Soccer Bowl

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NASL Championship
NASL Soccer Bowl Trophy (est. 2011)
Founded Original: 1967
Modern: 2011
Abolished Original: 1984
Region North American Soccer League (CONCACAF)
Last champions New York Cosmos
Website Official website
NASL Championship 2015

The NASL Championship, also known as the Soccer Bowl, is the annual championship competition of the North American Soccer League. There, the two top teams face off in the final to determine the winner of the NASL Trophy.

After the 1966 World Cup was successfully televised in the United States, two new leagues were formed.[1] With international and national sanctioning from FIFA, the CFSA and USSFA, the United Soccer Association was created by a consortium known as the North American Soccer League. The second, independent league, enacted without sanction, was the National Professional Soccer League. By the following year, the two leagues merged and created the original North American Soccer League. Between 1968 and 1974 the championship game, or series (on three occasions), was titled the NASL Final, and no title match was held in 1969. From 1975 to 1984 it became the Soccer Bowl. The winner of the NASL Finals received the NASL trophy. During the Soccer Bowl years the trophy was interchangeably regarded by association as the Soccer Bowl trophy, though the official title remained the same.

The concept for the Soccer Bowl began in 1975 by then NASL Commissioner Phil Woosnam, who was trying to build a neutral-site championship event in the mold of the NFL's Super Bowl. Unlike the Super Bowl, the match was not denoted by Roman numerals (Super Bowl XXI, for example). Instead, the last two digits of the year would be used to denote which game it was (e.g., Soccer Bowl '78). The original NASL's last Soccer Bowl took place in early October 1984 in a best-of-three series, as the league ceased operation in 1985.[2][3]

With the formation of the new North American Soccer League in 2009 and their commencement of play in 2011, the Soccer Bowl name has been used as the name of both the championship match and championship trophy of the new league. The 2011 and 2012 titles were decided in a two-game aggregate finish. Since 2013 the championship has been a single-game final.

NASL Championship / Soccer Bowl (1967–1984)


Among the championship matches, there have been different formats used, mostly influenced by the original two leagues. The 1967 NPSL Final, and the 1968 and 1970 NASL Finals were contested by two-game aggregate goals. After 1971, the initial parameters by the United Soccer Association were used. The 1967 USA Final, and the 1972 through 1983 NASL Finals were all single-games. There was no 1969 NASL Final match contested. Instead, as in many leagues in Europe, the championship was awarded to the league winner; the team with the most points at season's end. The 1971 and 1984 NASL Finals were played in a best-of-three series.



NASL Championship (1967-1984)
Event Game Venue Location Champions[8] Score[8] Runners-up[8] Attendance Television MVP Notes
United Soccer Association Final 1967
(USA Final 1967)

July 14

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Wolves 6–5
Washington Whips 17,842 CBS Teams tied 4–4 at end of regulation. Both scored in extra time. After 120 min. match moved to golden goal time. Wolves win on an OG.
National Professional Soccer League Final 1967
(NPSL Final 1967)

September 3, 9

Memorial Stadium

Oakland-Alameda Coliseum

Baltimore, Maryland

Oakland, California

Oakland Clippers 0–1
Baltimore Bays 16,619


CBS Two-game aggregate goals series.
NASL Final 1968
(NASL Final 1968)

September 21, 28

Balboa Stadium

Atlanta Stadium

San Diego, California

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Chiefs 0–0
San Diego Toros 9,360


CBS Two-game aggregate goals series.
NASL Final
(no match)
(NASL Final 1969)
n/a n/a Kansas City Spurs n/a Atlanta Chiefs n/a n/a n/a Championship awarded to team with the most points at the end of the season
NASL Final 1970
(NASL Final 1970)

September 2, 13

Aquinas Memorial Stadium

Brookland Stadium

Rochester, New York

Washington, DC

Rochester Lancers 3–0
Washington Darts 9,321


Two-game aggregate goals series.
NASL Final 1971
(NASL Final 1971)

September 12, 15, 19

Atlanta Stadium
(G1, G3)

Franklin Stadium

Atlanta, Georgia
(G1, G3)

Dallas, Texas

Dallas Tornado 1–2
Atlanta Chiefs Best two out of three wins
NASL Final 1972
(NASL Final 1972)

August 26

Hofstra Stadium Hempstead, New York New York Cosmos 2–1 St. Louis Stars 6,102 Josef Jelínek converts game winning penalty kick in the 86th min.
NASL Final 1973
(NASL Final 1973)

August 25

Texas Stadium Irving, Texas Philadelphia Atoms 2–0 Dallas Tornado 18,824 Dallas concedes an OG in 66 min. Bill Straub scores in 85 min. to secure win.
NASL Final 1974
(NASL Final 1974)

