UPDATED - January 27, 2007
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Atlanta Ruckus - Colorado Foxes - Montreal Impact
New York Centaurs - Seattle Sounders - Vancouver 86ers
1995 Home - 1995 Results - 1995 Stats
1995 FINAL STANDINGS
Before the season,
the league changed its name to the A-League.
Atlanta and New York were added.
GP W L SO GF GA Pts
Montreal Impact 24 17 7 1-1 47 27 51
Seattle Sounders 24 18 6 5-2 40 24 51
Vancouver 86ers 24 10 14 0-3 43 43 33
Atlanta Ruckus 24 13 11 8-1 29 41 32
Colorado Foxes 24 8 16 1-6 35 41 29
New York Centaurs 24 6 18 1-3 21 39 20
Win-3pts, Shoot Out Win-2pts, Shoot Out Loss-1pt
After the season, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and Toronto folded
First Round (Best of three)
9/14/95 Atlanta 1-1 Montreal
Atlanta win shootout, 2-1
9/17/95 Montreal 3-0 Atlanta
9/20/95 Montreal 0-0 Atlanta
Atlanta win shootout, 3-1
Atlanta advance on series win, 2-1
9/15/95 Vancouver 0-1 Seattle
9/17/95 Seattle 0-0 Vancouver
Seattle wins shootout, 3-2
Seattle advance on series win, 2-0
APSL Championship (Best of three)
10/2/95 Atlanta 1-1 Seattle
Atlanta win shootout, 3-1
10/8/95 Seattle 3-0 Atlanta
10/12/95 Seattle 1-1 Atlanta
Seattle win shootout, 2-1
Seattle win championship, 2 games to 1
Peter Hattrup, Seattle 11
Paul Dougherty, Montreal 10
Lloyd Barker, Montreal 10
Chance Fry, Seattle 9
Giuliano Oliviero, Vancouver 9
Lenin Steenkamp, Atlanta 8
Paul Dailly, Vancouver 7
Staale Soebye, Atlanta 7
Jeff Hooker, Colorado 7
Geoff Aunger, Vancouver 6
Paulinho, Montreal 6
Shawn Medved, Seattle 6
Goalkeeping Leaders GAA
Marcus Hahnemann, Seattle 1.00
Paolo Ceccarelli, Montreal 1.00
Jim St. Andre, New York 1.43
Pat Onstad, Montreal 1.43
Mun Young Yi, Atlanta 1.46
1995 A-League Award Winners
Player: Peter Hattrup, Seattle
1995 A-League First XI
G - Marcus Hahnemann,
Home Attendance G Total Avg.
Colorado 12 70,746 5,873
Montreal 12 60,900 5,075
Seattle 12 54,852 4,571
Vancouver 12 53,904 4,492
Atlanta 12 31,584 2,632
New York 12 17,532 1,461
LEAGUE 72 241,008 3,347
Overview of the 1995 APSL Season - From the American Soccer History ArchivesThe American Professional Soccer League changed their name to the A-League. They also faced a major setback before the season started, and had another one looming on the horizon. One of their oldest teams, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, folded, and the Los Angeles Salsa withdrew to join the USISL. More importantly, with MLS set to begin play in 1996, many top A-League players were setting their sights on the senior league, and the A-league was facing a huge talent drain. A final blow was the folding of the Toronto Rockets just before the start of the season. The league added the New York Centaurs and Atlanta Ruckus, to bring it back to six teams, a far cry from the possible ten the league had envisioned at the end of the previous season. With the reduced slate of teams, the talent was concentrated to make 1995 one of the most competitive seasons ever. The Montreal Impact signed Paul Dougherty and US National Team members Steve Trittschuh, John Doyle and Bruce Murray, as well as former US National coach Lothar Osiander, and Colorado late in the season signed Dominic Kinnear. Meanwhile, the A-league signed a new TV contract with Prime Network.
