The Year in American Soccer - 1959

Written by David Litterer (

The American Soccer League

The American Soccer League began their 26th season enjoying a period of relative stability. Ludlow Lusitano withdrew for a season to reorganize, but otherwise there were no changes in the lineup of clubs. Hakoah and Brooklyn Italian were forced to move after Zerega Oval was closed to make way for factory construction. New York Hakoah continued their winning ways, again winning the league title in convincing fashion Ukrainian Nationals finished three games behind, followed by the resurgent Brooklyn Italians who jumped from last to third. Lloyd Monsen nearly won his second consecutive scoring title, but lost at the last minute to Pasquale Pepe of Newark.

In an attempt to fan interest in the Lewis Cup, it was split into northern and southern divisions this year with Ukrainian Nationals and Hakoah winning their respective divisions. The Ukrainians won the title match 3-2. Interestingly, there were only three teams in their Lewis Cup division to six for Hakoah's Northern Section. The ASL was represented in the U. S. Open Cup this year as Fall River S. C. advanced to the finals, losing to Los Angeles McIlvaine 4-3.

Once again, the ASL organized an indoor tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. This was a somewhat lively affair, a marathon six game shindig, with Hakoah and Brookhattan reviving their Hatfield and McCoy type rivalry and Hakoah pulling it off 4 to 3. Brookhattan had advanced to the final courtesy of a coin flip after their semi against the Uhriks ended in a 2-2 draw. The action was fast and off the boards, with a goal fest between Uhrik winning an earlier match 8-6 over Newark Portuguese, with Pasquale Pepe scoring 4 goals in Newark's losing effort. Reaction among the 6,121 in attendance was positive with calls for more of the same next year.

The highlight of the year was again the exhibition matchups between visiting foreign teams, and a match between the ASL All-Stars and Norrkoping of Sweden. The featured matchups were Dundee of Scotland vs West Bromwich Albion of England, and Naples vs. Rapid Vienna. The latter was a testy affair, with fans storming the field at one point.

Late in the year, former ASL president James P. McGuire was appointed by the USSFA to be a committee of one to explore the professional situation in the New York area with the view to the formation of a major professional league.

              Final League Standings, 1958-1959

During the season, Brookhattan-Galicia became Galicia.

                              G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
New York Hakoah              16   11   3   2   52  31   25
Ukrainian Nationals          16    8   3   5   32  22   19
Uhrik Truckers               15    8   1   6   47  44   17
Brooklyn Italians            16    6   3   7   39  31   15
Baltimore Pompei             16    5   5   6   40  39   15
Fall River SC                15    6   3   6   28  29   15
Galicia SC                   16    3   7   6   40  49   13
Newark Portuguese            15    3   6   6   34  42   12
Elizabeth Falcons            15    3   3   9   31  54    9

LEWIS CUP WINNER: Ukrainian Nationals defeated New York Hakoah 3-2

Leading Scorers
Pasquale Pepe, Newark Portuguese  17
Lloyd Monsen, New York Hakoah     16
George Andrade, Brooklyn Italians 13
Bob Swinski, Baltimore Pompeii    13
  (through March 22, 1959)
Al Didriksen, Uhrik Truckers       8
J. Ferris, Uhrik Truckers          8
Hornmoen, New York Hakoah          8
Walt Chyzowych, Ukrainian Nationals7
A. Sonnenblick, New York Hakoah    6
Anderson, Uhrik Truckers           6

Most Valuable Player:  Juri Kuloishenko, Ukrainian Nationals
Coach of the Year:  Charley McGill, Fall River S. C.

German-American Soccer League

Joseph Beck was welcomed as the new league president. In regional activity, Union Lancers won the New Jersey State Cup. New York Hungaria won their second consecutive league title.

National Soccer League (Chicago)

Schwaben won their fifth consecutive league title in convincing fashion, bettering runner-up Eagles by ten points. Kickers were revived after fifteen seasons, and won the 2nd division title, utilizing a number of players from Schwaben's 1958 squad, and then going on to win the Peel Cup. A total of 64 teams competed among the various divisions. Schwaben also took the indoor season title as well. This indoor season featured the first international indoor exhibition game, as Halsinborg of Sweden played the Chicago All-Stars to a 5-5 draw before 4,000 enthusiastic fans. The game was played 7 -a-side with three 25 minute periods. The All-star team later in the season lost a close 1-0 match to Dundee United and handed the only loss to the touring Legia of Poland, a 4-3 result. William Hennings was elected to his 12th term as league President. Hansa won the Hines trophy for the annual seven-a-side tournament held at Hines Hospital for the benefit of the veterans there.

