UPDATED - January 27, 2007
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Western Soccer League
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1989 WSL Home - 1989 ASL Home - 1989 Results - 1989 Stats
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1989 FINAL STANDINGS
Before the season, Sacramento, Arizona,
and Santa Barbara were added.
San Jose moved to San Francisco Bay.
Portland changed their
nickname to the Timbers.
North Division GP W L PK GF GA Pts
San Francisco Bay Blackhawks 16 11 5 2-2 37 26 98
Portland Timbers 16 11 5 1-2 32 15 92
Seattle Storm 16 10 6 1-1 32 23 87
Sacramento Senators 16 3 13 0-1 20 43 40
South Division GP W L PK GF GA Pts
San Diego Nomads 16 12 4 2-2 30 18 99
Los Angeles Heat 16 10 6 2-0 35 19 81
Real Santa Barbra 16 5 11 0-1 20 35 51
Arizona Condors 16 5 11 1-1 25 39 50
California Kickers 16 5 11 2-1 17 30 42
Win-6pts, SOW-2pts, SOL-1pt, 1 bonus
point per goal scored
in regulation, maximum of 3 per game
After the season, Sacramento folded
7/29/89 San Francisco Bay 1-1 Los Angeles
San Francisco advance on penalty kicks, 4-2
7/29/89 San Diego 2-1 Portland
8/12/89 San Diego 1-0 San Francisco Bay
ASL/WSA Championship - at San Jose
9/9/89 San Diego 1-3 Ft. Lauderdale
1989 WSL Leading Goalscorers
Steve Corpening, San Francisco Bay 11
Jerome Watson, San Diego 10
Wes Wade, Arizona 10
Mark Kerlin, Arizona 9
Chance Fry, Seattle 8
Scott Benedetti, Portland 8
Jeff Hooker, Los Angeles 7
Steve Boardman, San Diego 7
Rob Baarts, Portland 7
David Palic, San Francisco Bay 6
Brent Goulet, Seattle 6
WSL Goalkeeping Leaders GAA
Kasey Keller, Portland 0.38
Anton Nistl, San Diego 1.00
Jeff Koch, Seattle 1.09
Mark Dougherty, San Francisco Bay 1.35
1989 WSL Award Winners
Player: Kasey Keller, F. C.
1989 WSL First XI
G - Kasey Keller, Portland
Home Attendance G Total Avg.
Overview of the 1989 WSL Season - From the American Soccer History ArchivesThe WSL adopted a new name this year, exchanging "Alliance" for "League", and adding teams in Sacramento, Arizona and Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, San Jose moved to San Francisco Bay to become the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks would go on to become one of the most successful soccer teams of the early 1990's, pre-MLS era. The WSL was even more successful at retaining National team players as well as other youngsters who would earn caps throughout the 1990s. These included Chris Henderson with Seattle, John Doyle, Marcelo Balboa with San Diego, Dominic Kinnear with San Francisco Bay, Kasey Keller with Seattle, Cle Kooiman with California, among others. The league was in a strong position when it reached a merger agreement with the American Soccer League (see details above). This gave promise to the new unified league, and made it an early favorite to be declared the new Division 1 US league, required as a condition for the US getting World Cup 1994.
With the new teams, the league split into North and South divisions, and expanded to a 16 game schedule. The biggest turnaround of the season was achieved by F. C. Portland, going from a 1-11 last place finish to a tie with the Blackhawks for the top spot in the north. San Francisco won on the basis of more points; the scoring system favored high scoring teams due to bonus points. Los Angeles improved to 10-6, on the strength of a vastly improved defense. Although they scored more goals, San Diego scored then when needed to win, and beat out the heat for the South title with 12 wins to 10. The scoring system, as complex as it was, still favored winning more than scoring.
The playoffs were simple; Only four teams qualifying. There were no surprises. Division champs San Francisco and San Diego prevailed in the semifinals, leading to a titanic battle of attrition, which was finally won by the Nomads, who shut out San Francisco 1-0 in a grueling defensive match. This may have taken too much out of the team as the Nomads fell convincingly in the ASL/WSL "National Championship", and it wasn't close; a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.
And so ended the history of the Western Soccer League. The league, starting just a month after the folding of the USL, was briefly the only outdoor professional league anywhere in the country. Now, after steady, successful growth, it would merge with the ASL, and be a major component of the largest and most powerful soccer league in the US since the fall of the north American Soccer League.
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