Written by David Litterer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 LEAGUE CHAMPION: New York Hakoah 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.
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)
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 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)
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.
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
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
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
Back to American Soccer History Archives main page