          National Soccer League final standings, 1958-59

                 GP  W  L  T  Pt
Schwaben         14 13  1  0  26
Eagles           14  7  5  2  16
Lions            14  5  5  4  14
Slovaks          14  6  6  2  14
Fortuna          14  5  6  3  13
Green-Whites     14  5  6  3  13
Hansa            14  4  6  4  12
Vikings          14  1 11  2   4

Hansa and Vikings were demoted.  Maroons and Liths were promoted for 1960.

Indoor season champion: Slovaks (awarded permanent possession of 
the Aksel Nielsen Trophy)

Amateur Leagues & Cups

California State Association Senior Challenge Cup: Los Angeles Kickers
Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky League: Cincinnati Schwaben (East; 13-1-2-28), Ft. Wayne S.C. & Ft. Wayne Olympians (west; co-champions, 11-4-2-24)
Rowland Cup-State Open Championship (Pen-Del-Mar): St. Gerard's
Stewart Cup (Maryland): Central Valet K of C
Knickerbocker Cup (So. New York): American Czechoslovakian
German-American Soccer League (New York): New York Hungaria
Long Island League (NY): Hempstead; Jose Cup: Patchogue; Edwards Cup: Grunman
New Jersey State Cup: Newark: Peel Cup (Illinois state): Chicago Kickers
Michigan League: Grand Rapids be Quick Sports Guild Cup: (no competition)
Michigan State Cup: St. Andrew Scots
Western Michigan League (Bud Pocze Trophy): Grand Rapids Comets defeated Kalamazoo Lumberjacks
All-Latin California League: Tepatitlan

Pan-American Games

Chicago hosted the Pan-American games of 1959 during August. As is frequently the case with such multi-sport tournaments, soccer was the most well attended of the sports, with several games drawing in excess of 30,000 spectators. The U.S. put on an inspiring performance, garnering the bronze medal with a 4-2-0 record, behind gold medalist Argentina and runner-up Brazil.

The US team, coached by James Reed, started off being thumped by Argentina 4-1 on August 23, but rebounded by defeating Haiti convincingly 7-2 a day later. This was followed by a surprising win over Brazil, 5-3, and a 5-0 shutout of Cuba on August 30. They wrapped up the schedule with a 4-2 win over Mexico and a 3-4 loss to Costa on 9/3. Although their opponents had not sent their strongest teams by a long shot, the performance was one of the US's better showings in a number of years, with strength both on offense and defense. Altogether the US scored 26 goals, led by Al Zerhusen with 10.

The US National Team

The National Team was occupied with the Pan-American Games (see above) as well as qualification for the 1960 Olympics. To prepare for the Pan-American games, the team arranged a number of exhibitions in various western states, as well as a full international against England. The US had started preparations well in advance, with tryouts and extensive practice sessions. USSFA president Walter Rechsteiner wanted to ensure that the team did not suffer the consequences of ad-hoc preparations this time. The team was impressive, led by such future hall of famers as Ed Murphy, Bill Looby and Al Zerhusen, the US held tryouts and extensive practice sessions. Alas, England came fully-staffed, ready for revenge for the 1950 World Cup humiliation. And they got it. The match was May 28, 1959, at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The US scored first, but England answered with eight goals to win in convincing fashion. This was the US's only full international this year. The experience, along with the other exhibitions did serve the US well as they won the Bronze medal at the Pan-American games (see above). Coach Reed kept the Pan-American squad together for the Olympic qualifications. However, he did not keep the team in practice. They regrouped two days before their first qualification match against Mexico on October 8, out of shape and with no available practice facilities. The results showed: Mexico quickly jumped to a 2-0 lead and held on for the shutout. The return match was held on November 22 at Los Angeles. Same story. The team regrouped two days before the game behind the 8-ball. Needing to win by three goals to remain in the running, the US scored first. Mexico went on the offensive, and fought back to a 1-1 draw. This qualified Mexico for the Olympics and left the US out in the cold again. Ultimately, Yugoslavia won the Olympic gold, Denmark won the silver and Hungary won the bronze.

