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.