Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ATH: National Team 1983

History: Team America, 1983
By Ian Plenderleith, US National Team Players Association, 12/12/2007 8:00 AM

WASHINGTON DC (December 12, 2007) USSoccerPlayers -- Team America experimented with the unusual concept of a National Team playing in its country’s domestic league. The joint venture between the US Soccer Federation and the North American Soccer League -- aimed at developing a credible US National Team in a league dominated by foreigners, and at presenting a decent US team at the 1984 LA Olympics -- lasted for just one season.

What had been the brainchild of NASL President Howard Samuels was based here in Washington DC for the NASL’s penultimate season, in 1983, two years after the Diplomats had played their last game at RFK Stadium. The team’s owner was Robert Lifton, who pulled out at the end of the year when low gates couldn’t cover the running costs.

Team America was supposed to represent the best that the US had to offer, and allow them the time to gel as a team, as well as creating fan interest in homegrown players. However, it was hamstrung by the fact that key players such as the New York Cosmos’ striker Ricky Davis opted to stay with what they correctly surmised was the stronger team.

The rest is here.

Very cool . . .


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