The I.S.A. Collection

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

US Soccer Centennial Moment: 1973 Philadelphia Atoms - American Champions

Immigrants have played a crucial role in the history of American Soccer. If there was a water mark where the imprint of the game became more American, it was 1973 and the Philadelphia Atoms.
The Atoms were an expansion club in the North American Soccer League (NASL). The previous season the New York Cosmos, a team in its 2nd year, won the Championship. That Cosmos side featured one native born and 2 naturalized Americans in a limited capicity.
Conversely, the Atoms roster had 11 Americans of whom 7 participated in over half their games. Of those, four would represent the US National Team during 1973 World Cup qualifying - Bob Rigby, Bobby Smith, George O'Neill and Barry Barto.

Playing their home matches in Veterans Stadium, they were coached by Pennsylvania native, Al Miller. Miller built the squad around American players, most notably his Goalkeeper Bob Rigby, who played under him at East Stroudsberg State. 
Miller would be named the U.S. National Team coach in 1975. However, he would face a tug-of-war with the NASL clubs and the international schedule.
Contrary to popular belief, the excitement of the NASL and its rising stars came before the arrival of Pele' to the Cosmos.
This was evidenced by the September 3rd 1973 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover. (see below)

Bob Rigby - SI cover boy.
The Atoms finished with a 9-2-8 record and progressed through the NASL Play-off rounds where they defeated Toronto. In the NASL Final, dubbed The Soccer Bowl, they shut out Dallas to win the title.
1973 NASL Championship ring.
The reborn North American Soccer League will play its Soccer Bowl Final in November at Atlanta. While there are several Americans in the new league, none are internationals representing the USA.
The Philadelphia Atoms were one of the possible names for the MLS's expansion club Philadelphia Union. The 1973 Atoms provided the most US National players from a Philadelphia club since Walter Bahr and Ed McIllvenny of the Philadelphia Nationals appeared in the 1950 World Cup.
Walter Bahr's sons - Casey Bahr and Chris Bahr also played for the Atoms in the early 1970's before they became NFL place kickers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Moore and Vermes Inducted Into US Soccer Hall of Fame

The induction of 2 more pioneer players of  MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER have been selected to the United States Hall of Fame. Although the American Hall no longer exists in a building form, the ceremonial induction takes place in conjunction with other soccer events.
Caps: 100  Goals: 24
Clubs: Saarbrucken (Germany), FC Nurnberg (Germany), New England Revolution (USA), Everton (England)
The son of a former owner of the NASL's Tulsa Roughnecks, Joe-Max Moore was destined to be part of the American soccer scene from childhood. By the time he was old enough for professional football, there wasn't the caliber in place for his talents. Moore moved to Europe and endured the struggles of an American making it in German football.
He did surprising well, and when the MLS was assigning designated stars to the inaugural franchises, Moore landed with New England.  He stayed long enough to score at a rate of better than a goal every 2 games.
He moved to Everton in the Premier League and made over 50 appearances. He finished out his career with a return to New England for one last season. He was art of 3 US World Cup Teams (1994-2002)
Joe-Max Moore's 1996 Inaugural New England Revolution jersey (ISA photo)

Moore in action in the inaugural 1996 MLS season wearing the above shirt.
(photo ISA)
Caps: 67 Goals: 11
Clubs: New Jersey Eagles (USA), Raba Eto (Hungary), Volendam (Holland), Tampa Bay Rowdies (USA), Figueres (Spain), New York Fever (USA), New York MetroStars (USA), Colorado Rapids (USA), Kansas City (USA)
Having to earn his living as a traveler for the early part of his career made Peter Vermes ripe for football management. A very capable striker who became a utility player based on his determination and diversity.
A key player for the USA at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup, Vermes was a Captain in Colorado's(1997) and Kansas City's(2000) MLS Cup runs playing as a defender. The latter resulting in the MLS Championship victory.

