UPDATED - January 27, 2007
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Colorado Foxes - Ft. Lauderdale Strikers - Los Angeles Salsa - Montreal Impact
Toronto Rockets - Seattle Sounders - Vancouver 86ers
1994 Home - 1994 Results - 1994 Stats
1994 FINAL STANDINGS
Before the season, Seattle, Toronto and Houston were added
The league terminated the Houston franchise after one game.
GP W L SO GF GA BP Pts
Seattle Sounders 20 14 6 0-1 38 16 35 121
Los Angeles Salsa 20 12 8 1-2 36 22 32 106
Montreal Impact 20 12 8 2-1 27 18 23 93
Colorado Foxes 20 12 8 2-0 26 26 24 92
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 20 8 12 2-3 23 33 22 72
Vancouver 86ers 20 7 13 1-1 25 41 23 65
Toronto Rockets 20 5 15 0-0 14 33 14 44
Win-6pts, Shoot Out Win-2pts, Shoot Out Loss-1pt
1 bonus point per goal scored in regulation, maximum of 3 per game
After the season, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and Toronto folded
*-after extra time
Sept. 30 Montreal 2-1 Los Angeles
Oct. 2 Los Angeles 3-0 Montreal
Series tied 1 game apiece
Montreal advance via shootout, 2-1
Sept. 29 Colorado 2-0 Seattle
Oct. 2 Seattle 4-1 Colorado
Series tied 1 game apiece
Colorado advance via shootout, 2-1
Oct. 15 Montreal 1-0 Colorado
Paul Wright, Los Angeles 12
Paulinho, Los Angeles 11
Jason Dunn, Seattle 10
Jean Harbor, Montreal 8
Domenic Mobilio, Vancouver 7
Ted Eck, Colorado 6
Lloyd Barker, Montreal 6
Dale Mitchell, Vancouver 5
David Hoggan, Seattle 5
Walter Boyd, Colorado 4
Gino DiFlorio, Montreal 4
Goalkeeping Leaders GAA
Marcus Hahnemann, Seattle 0.57
Mike Littman, Los Angeles 0.76
Pat Harrington, Montreal 0.95
Mario Jimenez, Los Angeles 1.09
Mark Dodd, Colorado 1.10
Pat Onstad, Toronto 1.70
Paul Dolan, Vancouver 2.16
Jim St. Andre, Ft. Lauderdale 2.17
1994 APSL Award Winners
Player: Paulinho, Los Angeles
1994 APSL First XI
Home Attendance G Total Avg.
Seattle 10 63,468 6,347
Vancouver 10 47,423 4,742
Colorado 10 35,395 3,540
Los Angeles 10 33,405 3,341
Montreal 10 32,148 3,215
Ft. Lauderdale 10 17,325 1,733
Toronto 10 14,305 1,431
LEAGUE 70 243,469 3,478
1994 Leading Goalscorers
Overview of the 1994 APSL Season - From the American Soccer History Archives
The American Professional Soccer League attained official Division II status this year, and solidified itself as the top professional league in the country, at least until the debut of MLS. They added a new team, the Seattle Sounders, who took their name from their old NASL counterpart. This team was a good addition, being in a major soccer market with an established history of community support. The 1994 season was one of the best ever, with competitive races and an expanded playoff series, with the two-leg series replacing the one-game knockout competition. With the completion of the World Cup, and the disbanding of the USSF's full-time training program, several national team players signed with APSL clubs, including Hugo Perez with the Los Angeles Salsa. Even more would join for the 1995 season.
Even the best laid plans don't turn out the way expected, and this year was no exception. The 6-4-2-0+3 scoring system was confusing, and led to three teams finishing 14 points apart in the standings, despite identical 12-8 records. Because wins, shootout wins, and overtime wins (and losses) were tabulated separately, the standings were confusing to read, and newspapers, without written reporting guidelines, were inconsistent in reporting scores. Standings could look substantially different from one newspaper to another, even affecting a team's position in the table. This problem would be pervasive until all the leagues adopted a simpler 3-1-0 (shootout) system in 1996.
The expansion Seattle Sounders easily won the Commissioner's Cup (for the regular season title), with Los Angeles, Montreal and Colorado following with their identical records. Fortunately, this did not lead to teams being unfairly left out of the playoffs (as would happen in 1995). However, the playoff system had severe problems of their own. The playoffs advanced teams based on total wins, not on aggregate score. This led to the amazing situation where both teams who scored more on aggregate, ended up losing their series in shootouts, because they had split their series. Colorado defeated Seattle 2-0, 1-4, and 1-0 (SO), and Montreal defeated Los Angeles 2-1, 0-3, 1-0 (SO). The Playoff Final was more straightforward, being a single game, which Montreal won in a tough 1-0 victory over Colorado. In post-season play, the Salsa tied Alianza of El Salvador 2-2 in the 1994 CONCACAF Champions Cup, but did not advance, as they had suffered a road loss to them the previous week.
