We are delighted to announce that we have officially licensed exclusively in the USA a number of NASL teams that competed in the late 1960s to early 1980s featuring some of America’s most iconic clubs from L.A Aztecs, Chicago Sting, Washington Diplomats, Boston Minutemen, Memphis Rogues, and Detroit Express.
The NASL was the top-level major professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that operated from 1968 to 1984. It was the first soccer league to be successful on a national scale in the United States. The league final was called the Soccer Bowl from 1975 to 1983 and the Soccer Bowl Series in its final year, 1984. The league was headed by Commissioner Phil Woosnam from 1969 to 1983. The NASL laid the foundations for soccer (or association football) in the United States that helped lead to the country hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the set-up of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1996.
Los Angeles Aztecs™
The Los Angeles Aztecs was an American professional soccer team based in Los Angeles, California , from 1974 to 1981. The Aztecs competed in the North Ame, fromue (NASL) from 1974 to 1981 as well as the 1975 NASL Indoor tournament, the 1979–80 and 1980–81 NASL Indoor seasons, and won the NASL Championship in 1974. During their eight years of existence, European football legends <span style=”font-size: 1rem;”>George Best, Johan Cruyff and a whole host of international players played for the team, total football pioneer Rinus Michels moved to the United States where he coached the L.A Aztecs and English singer Elton John was also a part-owner.
The Chicago Sting (1974–1988) was an American professional soccer team representing Chicago. The Sting played in the North American Soccer League from 1975 to 1984 and in the Major Indoor Soccer League in the 1982–83 season and again from 1984 to 1988. They were North American Soccer League champions in 1981 and 1984, one of only two NASL teams (the New York Cosmos) to win the championship twice. The Sting were founded in 1974 by Lee Stern of Chicago and competed in the NASL for the first time in the 1975 season. A few years after founding the Sting, Stern brought Willy Roy on as head coach. Roy coached the Sting for the remainder of their outdoor existence. The team was named in reference to the popular 1973 film, The Sting, whose action was set in Chicago of the 1930s. The club played at various venues. The outdoor team spread their home games at Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, and Comiskey Park. In 1976 the indoor squad called the International Amphitheatre home, before subsequently using Chicago Stadium and the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena).
The Memphis Rogues were a professional soccer team in the former North American Soccer League. They operated in the late seventies and early eighties seasons and played their home games in Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. They also played indoor soccer at the Mid-South Coliseum during the 1979–80 season.
In the mid-1970s, Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. and Beau Rogers joined forces to establish a new North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise. Mangurian owned a horse racing track in Florida, and Rogers was part-owner and general manager of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. As the two men searched for a city to serve as home for their new team, they looked at several locations in the southern U.S. – including New Orleans, Houston, Nashville and Atlanta – before settling on Memphis, Tennessee. Next, they decided to name the team the “Rogues” in part as an allusion to the Rowdies, as well as for a desire to have an elephant mascot (a “Rogue” elephant). There was also a connection between the Rogues and English club Chelsea due to players like Eddie McCreadie, Charlie Cooke, Alan Birchenall, and a few others playing for both clubs.
The Washington Diplomats first came into being when in 1974 when the North American Soccer League (NASL) granted a franchise to a Washington, D.C. based business group. The team played all their home games at RFK Stadium in 1974, but in 1975 and 1976 they played most of their games at W.T. Woodson High School in Northern Virginia, including all of their 1976 games. They played indoor home matches at the neighboring D.C. Armory. The Diplomats qualified for the playoffs and increased average game attendance in each of their last three years of existence. Additionally, in their final year, the Diplomats were able to sign the future European Player of the Century Johan Cruyff. To the club experienced a spike in average attendance, nearing 20,000 fans a game by the 1980 season.
The Detroit Express was a professional soccer team based in suburban Detroit that played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1978. Its home field was the Pontiac Silverdome. The Express were co-owned by Jimmy Hill, Roger Faulkner, Sonny VanArnem, and Gary Lemmen. The club made a splash by signing England forward Trevor Francis; he missed the first third of the season (arriving only after the European season ended in May), but still led the team with 22 goals and ten assists in 19 games.Francis scored five times as the Express slaughtered the San Jose Earthquakes, 10–0, which as of 2021 is still the widest margin of victory in an American major pro soccer match (NASL or MLS). The Express also won the American Soccer League title in 1982.
The Boston Minutemen was an American professional soccer team based out of Boston that played in the North American Soccer League (NASL). They played from 1974 and their home fields included Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy and Sargent Field in New Bedford. Portuguese legend Eusébio played for the Minutemen as did famed American player Shep Messing along with NASL All-Star players Ade Coker, Paddy Greenwood, Ian McKechnie, António Simões and Wolfgang Sühnholz.
The Philadelphia Atoms were an American soccer team based out of Philadelphia that played in the North American Soccer League (NASL). They played from 1973 at Veterans Stadium (1973–75) and Franklin Field (1976). The club’s colors were blue and white. The Atoms were founded by Philadelphia construction mogul Thomas McCloskey in 1973 at the urging of Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Tornado owner Lamar Hunt. Playing a largely American line-up, they won the NASL title in their first year of existence by defeating Hunt’s Dallas club 2–0. After this championship match, Philadelphia goalkeeper and Ridley Park, Pennsylvania native Bob Rigby became the first soccer player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The Atlanta Chiefs hold a significant place in the history of soccer in the United States, leaving behind a legacy of positive contributions and achievements. The Chiefs’ triumphed in 1968 when they claimed the first-ever North American Soccer League (NASL) title, solidifying their status as one of the premier soccer teams in the country. Their victory not only brought glory to Atlanta but also ignited widespread enthusiasm for the sport in the region. The Chiefs’ ability to attract top-tier talent further enhanced their reputation. Players like Kaizer Motaung and Phil Woosnam graced the Chiefs’ roster, elevating the quality of play and captivating audiences with their skills. The team’s consistent success in the NASL, including reaching the championship game in 1973, showcased their unwavering commitment to excellence. Although financial challenges led to the Chiefs’ dissolution in 1973, their legacy endures. They laid the foundation for the growth of professional soccer in Atlanta and contributed significantly to the development of the sport in the United States.
San Antonio Thunder™