(photo ISA)

Vermes wear the above jersey as MLS Champions.
It seems the next generation of inductees may just include players who only have played in MLS. The importance of these traveling pioneers cannot be measured in mere statistics, but rather the compliments of their peers.
Both these players are honored by the INTERNATIONAL SOCCER ARCHIVES with their jerseys.

Friday, May 17, 2013

MLS to EPL Pipeline Leads to Unique Record

As two significant entities celebrate their anniversaries, one common thread pulls them together.
The Football Association of England is 150 years old while the United States Open Cup (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup) is 100 years old.
The advancement of players from the 17 year old MLS (Major League Soccer) is a viable route for many players to the English Premier League. Arguably the most popular league in the world, the EPL has recruited several dozen players from North America's top league - including Brek Shea, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey.
Espinosa wins the Cup with Wigan
Last year's Open Cup Champions - Sporting Kansas City lost Kai Kamara, on loan to Norwich City, for half the MLS season. Honduran International Roger Espinosa (pictured above) was signed outright by Wigan Athletic.
Espinosa accomplished the unique feat of winning the U.S. Open Cup followed by winning the F.A. Cup in successive seasons.

Espinosa's game-worn shoes from the 2012 Cup Final
To our knowledge, only one player - Freddie Ljungberg - has won both the FA Cup (2002 Arsenal) and the US Open Cup (2009 Seattle), although not in consecutive seasons.
There is a short list of pre-war players who have participated in the English F.A. Cup.
None of them have won both the US Open Cup and the FA Cup.
There are several who played in a Scottish Cup Final and the US Cup Final. None have won both.
In the modern era, John Harkes and Kasey Keller have both won the English League Cup and the Open Cup. Harkes was also a runner up in the FA Cup with Sheffield Wednesday.
Espinosa in action for Sporting KC wearing "the shoes"
As more MLS talent goes overseas, it is likely that more of them may win a medal or two. but for now, Roger Espinosa's rare double stands out. Congratulations to him !

Friday, April 12, 2013

US Soccer - Bell Ringing, Building Lighting and Other Wasted Chances

The opportunity for all parts of the nation to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of American soccer was sadly missed when US Soccer went to New York this week.
There were a good number of former players in attendance followed by some speeches and executives in suits playing up to Wall Street and the Empire State Building.
However, what was missing were the tangible symbols of the celebration. Other than the "100 Years" banners, there was little for Americans to embrace as a remembrance of this event.
Our suggestion, dismissed by the Federation without explanation, was to have every team that participated in this year's U.S. Open Cup should have wear a patch commemorating the Centennial on their shirts.
Bobby Moore (left), and Pele (right), with Gerry Francis (center), wear the Bicentennial patch.  
Would this idea cost less than the lighting of the Empire State building ? Could it be embraced by every club in the Open Cup from every small town to the biggest MLS city ?
What type of legacy has US Soccer Federation to show for itself after 100 years of great history ? The most recent inductees to the US's Soccer Hall of Fame (Peter Vermes and Tab Ramos) were notified that they have been enshrined into a "non-existent" building (no Hall or even a hallway). Don't they deserve better ?
In 1976, when the nation was observing its Bicentennial, the much maligned North American Soccer League (NASL), put patches on the sleeves of its soccer teams.  It even allowed its players to participate in a 4 team tournament which included Italy, England and Brazil - called the Bicentennial Cup.
The Official match program of the 1976 tournament.
It seems with only 100 years to prepare for this anniversary, US Soccer might have planned a bit more substance for all the American people.
The good news is that its only April and there is still time to create something for the century mark of the game in America.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

US Soccer Federation Centennial Moment: BROOKLYN CELTIC

Brooklyn Celtic - Amateur Dynasty
When it comes to the pioneers of American soccer, the vast wealth of influence came from overseas immigrants. In the same month that the Patron Saint of Ireland is celebrated for St. Patrick's Day, we hearken back to the days when an Irish club emerged in league football. 