The big surprise early in the season was the surprising performance of the expansion teams. The Atlanta Ruckus beat both 1994 finalists Montreal and Colorado early on, and the Centaurs likewise won two straight, leaving them 3rd and 4th in the standings respectively. The powerhouse Colorado Foxes and Vancouver 86ers found themselves at the bottom of the standings. Ruckus scoring tandem Lenin Steenkamp and Staale Soebye scored 9 goals in the first eight games; meanwhile Montreal's goalkeeper Paolo Ceccarelli shut out his opponents for more than 400 minutes. Montreal was first to the top of the standings, with Seattle Sounders close on their heels until the Ruckus took over first place in mid-June for a brief stay. They were quickly toppled by Seattle, on the strength of goalkeeper Marcus Hahneman, and midfielder Peter Hattrup. The Foxes snapped out of their doldrums, trouncing the Sounders 4-1, followed by Vancouver 86ers' climb out of the cellar after signing rookie Giuliano Oliviero. He scored a goal in each of his first six games, including two game winners. In July, Montreal was hot on Seattle's heels as their big showdown took place, on the 9th. The Sounders pulled out a close ont in the shootout, maintaining their unbeaten record against the Impact. By then Peter Hattrup was back on top as scoring leader, and was named to the All-Star team which beat the Mexican power UNAM Pumas 2-0 (Paulinho and Jason Dunn scored the goals).
A number of A-League players saw National Team action. Besides those listed above, Marcus Hahneman played for the US in the Parmalat Cup exhibitions, and the Canadian National Team featured many A-League players during their Carbana Cup jaunt in Toronto. These included Tom Kouzmanis, Lyndon Hooper and Kevin Holness of Montreal, Geoff Aunger of Vancouver, and Marco Risi of Seattle. The Jamaican National Team at the Carbana included Anthony McReath and Walter Boyd of Colorado. By August, both Atlanta and Vancouver were making their run to the top, and New York continued its slide into last place. The Centaurs signed former New York Cosmos star Valdislav Boecevic, and All-Star Dan Calichman as his assistant, but to little effect.
Coming off a late burst from Lloyd Barker, the Impact overtook Seattle to reclaim 1st place, and Colorado swooned into a seven game losing streak down to 5th place. By Labor Day, Seattle and Montreal were locked in a struggle for first place, with Vancouver safely in third. Atlanta and Colorado meanwhile fought over the final playoff spot. Seattle beat Montreal and took two straight from Vancouver, but Montreal was able to squeeze onto top with a win over New York on the final day of the season to win the Commissioner's Cup. Meanwhile, Atlanta topped Colorado with a shoot-out win against Colorado to nail down that final playoff spot.
The Atlanta Ruckus's playoff appearance brought despair to soccer purists everywhere because it showed the shortcomings of the A-League's convoluted scoring system as never before. The system had been modified from 1994's 6-4-2-0+3 down to a more realistic 3 points for a win, 2 for a shootout win, 1 for a shootout loss and 0 for a loss. However, that removed much of the incentive for playing to win. A team could play for a tie and hope for luck in the shootout later. This season, the Ruckus had eight shootout victories, and based on bonus points and shootout wins, pulled ahead of a clearly superior Colorado Foxes (35 goals to Atlanta's 29), landing one point behind a vastly superior Vancouver (43 goals). Had the season been played by FIFA rules with draws, (see FIFA table below), Colorado would have easily beaten Atlanta for the final playoff spot, and Montreal would not have had to depend on goal differential to win 1st place despite having three more wins. To make matters worse, the shootout completely ruined the playoff series. The Ruckus became the first team to make it to the finals without a single regulation victory. Both of these series would have been lost by Atlanta had they played with the FIFA standard FIFA two leg aggregate score determining the winner. And the championship was marred by two slow 1-1 draws both settled by shootouts. All in all, five of the eight playoff games were draws settled by shootouts, as everybody decided to play it safe and go for the crapshoot. The game certainly deserved better.
League Standings, with FIFA Scoring (win-draw-loss, 3-1-0)
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