The I.S.A. Collection

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ronnie Pascale (above) holds the 2006 USL Championship trophy

Richmond Kickers long time net-minder RONNIE PASCALE has announced his retirement. The following is the statement from the club's press release:

RICHMONDVA – (Thursday, November 15, 2012) – Veteran goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale officially announced his retirement today, concluding a legendary 13-year career with the Richmond Kickers.

"It's been an incredible 13 years with the Richmond Kickers, so much more than I ever could have dreamed, but it's time for me to officially announce my retirement,” stated Pascale.  “I am very proud of the success we have had as a team and as an organization over the past 13 years, and I feel truly lucky to have been able to do what I love to do for as long as I have.”

“I'd like to thank the Kickers organization, staff, coaches, fans, and friends for all the support throughout my career,” he added.  “It has been an honor to be a part of such an extraordinary organization, to have played in front of such great fans, and to have played with so many great players and friends.  I would especially like to thank my family, Stacy, Tabatha, and Brayden, who sacrificed and supported me more than anyone could ever know, and I couldn't have done it without them."

“We are going to miss a truly unbelievable individual,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer.  “Ronnie has served the Kickers admirably over the last thirteen years. He is a top class goalkeeper, an inspirational role model to our youth players and a dedicated advocate for our club in the community.  We wish Ronnie well in all of his future endeavors and look forward to him being an important part of the Kickers family for years to come.”

Making more appearances than any other Kickers player in club history, Pascale reached the 300 games played milestone on July 27, 2012 against the Charlotte Eagles and has logged over 27,000 minutes in a Kickers uniform.  Since becoming the club’s starting goalkeeper in 2002, the franchise player has led the team to six Championship appearances and two league titles.  Most recently, he played every minute of every game in during his final season in 2012, adding eight clean sheets, for a total of 98 career shutouts.

Consistently one of the top netminders in the league, the three-time USL Goalkeeper of the Year backstopped the team to historic USL PRO and U.S. Open Cup Semifinals in 2011, ending the campaign with a miniscule 0.960 goals against average in 30 games played. Shoring up one of the best defensive units in the league, the experienced goalkeeper led the back line to a career-best 11 shutouts in 2011, while allowing just 29 goals on the season.  Pascale posted his career-best goals against average (0.740) in 2007, en route to his third consecutive USL title match.

Prior to signing with the Kickers, Pascale spent his rookie season with the Atlanta Silverbacks out of Furman University where he was named Southern Conference Rookie of the Year in 1995. A four-year starter at Furman University, he was named to the Southern All-Conference team four times, Conference Goalkeeper of the year three times, and was twice named to the Second Team All-South. After his senior season, Pascale was named the Furman Male Athlete of the Year (1998/99).

Pascale's 2006 Championship goalkeepers jersey (as seen above) is part of the I.S.A. Collection.

We wish Ronnie all the best in his future endeavors and congratulate him on a wonderful playing career in the United States.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Season to Remember: ROY LASSITER 1996

With all the talk about Chris Wondolowski having a great year, and the chance to break the single-season scoring record, its has been a mere mention about the accomplishments of Roy Lassiter in 1996.

Record setter - Roy Lassiter

ROY LASSITER (above) was the top goal scorer in the inaugural year of MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER. He led his TAMPA BAY MUTINY to the best league record in 1996. Although not yet established, the now defunct club was subsequently awarded the Supporter's Shield as regular season Champions.

And still, the magnificence of Lassiter's goal scoring may have been overshadowed by the fact that the USA was to finally have a top professional soccer circuit. Not present since the demise of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1984, the idea of riding on the successes of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 7 of their 9 venues was pure elation for the nation's soccer faithful.

The jersey from Roy Lassiter's record breaking 1996 season

Cought up in the euphoria of star designations assigned to the clubs were Roberto Donadoni to NY / NJ MetroStars, Jorge Campos to Los Angeles, Carlos Valderrama to Tampa and Hugo Sanchez to Dallas. 

There was a good deal of talent in a small pool. MLS had recalled most of their 1990's World Cup players and added the best of the existing talent from the American Professional Soccer League.

Lassiter's trademark "flying" celebration (above) was a hit for MLS fans.

Lassiter had scored 27 goals in 30 games while playing in a 32 game season. He added 6 more in 5 playoff games. However, the club would be eliminated by eventual MLS Cup winners, DC United.

The jersey of Roy Lassiter (above) in the Collection of the ISA.

In total, Roy netted 37 goals in 60 games for the Mutiny and a total of 88 regular season finishes in his MLS career. 

He set the high mark for goal scorers, of which only 7 players have surpassed the 20-goal mark.

We will know in the next few weeks if there is a new bar set for the future.

N.Y. Cosmos Championship Ring Sells at Auction

The 1977 Championship ring of New York Cosmos owner Steve Ross went on the auction block on October 4th and sold for $6,270.
Ross, who was a titan in the business world, was the CEO of Warner Communications when it purchased the NASL franchise for $1 from its original 10 owners in 1971. He went on to develop financial concepts for American Express, video game icon Atari, DC Comics and MTV, HBO and Nickleodeon television among others.

He eventually rolled his empire under the TIME-WARNER corporation label. However, for soccer fans, it was his visionary support of the world's game that brought Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Giorgio Chinaglia to play in America. 