One such organization was so dominant that it challenged the best of professional clubs during their hey day. Brooklyn Celtic was led by Irish Manager Tom McCamphill and his brother James. Among its members were at least three sets of brothers, and two sets of fathers and sons.
While James Robertson Sr. played less of a role, the junior Robertson went on to represent the USA in its very first International match in 1916.
The O'Halloran family (father and 2 sons) were the mainstays of the amateur club throughout their existence. They played for several other New York clubs such as the Brooklyn YMCA and representative sides - Ireland, in the International  Series. Under the New York Footballers Protective Association, unofficial national teams England, Scotland, Ireland and an early version of Team America, among others, played in annual tournament beginning in 1912.
The rapid rise of organized soccer in the United States prompted both amateur and professional leagues as well as cup tournaments. Brooklyn Celtic won the first of the American Amateur Football Association Cup in 1912. They would follow up with 2 more finals appearances in the National Challenge Cup - now known as the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup.
Although they lost both matches to their professional counterparts, they defeated the same teams earlier in the year in other competitions. They dominated the very competitive amateur circuit by winning promotion to the top level in 1911 and went on to win the title 6 of the 7 seasons they played in the league.
They were also runners up in the 1915 American Cup.
The Celtic star forward was a diminutive 5'4" Roddy O'Halloran.  In Brooklyn Celtic's first season of 1910, three players were chosen for the prestigious All-Brooklyn Team to face the powerful All-New York Stars. Along with forward Mike King and Robert Owen was the 17 year old forward Roddy O'Halloran.
The two forwards, stars in the making, combined for a great goal as described by the newspaper: "After about 20 minutes play, from a pass from his club mate King, O’Halloran dropped the ball over his head …scoring what proved to be the only goal of the game".

Forward "Mike" King was already a veteran of New York area soccer. However, it was the short and spindle of a young O’Halloran, who only arrived in America in 1907, that became a catalyst for the Irish club. First appearing on the soccer scene in 1908 while playing for the Brooklyn Hibernians, Tom McCamphill incorporated Roddy and several O’Halloran relatives into the Celtic club, the youngest even serving as mascot.

Roddy spent part of the 1910 season with Brooklyn AFC, professionals of the National Association Football League. While the professional circuit played on Sundays, Celtic and O’Halloran excelled in the Saturday New York State Amateur League.

From 1910 to 1920 – just about every all-star, international or select team from that decade included a Brooklyn Celtic player and, in particular, Roddy O’Halloran.

Partnered with King, and later with Tom Campion and a dozen others who wore the green and white Celtics jersey, O’Halloran always made things happen – either by setting up teammates or doing the scoring himself.

While the club began to accumulate trophies with its Irish-American squad, McCamphill was shrewd enough to realize that the talent pool could be expanded with home-grown players.

With promotion to the 1st Division for the 1911-12 season, this strategy paid dividends in a strong 2nd place finish in the ever growing New York league. The recruitment of the Robertson brothers – James and Andrew, solidified the defense. James Robertson would later represent the U.S. National Team in their very first international game. In fact, three Celtics players would be on the same tour for that historic landmark game.

The crowning achievement of the second season came in front of 3,500 spectators at the Marquette Oval in Brooklyn on May 11, 1912. A convincing 3:0 victory in the American Amateur Cup Final was led by Tom Campion with 2 goals and Roddy O’Halloran with the other. Brooklyn had captured the title of "Soccer Champions of the United States". Celtic also exacted revenge by crushing Critchley F.C. 4:0 in the semi-final match. McCamphill never hesitated to recruit players from teams that defeated Celtic – which they rarely did.

As the Brooklyn side became a power of the Amateur League they flexed their muscles against other opposition, namely the professional clubs of the neighboring National Association Football League.

In an exhibition the All-New York League (amateurs) defeated the All-National Association Football League (professionals) three goals to one. The newspaper’s account related the contest as follows: "The score does not really tell the story, as the State Leaguers were so superior in all the fine points of the game, that they had the professionals running in rings and bumping into one another looking for the ball".

In the same season Brooklyn Celtic hammered the West Hudson A.A. by four goals to nil. West Hudson, who were current Champions of the professional circuit, had boasted some of America’s best players of the era.