One and done! The odd story of the Houston Force
Throughout it's years, the USL First Division has had a few teams threaten to go belly up at mid season, only for the league to take over operations of the club to see it though the end of the year. In 1991, the league cut short the Salt Lake Sting's season midway through, leaving a messy trail of 1-0 forfeits along the way. They have even had expansion teams who never made it to the starting line.
In 1994, the APSL learned their lesson and didn't wait until mid-season to pull the plug on one of their new teams, the Houston Force. They nipped them in the bud after just one game.
Never heard of the Houston Force? Can't say I blame you, for they are buried in the depths of U.S. Soccer history, as if the soccer gods decreed their name be stricken from all records for all of time.
In 1994, the APSL was on shaky ground. Just two years earlier, they were down to five teams. They boosted up to seven teams in 1993 with the addition of Canadian Soccer League refugees Vancouver and Montreal, but lost one of it's better franchises, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks. The 'Hawks left the APSL due to concerns of the leagues future, as well as interest in joining the Mexican Second Division. In January of '94, another one of their oldest clubs, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, closed up shop, bringing the count down to six. Speculation ran wild that the APSL would skip the 1994 season all together, and regroup for 1995.
However, on March 1, APSL Chairman William De La Pena proudly announced the league would indeed play on in 1994, with the addition of three new clubs: the Seattle Sounders (still around today), Toronto Rockets (folded after the season), and the Houston Force. the club seemed doomed right away. The roster printed in Soccer America in the July 25 issue showed only three players with any real professional experience, David Vaudreuil (last with Tampa Bay in '93), Chris Charles (Tampa BAy '92), and Eloy Salgado, who has played indoors in the MISL.
July 14 was Opening Day at Robertson Stadium, where the MLS Dynamo now play. The Force were hosting the Los Angeles Salsa, the previous season's runner-up. To say Houston were lucky to get away with only a 3-0 loss is an understatement. The Salsa out shot them 25-6, and had 7 corner kicks to none for the Force. 1993 MVP Paulinho scored twice in front of a reported crowd of 3,000, which some say was more in the range of 1,400. Little did those 1,400 know they would have to wait another 12 seasons to see another professional outdoor team call Robertson Stadium it's home.
On July 21, the APSL pulled the plug on the Force. The league cited internal ownership disputes, including financial difficulties. The league obviously did not want a repeat of the Salt Lake debacle, and cut the cord as early as they could. The Houston Force was an unfortunate situation, one we fought to maintain," De La Pena said, "but after realizing the ownership group in Houston was unable and unwilling to resolve financial differences, the board felt the most prudent course of action would be to revoke its membership and plan for 1995." Of course, there was no return to Houston in 1995. With the creation of Major League Soccer looming in 1996, the league had a chip on it's shoulder after being turned down by the USSF for Division I status, and this episode was a huge black eye for the APSL.
Below is the boxscore of the one and only game played by the Houston Force in 1994. All of the stats were wiped from the record books a week later, and the team drifted off to the agate type of soccer history.
July 14, 2004 - Robertson Stadium - Houston, Texas
Houston Force 0
Lineup - H. Gomez, David Vaudreuil, Cory Christiansen, Kevin Onwudiwe, Berti Generes, Staines, Jorge Gomez (Chris Charles 45'), Higel, Eloy Salgado, Tony McGuiness, Tolik Dimitrikov (Porkova 45')
Los Angeles 3 Paulinho 26' 67', Paul Wright 81'
Lineup - Mike Littman, Danny Pena, Lawrence Lozzano, Michael N'Doumbe, Jeff Agoos, Arut Karapetyan, Mike Fox, Paulinho, Thor Lee, Jose Vasquez, Paul Wright (Brad Smith 82')
HOU LA Bookings
Shots 6 25 8' Berti Generes (HOU)
Saves 13 2 30' David Vaudreuil (HOU)
Corners 0 7 62' Mike Fox (LA)
Fouls 12 9 76' Danny Pena (LA)
Offside 1 1 85' Higel (HOU)
Att-3,000 89' Staines (HOU)
(est. 1,400 actual) 89' Brad Smith (LA)
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