Carolina
F - Jenni Symons, Santa Clara

Hermann Trophy: John Kerr, Duke
Missouri Athletic Club Trophy: John Kerr, Duke
NSCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year: Steve Parker, Akron
ISAA Player of the Year: John Kerr, Duke
ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year: Jeffrey Duback, Yale


Other Action

1986 US Open Cup Final: On July 13, St. Louis Kutis defeated San Pedro Yugoslavs 1-0. Kutis was coached by Jim Henson.

1986 National Amateur Cup Final: On July 13, Fairfax Spartans SC defeated St. Louis Busch 3-0.

James P. McGuire (U-19 Men) Cup: Fram-Culver (CA)

Athena (U-19 Women) Cup: Massapequa (NY) Falcons

CONCACAF Champions Cup: New york Greek Americans were defeated by Pembroke Hamilton Club (Bermuda) 2-0. LD Alajuelense (Costa Rica) defeated Transvaal (Suriname) 5-2 in the final.

CONCACAF U-20 Championship: The USA came in second, losing to Canada in the final.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1986, a large contingent was named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame: Andy Auld, Mike Bookie, James Brown, Jack Coll, Thomas Florie, Jimmy Gallagher, Bart McGhee, Ed McIlvenny, George Moorehouse, Philip Slone, Raphael "Ralph" Tracey, Frank Vaughn, and Alexander Wood. There were no inductions into the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Hall of Fame.

USSF Male Player of the Year: Paul Caligiuri
USSF Female Player of the Year: April Heinrichs


Last update: July 12, 2012

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