One of the unsteadying trends of the period, however, was the unconditional movement of players. Since the Saturday / Sunday leagues played separate schedules, many players participated in both leagues. Once a team was eliminated from a Cup Competition, some of its members were recruited to the clubs that advanced. (England would eliminate this practice by making the players "cup tied")

The two cup finalists of 1912-13, Yonkers F.C. and Hollywood Inn, had no less than four Brooklyn Celtic players starring in the Championship game. King, who was "borrowed" from Brooklyn for the final, scored two goals in the 3:0 victory.

This was only the beginning of the line that was drawn and then often obliterated in the debate over amateurism and professionalism.

However, all this did nothing to diminish Brooklyn Celtic's contribution in making the New York League superior to any in the nation. The selected New York League All-Stars defeated the PENN State League 2:1 and tied the famed touring Pilgrims of England. They only lost to the touring Corinthians of England 2:4. The legendary amateur English side regularly pounded their opposition by a handful of goals or better.

By 1914 Brooklyn Celtic had amassed a record envied by their distant namesakes in Glasgow, Scotland. The competitions became fiercer and the debate and lure of professionalism weighed heavy on many clubs. A front line already lethal with Campion, O’Halloran and King now played to audiences as far as Massachusetts and Niagara Falls.

The 1913-14 season saw Celtic going undefeated again winning 15 of 16 matches of league play. Meanwhile, another Brooklyn team – one in the professional NAFBL also went undefeated in their league. Brooklyn Celtics and Brooklyn Field Club were destined to clash. Celtic would beat the Field Club twice in that season.

However, missing two regular starters for the American Championship title game, Celtic were beaten 1:2 in the Final. The 1914 National Challenge Cup, the very first ever played, was contested in front of a record crowd in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The tournament, its format and all its history is continued to this day under the title of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In the semi-final, Celtic beat the powerful Bethlehem Steel club.

Tom Campion had just returned to America from Ireland in 1912 when McCamphill snapped him up to play for Celtics. Although he signed other Irishmen like Hugh Kelly, Pete Sweeney and Thomas McGreevey in1914, Manager McCamphill recognized the need to buy outside the ethnic circle and promptly imported Derby County goalkeeper Frank Mather from England for the season.

On Christmas Day 1914 the New York State League took on the National League in the annual Pros vs. Amateurs Cup. Mike King, who was absent from the 1914 Cup Final, scored all 4 goals in a performance aided by Roddy O’Halloran.

For the following season, the New York State Amateur League would drop the "amateur" name in its title. The gloves were now off and many clubs went to great lengths to secure players from smaller teams and import experienced players from overseas. This was true for most of the soccer areas of the country but the city of Brooklyn had a unique luxury. Being a port city, they encountered soccer elevens from steamships harbored for days at a time. Exhibition games became learning experiences and New Yorkers copied styles and tactics invaluable to the clubs of Brooklyn.

Although not a harbor city, one particular club perfected recruitment – Bethlehem Steel would lure some of Britain’s best professional players to Pennsylvania. However, Celtic's over all record against the soccer blue bloods was nothing short of astounding.

The Brooklyn Celtic’s amateurs fell short again in the second National Challenge Cup Final played in 1915. Over 7,000 spectators saw the "Steel men" take a home field advantage in Bethlehem by a score of 3 to 1.

However, only a month and a half before this, the two clubs met in the American Cup semi-final at Marquette oval in Brooklyn. O’Halloran and McQueen did the scoring. Brooklyn Celtic, leader in the New York State League, conquered the champion Bethlehem Steel eleven before 5,000 spectators. The 2:1 victory put Celtic into the cup finals.

Celtic would lose that 1915 Cup final by 1 goal to the Scottish-Americans. Finishing first in the league again, Brooklyn Celtic garnered two Final runners-up medals in the season.

