UPDATED - January 28, 2007
A-League Archives Home
Atlanta Ruckus - Colorado Foxes - Montreal Impact
New York Centaurs - Seattle Sounders - Vancouver 86ers
1996 Home - 1996 Results - 1996 Stats
1996 FINAL STANDINGS
Rochester Raging Rhinos were added.
New York Centaurs absorbed the New York Fever
of the USISL and were renamed the Fever.
GP W L SO GF GA Pts
Montreal Impact 27 17 6 4-0 40 18 55
Colorado Foxes 27 14 11 2-2 55 33 44
Seattle Sounders 27 12 11 4-4 35 25 40
Rochester Rhinos 27 11 13 3-3 44 42 36
Vancouver 86ers 27 10 14 3-3 38 38 33
New York Fever 27 6 18 3-5 30 40 21
Atlanta Ruckus 22 3 19 0-2 14 60 9
Win-3pts, Shoot Out Win-1pt
Toronto and Hershey were added after the end of the season before the merger with the USISL.
First Round (Best of three)
9/19/96 Montreal 2-3 Rochester
9/21/93 Rochester 0-3 Montreal
9/25/96 Montreal 1-2 Rochester
Atlanta advance on series win, 2-1
9/19/96 Colorado 0-1 Seattle
9/22/96 Seattle 0-2 Colorado
9/25/96 Colorado 0-3 Seattle
Seattle advance on series win, 2-1
10/6/96 Seattle 2-0 Rochester
Overview of the 1996 A-League Season - From the American Soccer History ArchivesThe A-League added their most successful franchise ever, the Rochester Ragin' Rhinos. Rochester was an immediate hit with the fans, drawing over 9,000 fans per game, nearly as good as some of the MLS teams. The league continued with seven teams, including the revitalized Vancouver 86ers who nearly folded, being saved at the last minute through new financing. Although small, the league boasted some powerful teams, despite the loss of many top players to Major League Soccer. The Montreal Impact dominated the A-League this season, with 55 points to easily win the regular season title.
The league had followed MLS's example, establishing a 3-1-0 scoring system with one-on one shootout tiebreakers, ending much of the confusion in last year's standings. Colorado Foxes came in a strong second, holding up well while in competition with the MLS Rapids. Rochester came in 4th, but outdrew the rest of the league by a wide margin, leading to movement for the Rhinos to apply for MLS membership in the near future. Only the New York Fever and the hapless Atlanta Ruckus seemed hopeless on the field. In the playoffs, Rochester defeated Montreal 3-2, 0-3 and 2-1, while Seattle defeated Colorado 1-0, 0-2 and 3-0. The Championship game was a showdown between an established club and an upstart, as Seattle defeated Rochester 2-0 to claim the crown. But Rochester added to their triumphal debut by making it to the US Open Cup final, defeating several MLS opponents, before losing to the Open Cup champion D. C. United. The A-League drew 464,934 fans during the regular season, averaging 4,946 fans per game.
After the season, the A-League added Toronto Lynx and the Hershey Wildcats, but with competition looming on the horizon in the form of the USISL's Select League applying for Division 2 status, it appeared this move was a risky one. Recognizing the futility of unnecessary competition and salary wars, A-League Commissioner Richard Groff and USISL Commissioner Francisco Marcos put aside their differences and agreed to merge. What actually happened was that the A-League folded, and six of the seven teams (all except New York) joined the Select League, which was renamed the A-League, and with a few other franchise shifts was re-established as a 24 team league with official USSF sanctioning as a Division 2 league. Better yet, with franchises in the three largest Canadian cities, it was recognized as the official Division 1 league for Canada.
The A-League continued its sponsorship with Umbro (the major sponsor of the USISL), and continued the television contract with Prime, for a 20 game slate. Although the talent was somewhat diluted by the large increase in teams, the league was much more viable now, and provided a critical link in the establishment of a true multi-divisional structure for the USA.
Doug Miller, Rochester 18
Wolde Harris, Colorado 17
Dominic Mobilio, Vancouver 14
Lennin Steenkamp, Rochester 9
Eddy Bedrusco, Montreal 8
Carsten Siersback, Colorado 7
Lloyd Barker, Montreal 6
Jason Farrell, Seattle 6
Chance Fry, Seattle 6
Joey Leonetti, Seattle 6
Henrik Fig, Colroado 6
Goalkeeping Leaders GAA
Paolo Ceccarelli, Montreal 0.65
Marcus Hahnemann, Seattle 0.91
Trey Harrington, Colorado 1.23
Paul Dolan, Vancouver 1.27
Khali Azmi, New York 1.38
Bill Andracki, Rochester 1.49
PEter Zaratin, New York 1.53
1996 A-League Award Winners
Player: Wolde Harris, Colorado
1996 A-League First XI
G - Paolo Ceccarelli,
Home Attendance G Total Avg.
Rochester 18 179,834 9,991
Montreal 13 63,288 4,868
Atlanta 10 43,152 4,315
Colorado 14 58,803 4,200
Vancouver 11 44,744 4,068
Seattle 15 56,257 3,750
New York 13 18,826 1,448
LEAGUE 94 464,904 4,946
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