August 25

Orange Bowl Miami, Florida Los Angeles Aztecs 4–3
Miami Toros 15,507 CBS Match went directly to penalties after 90 min. Tony Douglas scores fifth and securing shot on a re-try.[9]
Soccer Bowl 1975 (Soccer Bowl '75)

August 24

Spartan Stadium San Jose, California Tampa Bay Rowdies 2–0 Portland Timbers 17,483 CBS Stewart Jump[10] Arsène Auguste scored game winner in the 66th min. Clyde Best also scored in 88th min.[11]
Soccer Bowl 1976 (Soccer Bowl '76)

August 28

Kingdome Seattle, Washington Toronto Metros-Croatia 3–0 Minnesota Kicks 25,765 CBS, CBC Wolfgang Sühnholz[12] Eusébio scored game winner on free kick in 41st min.[13]
Soccer Bowl 1977 (Soccer Bowl '77)

August 28

Civic Stadium Portland, Oregon Cosmos 2–1 Seattle Sounders 35,548 TVS Steve Hunt[14] Stephen Hunt scored in 19th min. and assisted on Giorgio Chinaglia's game winner in 78th min.
Soccer Bowl 1978 (Soccer Bowl '78)

August 27

Giants Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey Cosmos 3–1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 74,091 TVS Dennis Tueart[15] Dennis Tueart scored in the 30th and 76th min. Giorgio Chinaglia scored game winner in 44th min.[16]
Soccer Bowl 1979 (Soccer Bowl '79)

September 8

Giants Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey Vancouver Whitecaps 2–1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 50,699 ABC, CTV Alan Ball[17] Trevor Whymark scored in 12th and 59th min. for Vancouver.[18]
Soccer Bowl 1980 (Soccer Bowl '80)

September 21

RFK Stadium Washington, DC New York Cosmos 3–0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 50,768 ABC, CTV Giorgio Chinaglia[19] Julio César Romero scored the game winner in 48th min. Giorgio Chinaglia added goals in the 70th and 87th mins.[20]
Soccer Bowl 1981 (Soccer Bowl '81)

September 26

Exhibition Stadium Toronto, Ontario Chicago Sting 1–0
(Shootout: 2–1)
New York Cosmos 36,971 ABC, CTV Frantz Mathieu[21] Sting won in shootout. Karl-Heinz Granitza and Rudy Glenn converted for Sting.[22]
Soccer Bowl 1982 (Soccer Bowl '82)

September 18

San Diego Stadium San Diego, California New York Cosmos 1–0 Seattle Sounders 22,634 USA, CTV Giorgio Chinaglia[23] Giorgio Chinaglia scored game winner in 31st min.[24][25]
Soccer Bowl 1983 (Soccer Bowl '83)

October 1

BC Place Stadium Vancouver, British Columbia Tulsa Roughnecks 2–0 Toronto Blizzard 53,326 USA, CTV Njego Pesa[26] Njego Pesa scored game winner (19 yard free kick) in 56th min.[27]
Soccer Bowl Series 1984 (Soccer Bowl Series '84)

1, 3

Comiskey Park

Varsity Stadium

Chicago, Illinois

Toronto, Ontario

Chicago Sting 2–1
Toronto Blizzard 8,352


Best two out of three wins. Game 1: Manuel Rojas 86th min game winner. Game 2: Patricio Margetic 82nd min game winner.

*From 1977 through 1984 the NASL had a variation of the penalty shoot-out procedure for tied matches. The shoot-out started 35 yards from the goal and allowed the player 5 seconds to attempt a shot. The player could make as many moves as he wanted in a breakaway situation within the time frame. NASL procedure during this era called for the box score to show an additional "goal" given to the winning side of a shoot-out.[28][29]
*No championship game was held in 1969. Kansas City finished first in the regular season and was awarded the championship.

File:NASL Trophy (1970s-1980s).png
NASL Trophy (1970s–1980s)
In 1975 Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California, hosted the first Soccer Bowl when its capacity was 18,155.
In 1978, Giants Stadium in the New York metropolitan area, hosted Soccer Bowl '78 with a record 74,091 - the highest attendance to date for any club soccer championship in the United States.