In 1916, as Celtic went undefeated again winning 14 of 16 league matches, Thomas McCamphill acquired a young New Jersey goalkeeper named George Tintle. Tintle would go into the record books as the first custodian of the U.S. National Team that summer. He would later travel with Bethlehem Steel and a St. Louis based team to tour Europe. He was joined on America’s first national squad by Charles Ellis who was also one of McCamphill’s signings. A few months later the Danish F.A. would request the All-American Team to tour with a guarantee of $9,000.00 to the U.S. Football Association.

The onset of the 1916-17 season saw 53 clubs and several new leagues begin play. The abundance of more clubs and more leagues spread around the country like wildfire.

While winning an amazing 5th consecutive League Championship Brooklyn also won the Southern New York State Cup conquering the best that the Empire State could muster. In addition, they collected the inaugural trophy for the La Sultana Cup.

In the annual inter-borough match between All-Brooklyn and All-New York, Celtic represented 8 of the starting 11 players ! (George Tintle – Charles Kelly, George Ferguson – Sam Bustard – Tom Campion, Roddy O’Halloran, Hugh McKenna and Tom McGreevey)

While Roddy O’Halloran led the club again in scoring with 14 league goals there were more international merits for the green and whites. The New York Footballers Protective Association which had held its international series since 1912 was won by the IRELAND team. The 1917 winning side included O’Halloran, Campion, Casey, McGreevey and Bustard.

As much as McCamphill’s vision for signing American players was acute, there was unforeseen trouble looming. British players were scarce due to the war in Europe which was in full swing. To compound circumstances the following directive came from the U.S. government:

"In line with policy at the start of war in discarding Championship athletic events in favor of military competitions for soldiers …"

In essence, all personnel, resource materials and funds would be allocated to the war.

The impact on the Brooklyn Celtic Football Club can hardly be calculated. The thrill and excitement of massive soccer matches both in America and Britain were soon replaced with army enlistment. Soccer age males were rushing to sign up for military service and patriotic Britons returned to fight in Europe.

After the war, some of the former Celtic players returned from Army duty to play again. However, many did not, or rather could not due war injuries. New alliances, new leagues and new leadership in the ranks would propel America into exciting and lucrative soccer history.

Sadly, this Brooklyn Celtic club would not carry into that era. The club would garner 11 trophies in only 8 seasons of American soccer. Although the name Brooklyn Celtic would be used again and again, none of those carried the original flame of the club formed in August 1910.

Roddy O'Halloran's 1914 U.S. Open Cup medal.
Roddy O'Halloran would be involved with American soccer for over 25 years. He was seen refereeing or running a line in both the New York leagues and the American Soccer League well into the late 1920's.


New York State League Champions – (5) 1912-13, 1913-14, 1914-15, 1915-16, 1916-17

New York State League 2nd Division Champions – (1) 1910-11

Southern New York State Cup Winners– (2) 1912-3, 1916-17

La Sultana Cup Winners – (1) 1916-17

American Amateur Cup Winners – (1) 1911-12

National Challenge Cup Finalist – 1913-14, 1914-15

American Association Football Cup Finalist – 1914-15



Thursday, February 21, 2013

US Soccer Fedration Centennial Moment: Italia '90

When it comes to pinpointing the moment that soccer became "mainstream" in America, a shot in the dark is as good as one in the Caribbean daylight. On November 9th, 1989 Paul Caligiuri's winning goal in Trinidad (a.k.a. the shot heard around the world) qualified the USA into the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

However, it should not be mistaken as the beginning of America's great soccer past. It was not so much an explosion as a slow leak that eventually pooled into the masses that now follow the world's game inside the United States.

It was annouced this week that Colorado, the venue for the US National Team's upcoming World Cup Qualifying match, reportedly sold out in ONE hour.

This pennant (above) celebrates the USA rejoining the World Cup Finals after 56 years.

The significance of the 1990 World Cup for America cannot be understated. The last time the USA played a World Cup match in Italy, they lost 7:1 in what was then a one-off qualifying game. From that date the USA was absent from soccer's top showcase for over 50 years !