The 10k gold ring with an emerald stone center was made by famed jewelers Jostein. The ring features the insignia of the NASL, the N.Y. Cosmos and a facsimile signature of Pele on the inner band. 

Pele, playing his final season in the NASL, was the catalyst for the club winning a Championship before the legend's retirement in 1977. 

The ring, as an artifact from a business tycoon, sports builder and pop culture icon, is paramount to the N.Y. Yankees' George Steinbrenner, the Chicago Bears' George Halas or  the Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie.

Friday, September 21, 2012

U.S. Open Cup, Sporting Kansas City and London Olympic Artifacts at I.S.A.

The 99th Edition of the U.S. Open Cup was won by Sporting Kansas City as they dethroned the 3-time Champions Seattle Sounders. The battle at Livestrong Sporting Park was physical and it took a penalty shoot-out to stop Seattle from winning an unprecedented 4th straight Cup Final.

Jubilant Kansas City players (above) sport their winner's medals and hold the Open Cup Trophy.

The 99th winners medal which has been added to the I.S.A. Collection.

The seldom seen reverse of the U.S. Open Cup winners medal (above).

American International GRAHAM ZUSI (above) earned his first medal in the 2012 Final.

The match-worn GRAHAM ZUSI jersey, complete with blood and grass strains. The hallmark patch on the inside collar is for LAMAR HUNT, founder of Sporting Kansas City. Hunt's name also appears on the Open Cup competition and trophy.

The reverse of the midfielder's # 8 jersey

 The first Champagne cork (above) from Sporting Kansas City's 2012 victory

Among the celebration was a well traveled ROGER ESPINOSA (far left).

 ESPINOSA starred with HONDURAS in their remarkable run through the 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

Only days after returning from London, ESPINOSA played in the Cup Final (playing against Brazil above).

The OLYMPIC worn shoes (above) that ESPINOSA wore in the Cup Final.

Another look at the OLYMPIC worn shoes (above and below)

The ticket for the 2012 U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL

The International Soccer Archives has one of the largest collections of U.S. Open Cup memorabilia in the world.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Richmond Kickers - 20 Professional Years

Several leagues and hundreds of clubs in American soccer history have called themselves professional.

 For the RICHMOND KICKERS it has actually been 20 years this season.

The 1993 Team posing in their original green shirts.

With a modern record of 77 wins in U.S. Open Cup history, the club has weathered the storm of re-organization, folding franchises and rebranding of their perspective leagues.  

They have played Cup Giant Killers since the onset of Major League Soccer, now two divisions above them.   They are the club that began the modern era by winning the 1995 U.S. Open Cup.

The 1995 National Champions

The Kickers are a club from top to bottom with tremendous local support both with fans and businesses. The Kickers are identified through several levels of youth teams, all wearing their red jerseys worn ever since their cup triumph. 

This year the club celebrated its 20th anniversary by wearing a specially made green shirt tops which reflect the inaugural season.

The Special jerseys made for the 20th Anniversary

David Bulow returned to the Kickers in 201 for his third tour of duty. After scoring against Sporting Kansas City in last year's Open Cup tournament, he became the sole record holder of the most goals in the 99 year competition.

David Bulow in Action

Bulow's 14 tallies surpassed Johnny Menyongar and 100-goal MLS legend Jamie Moreno who are tied at 13 goals each.

The Kickers have been a solid competitor in the American professional ranks but also the stepping stone for top notch players like Dwayne DeRosario and Richie Williams. 

David Bulow's 20th Anniversary Richmond Kickers jersey has been kindly donated to the International Soccer Archives. (Thanks to Shelley Sowers)

Friday, September 7, 2012

CANADA ... 100 Years of Soccer

Congratulations to the CANADIAN SOCCER ASSOCIATION in celebrating their 100th anniversary.
The foundation of the Dominion of Canada Football Association began in May 1912 and culminated in joining F.I.F.A. in December of that year.

Here are some of those artifacts from the ISA Collection:

1996 Team signed jersey 

Canada's 1st major trophy came as the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup Winners.

The Panini Mexico86 issue (above) marked the first appearance of Canada in the famed World Cup collectable sticker set. 

An official match program from 1976 featuring Pele.

Pele and the North American Soccer League (NASL)  helped developed the Canadian talent in the 1970's with professional teams in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

A rare keepsake medal from the 1980 Tour of Canada by Irish Football League XI.

The British sides were just one of many touring teams that crossed the Dominion of Canada. The earliest being the English amateurs "Pilgrims" in 1905. 

A rare 1910 England v. Scotland medal

The British influence on Canadian Soccer is marked by this 1910 International match (above) representing England vs. Scotland under the direction of Montreal Association Football.

Other Ethnic influences such as the NASL Toronto Metro-Croatia won the NASL title in 1976. Vancouver Whitecaps followed with a Championship in 1979. 

Frank Yallop's # 4 Canada jersey

FRANK YALLOP was born in Canada, but played the majority of his professional career with Ipswich Town in England. He has represented Canada both as a National Team player and their manager.

A rare Gold medal from Toronto Scottish F.C.

Toronto Scottish F.C. were National Champions as well as regional Champions in  the 1920's. 

Regional Associations had great power and influence when Canada was still in its infancy. 

Today, Canada has 3 professional clubs in Major League Soccer and 2 in the North American Soccer League. The National Team is currently qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.