Friday, September 28, 2012

28 September 1968 - The Title Was Probably Recognition Enough

On 28 September 1968, the Atlanta Chiefs won the inaugural NASL title, beating the San Diego Toros 3-0 over two legs in the final.

Formed earlier that year from a merger of the United Soccer Association and the National Professional Soccer League (both of which had formed in 1967), the new North American Soccer League divided a total of seventeen teams into four different divisions. They used an unusual scoring system in which teams earned six points for a win, three points for a draw, no points for a loss, and one point (up to three per game) for each goal scored.

The Chiefs (pictured) won the Atlantic Division comfortably, while the Toros--who had an identical record as the Oakland Clippers but more goals--won the Pacific Division by a single point. After playoff wins over the Cleveland Stokers and Kansas City Spurs, respectively, the two teams met in the two-legged final.

The first leg, played on 21 September, ended as a scoreless draw. But Atlanta took the second leg 3-0 with goals from Peter McParland, Kaizer Motaung, and Delroy Scott.

Afterward, Atlanta boss Phil Woosnam was named Manager of the Year and Motaung received the Rookie of the Year award. But not a single Atlanta player was included on the league's All Star Team (which included five Oakland players and only two Toros).

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