The squad that would represent America in 1990 would be hailed as pioneers and heroes. Albiet the return to Rome was not spectacular, great stride would be made even in its 1:0 loss to the hosts at Italia '90.

Marcelo Balboa (far left) and company were unlucky not to pull off an upset over hosts Italy.

The Management and organization of US Soccer improved predominantly with tune-up friendlies like the MARLBORO CUP where the inexperienced Yanks were tested against fellow qualifiers Uruguay, Colombia, South Korea and the Soviet Union and club giants Juventus, Benfica and Flamengo.
The 1990 World Cup jersey of Marcelo Balboa (above and below) 

Among those heroic players which included Eric Wynalda, Kasey Keller, John Harkes, Tab Ramos and Peter Vermes was Marcelo Balboa who made 128 appearences for the USA. He was the first American to earn 100 caps.

The FIFA World Cup ticket from Italy.

Domesticly, Balboa won a league title with the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks. He would win another league championship with the Colorado Foxes before moving on to Leon in Mexico.

The 1990 Panini World Cup sticker of Marcelo Balboa.

Marcelo and his teammates would be the first US National Team players to appear on a licensed soccer product (see above) when they were included in the 1990 Panini sticker set.

Marcelo Balboa's Colorado Rapids MLS jersey.

Marcelo Balboa would return to Colorado for the inaugural season of Major League Soccer. Under his leadership, the Rapids made it to the 1997 MLS Cup Final. He was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

US Soccer Federation Centennial Moment : Wembley Stadium

This year the International Soccer Archives is proud to present historical moments from the 100 years of soccer in the United States. We will be bringing you in words, pictures and artifacts a century of a soccer nation's heritage.
There is a place that surpasses the distance of soccer history - and that is England, where the hollowed grounds of WEMBLEY STADIUM is celebrating its 90th Anniversary. This comes also in the year of The Football Association which was founded 150 years ago.
England's  home stadia since 1923 was at the Exposition Grounds that housed Wembley Stadium.
An aerial view of the Twin Towers facade at Wembley Stadium. (ISA Collection)
From the 1923 F.A. Cup Final to the 1966 FIFA World Cup where England triumphed, visitors could visit the famous "Twin Towers" that hosted Kings, Queens, Generals and football Captains.
The last of the tour tickets to the original Wembley Stadium. (ISA Collection)
The American's have made one and only one visit in all the years to play the English at Wembley.
The date was September 7, 1994.
A ticket to history - USA v England at Wembley Stadium. (ISA Collection)
Bouyed by the success of the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the USA, the Americans visited Wembley Stadium and the select few that played that day accomplished what even the great PELE' did not.
The US National Team pose at the famous Wembley Stadium (Copyright ISA. All rights reserved)
The Official match programme - USA v England (ISA Collection)
England triumphed at home with a 2:0 victory with a brace by Alan Shearer. The USA wore the "denim" style jerseys used at the 1994 World Cup. England played in their traditional white shirts.

Alexi Lalas fends off England's Tony Adams as  Brad Friedel looks on.(Copyright ISA. All rights reserved)
Cobi Jones is surrounded by England keeper David Seamen, Teddy Sheringham and England Captain David Platt. (Copyright ISA. All rights reserved)
The Offical Team sheet (ISA Collection)
7 September 1994 - Wembley Stadium - London, England 
Attendance: 38,629
Scorers: Alan Shearer 32, Alan Shearer 39
USA: Brad Friedel (Jurgen Sommer 82) - Jeff Agoos (Mike Lapper 70), Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas, Paul Caligiuri - Thomas Dooley[C], Cobi Jones, Mike Sorber, Claudio Reyna (Joe-Max Moore 82) - Hugo Perez (Eric Wynalda 82), Earnie Stewart (Frank Klopas 82).
England: David Seamen - Jones, Graham Le Saux, Barry Venison, Tony Adams - Gary Pallister, David Platt [C], John Barnes, Alan Shearer (Les Ferdinand 80), Teddy Sheringham (Ian Wright 80), Darren Anderton.