                 1959 Men's National Team Results:

    1959 Totals:  5W,  1D,  3L
Nov 22 59  D 1-1  Mexico                    +Los Angeles, CA, USA (OLQ'60)
               E. Murphy
Oct 08 59  L 0-2  Mexico                    +Mexico City, Mexico (OLQ'60)
Sep 05 59  W 4-2  Mexico                    +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
Sep 03 59  L 3-4  Costa Rica                +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
               Looby, Murphy, Zerhusen
Sep 02 59  W 5-0  Cuba                      +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
               Looby (2), Zerhusen (2), Murphy
Aug 31 59  W 5-3  Brazil                    +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
Aug 29 59  W 7-2  Haiti                     +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
               Zerhusen (4), Looby (2), Grabowski
Aug 28 59  L 1-4  Argentina                 +Chicago, IL, USA (PAG)
May 28 59  L 1-8  England            13,000  Los Angeles, CA, USA
               E. Murphy (18)

U. S. Open Cup

McIlvaine Canvasbacks of San Pedro, Calif., kept the cup in Los Angeles for a second consecutive year when they defeated Fall River SC, 4-3, in the final on June 8 at Rancho La Cienega Stadium in Los Angeles. Fall River SC was the first team from that Massachusetts city to reach the final since the last of Fall River Marksmen's four titles in 1931.

Fred Cameron scored two goals in the final for McIlvaine, which had advanced to the title game with a 3-2 victory over Kutis of St. Louis in the western semifinal a month before. McIlvaine had won its two-leg quarterfinal by defeating San Francisco AC, 2-0 and 7-2. Fall River had eliminated New York Hakoah, 3-1 and 1-1, in the quarterfinals and Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals by the same scores in the eastern semifinals. In the other quarterfinals, Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals defeated Detroit St. Andrews, 2-1 and 1-1, and Kutis beat Chicago Lions, 3-0 and 6-0.

International Tours

New York Hota (GASL) to Germany, August 1, 1959 - August 14, 1959. Results: 3 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss.

Roster: Julius Bacherow, Werner Bender, Horst Blumenthal, Manfred Brandt, John Dennigan, Victor Emodi, Horst Kniesel, William Lindorfer, Frank Neugebauer, Robert Neubauer, Karl-Heinz Posky, Peter Schaefers, Walter Schmid, Hans Zahari. Hans Hammer , coach.

8/1/60  Hota 1, SV Muenster 1
8/2/59  Hota 4, Olympia Lorsch 4
8/6/59  Hota 3, SV Shell Nuernberg 1
8/8/59  Hota 3, Hota Nuernberg 0
8/9/59  Hota 4, SV Plattling 4
8/11/59 Hota 2, TSV Saint Augsburg 2
8/13/59 Hota 6, 24th US Army Division 2
8/14/59 Hota 1, TSC Muenchen 1860 8

Chicago Eagles (NSL) to Poland, 1959. Results: 0 wins, 0 draws, 4 losses.

Roster: Henry Grabowski, Pete Per Gruning, Joey Gryzik, Lucian Klokowski, Kas Kolota, Heinz Kramer, Stanley Marcinkiewicz, Ziggy Mroz, Leon Tokarz, Serge Uribe, Rich Zuamieroyski, Joe Zyada. Manager: Joe Kapinos.

Eagles 1, Legia 8 (at Warsaw, 6,000 attendance)
Eagles 0, Wisla 8 (at Krakow, 12,000 attendance)
Eagles 2, Mielec 4 (at Mielec, 14,000 attendance)
Eagles 3, Kalisz 4 (at Kalisz, 18,000 attendance)

Holland S. C. of New York to Holland, June 25 1959 - July 16, 1959. Results: 1 win, 0 draws, 2 losses

Roster: Percy Bakboord, Charlie Helenius, Jim Higgins, Wim Horseling, Donny Leeda, Sal Leeda, Frank Mendeszoon, Jan Ponsen, Jorge Svenson, Rudi Urback, John Vanderwerf, Harry Voos. Manager: Andrew Worms.

Holland 1, Amsterdam Confectie Berdijven 2
Holland 4, Utile Dulcie 3
Holland 2, Boskoop 4

Helsinborgs of Sweden, 1959. Results: 3 wins, 2 draws, 0 losses.

Helsinborgs 6, Los Angeles All-Stars 0
Helsinborgs 6, Chicago Vikings 1
Helsinborgs 5, Chicago All-Stars 5
Helsinborgs 4, Philadelphia Uhrik Truckers 2
Helsinborgs 2, New York Hakoah 2

Rapid Vienna of Austria, June 28 1959 through July 5, 1959. Results: 2 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses.