NASL Championship / Soccer Bowl (2011–present)

On October 22, 2011, the day their inaugural championship series got underway in Minnesota, the new NASL unveiled its championship trophy. The silver trophy has a large bowl etched with the NASL logo resting atop three long prongs, and the words "North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl" inscribed prominently across the base.[30][31] In the league's first two seasons, the championship was played as a classic two-legged series. The league announced a switch for the 2013 season to a one-game championship final, also known as the Soccer Bowl.[32][33]


NASL Championship (2011–present)
Event Game Venue Location Champions Score Runners-up Attendance Television MVP Notes
Soccer Bowl 2011
(NASL Championship Series 2011)

October 22, 29

National Sports Center

Lockhart Stadium

Blaine, Minnesota

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

NSC Minnesota Stars 3–1
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4,511


GOL TV Luke Mulholland
(NSC Minnesota Stars)
Luke Mulholland scored game one winning goal in 53rd min.[34]
Soccer Bowl 2012
(NASL Championship Series 2012)

October 20, 27

National Sports Center

Al Lang Stadium[35]

Blaine, Minnesota

St. Petersburg, Florida

Tampa Bay Rowdies[36] 0–2
Minnesota Stars 4,642


Ustream Jeff Attinella
(Tampa Bay Rowdies)
Jeff Attinella saved 3 penalty kicks in shoot-out. Fafà Picault scored winning penalty kick.[37]
Soccer Bowl 2013
(Soccer Bowl 2013)

November 9

Atlanta Silverbacks Park Atlanta, Georgia New York Cosmos 1–0 Atlanta Silverbacks 7,211 ESPN3
ESPN Deportes[38]
Marcos Senna
(New York Cosmos)
Marcos Senna scored championship winning goal in the 50th min.[39]
Soccer Bowl 2014
(Soccer Bowl 2014)

November 15

Toyota Field San Antonio, Texas San Antonio Scorpions 2–1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 7,847 ESPN3
ONE World Sports
Rafael Castillo
(San Antonio Scorpions)
Rafael Castillo scored on a bicycle kick in the 69th min. and assisted on Billy Forbes game winner in 74th min.[40]
Soccer Bowl 2015
(Soccer Bowl 2015)

November 15

James M. Shuart Stadium Hempstead, New York New York Cosmos 3–2 Ottawa Fury 10,166 ESPN3
ONE World Sports
Gastón Cellerino (New York Cosmos) Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick before a record playoff crowd.[41]
Game 1 of the 2011 NASL Championship Series was played at the National Sports Center in the Twin cities suburb of Blaine, MN.

See also


  1. American Soccer History Archives. "North American Soccer League I (NASL) 1967-1984 - The Story Of The NASL". American Soccer History Archives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "NASL changes Soccer Bowl format". St. Petersburg Times. September 27, 1983. p. 6C. Retrieved 2012-06-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "October 1, 1984 – Chicago Sting vs. Toronto Blizzard".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "USA-MLS-NASL".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. North American Soccer League. "NASL 1968-1984 Yearly Results". North American Soccer League.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Steve Dimitry's Extinct Sports League. "North American Soccer League (1968-1984) NASL". Steve Dimitry's Extinct Sports League.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "NASL / North American Soccer League Championship".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Litterer, David A. (May 12, 2010). "North American Soccer League". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved May 3, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Rowdies Capture Soccer Bowl, 8/24/75". Tampa Sports History. Retrieved June 17, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "The Year in American Soccer - 1976". American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved June 17, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "FAIRY TALE ENDING: Cosmos give Pele a championship sendoff". Big Apple Soccer. Retrieved June 17, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "NASL abandons indoor season". St. Petersburg Times. August 31, 1978. p. 7C. Retrieved 2012-06-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Philly Soccer History - 1979". Philadelphia Union. Retrieved June 14, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Atkin, Ross (September 23, 1980). "Cosmos regain soccer title". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2012-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Sting Victorious In Soccer Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. September 27, 1981. p. 14B. Retrieved 2012-06-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Sounders Shut Out By Cosmos In Soccer Bowl". Tri-City Herald. September 19, 1982. p. 8C. Retrieved 2012-06-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Roughnecks claim first NASL title". Lakeland Ledger. October 2, 1983. p. 8C. Retrieved 2012-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "This Day In 1981 : Soccer Bowl Edition | Chicago Fire Confidential". Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "The Year in American Soccer - 1977". Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. North American Soccer League (September 5, 2012). "NASL Announces Split-Season Format for 2013". Retrieved February 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Tampa Bay Rowdies. "Al Lang Stadium". Tampa Bay Rowdies.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "The Rowdies win the 2012 NASL Super Bowl: Tampa Bay Rowdies beat the Minnesota Stars on Penalties". Vermont Premier Soccer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. NASL. "NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 To Air Live On ESPN3 And ESPN Deportes". North American Soccer League.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. NASL. "New York Cosmos Win NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 1-0 victory edged Atlanta Silverbacks in NASL finale". North American Soccer League.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. Wagner, Joe (November 16, 2014). "Scorpions Raise Soccer Bowl Trophy With 2-1 Win Over Strikers". External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Gastón Cellerino Hat Trick Powers Cosmos to NASL Title". North American Soccer League. November 15, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links