6/28/59 Napoli 0, Rapid Vienna 1 at Ebbets Field (att: 18,512)
7/1/59  Napoli 1, Rapid Vienna 1 at Ebbets Field (att: 13,351)
7/5/59  Hakoah-Galicia comb. 1, Rapid Vienna 12 at Zerega Oval (att: not known)

Napoli of Italy, June 21, 1959 - July 1, 1959. Results: 4 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses, 1 unknown.

5/26/59 Capoli 9, Cantalia 1
6/21/59 ASL All-Stars 1, Napoli 6 at Ebbets Field (att: 14,682)
6/25/59 Toronto All-stars 1, Napoli 9 at Varsity Stadium (att: 11,741)
6/28/59 Napoli 0, Rapid Vienna 1 at Ebbets Field (att: 18,512)
7/1/59  Napoli 1, Rapid Vienna 1 at Ebbets Field (att: 13,351)

Palermo (Italy), August 8, 1959 - August 23, 1959. Results: 4 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses.

8/8/59  Palermo 5, American League All-Stars 0 (at Brooklyn)
8/13/59 Palermo 2, Rapid Wein 1 (at Brooklyn)
8/17/59 Palermo 7, Toronto Italia 0 (at Brooklyn)
8/23/59 Palermo 1, Toronto Italia 0 (at Toronto)
Gratz (Austria): No Details Available
Vasco de Gama (Brazil): No Details Available
West Bromwich (England): No Details Available
Berlin Stars (Germany): No Details Available
Legia Warsaw(Poland): No Details Available
Dundee (Scotland): No Details Available
Halsinborg (Sweden): No Details Available

The College Game

A long-held dream finally came to fruition as the NCAA established a post-season tournament to determine a true national champion. Until this time, the champion had been declared through a poll conducted by the ISAA, but this had often results in 2 or three teams being named co-champions, and criteria ranged from subjective to nonexistent. A decade earlier, a College Bowl was held for three years between four invited teams, but even there the criteria were subjective. Now, a system was finally established that would give each region a fair shot, and teams would be brought in on merit. The inaugural tournament consisted of St. Louis, San Francisco, C. C. N. Y., Williams, Bridgeport, Colgate, West Chester and Maryland. St. Louis did well in this first tournament, overwhelming some eastern teams that were dominated by foreign players, and taking the championship. This sent a message that Americans could be competitive, and encouraged other colleges to emulate St. Louis's methods. In conjunction with the NCAA, the NAIA also inaugurated their national championship tournament. The New York State Athletic Conference was inaugurated this year.

At the inaugural NCAA tournament, the first round saw St. Louis defeat San Francisco 4-0, C. C. N. Y. defeated Williams 1-0, Bridgeport defeated Colgate 3-2 in overtime, and West Chester defeated Maryland 1-0. In the semifinals, St. Louis defeated C. C. N. Y. 6-2 and Bridgeport defeated West Chester 2-1 in overtime. In the Championship, held at Storrs, CT on November 28, St. Louis defeated Bridgeport 5-2 to be the first NCAA national champion.

Conference Champions, 1959

California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Francisco Community College
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Bridgeport
Ivy League: Harvard
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: Pratt
Atlantic Coast Conference: Maryland
New York State Athletic Conference: Cortland
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League: Air Force
Midwestern Conference: Michigan State
Ohio Collegiate Soccer Conference: Akron
Mason-Dixon Conference: Lynchburg
Southern California Soccer Association: UCLA
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Elizabethtown

NAIA Championship:  Pratt Institute defeated Elizabethtown 4-3.

1959 NCAA All-America Team 

G -  John Santos, Farleigh-Dickinson
RF - James Gallo, Temple
LF - Bohdan Huryn, Fenn College
RH - Peter Hazahiak, Howard
CH - John Dueker, St. Louis
LH - Joseph Cosgrove, Baltimore
OR - James Taylor, Colgate
IR - Walter Chyzowych, Temple
CF - Cecil Heron, Michigan State
IL - Erich Streder, Michigan State
OL - Adam Pintz, Fenn College

Other Action

1959 National Amateur Cup Final: St. Louis Kutis took their fourth consecutive title, defeating Detroit St. Andrews 5-0 on July 25 and drawing 2-2 on August 1 to win by goal differential.

1959 National Junior Cup:New York Ukrainians defeated Chicago Fichte Rams 1-0 at Eintracht Oval.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1959, Ralph Carrafi, and Robert Craddock were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Last update: June 15, 2008

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