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UPDATED - January 30, 2007

A-League Archives Home

A-League

2001 Season

NORTHERN CONFERENCE

Connecticut Wolves - Hershey Wildcats - Long Island Rough Riders

Montreal Impact - Pittsburgh Riverhounds - Rochester Raging Rhinos - Toronto Lynx

CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Atlanta Silverbacks -  Charleston Battery - Charlotte Eagles

Cincinnati Riverhawks - Indiana Blast - Nashville Metros - Richmond Kickers

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 El Paso Patriots - Milwaukee Rampage - Minnesota Thunder -

Portland Timbers - San Diego Flash - Seattle Sounders - Vancouver Whitecaps

 

2001 Home - 2001 Results - 2001 Stats

 

2001 FINAL STANDINGS
Charlotte was promoted from the D3Pro League.

Tennessee became Nashville. Portland was added.

Vancouver became the Whitecaps.
 

Northern Conference         GP   W   T   L   GF  GA  BP Pts
Hershey Wildcats            26  16   3   7   45  20   8  75
Rochester Raging Rhinos     26  16   4   6   43  27   6  74
Pittsburgh Riverhounds      26  10   4  12   39  39   6  50
Montreal Impact             26  10   2  14   29  37   3  45
Connecticut Wolves          26   9   6  11   30  37   1  43
Long Island Rough Riders    26   8   4  16   31  50   5 *33
Toronto Lynx                26   7   3  16   20  41   1  32

Central Conference          GP   W   T   L   GF  GA  BP Pts
Richmond Kickers            26  16   3   7   47  34   9  76
Charleston Battery          26  16   1   9   51  34   8  73
Charlotte Eagles            26  14   2  10   50  41   8  66
Nashville Metros            26  14   2  10   47  48   5  63
Atlanta Silverbacks         26  13   1  12   48  39   6  59
Indiana Blast               26   8   0  18   38  55   3  35
Cincinnati Riverhawks       26   6   0  20   39  80   3  27

Western Conference          GP   W   T   L   GF  GA  BP Pts
Vancouver Whitecaps         26  16   2   8   44  33   8  74
San Diego Flash F. C.       26  14   1  11   55  42  11  68
Milwaukee Rampage           26  14   2  10   45  40   5  63
Portland Timbers            26  13   3  10   41  38   7  62
Seattle Sounders            26  13   1  12   40  39   4  57
Minnesota Thunder           26   9   2  15   29  34   3  41
El Paso Patriots            26   8   4  14   39  42   4  40

Win-4pts, Draw-1pt, 1 bonus point for scoring three goals in a game

*-3 pt deduction for use of illegal players

 

After the season, San Diego and Hershey folded.
Nashville withdrew for 1 year.
Connecticut and Long Island were relegated to the D3Pro League.
2001 PLAYOFFS

*-after extra time

First Round (Two-leg aggregate)

Richmond, Rochester, Vancouver and Hershey receive byes

9/20/01  Charleston  1-2  Pittsburgh

9/22/01  Pittsburgh  3-1  Charleston

Pittsburgh advance on 5-2 aggregate

 

9/19/01  San Diego   2-0  Atlanta

9/23/01  Atlanta     2-2  San Diego

San Diego advance on 4-2 aggregate

 

9/20/01  Portland    2-0  Charlotte

9/22/01  Charlotte   2-3  Portland

Portland advance on 5-2 aggregate

 

9/19/01  Nashville   2-3  Milwaukee

9/22/01  Milwaukee   0-1* Nashville

Aggregate drawn 3-3

Milwaukee advance on penalty kicks, 4-2

 

Second Round (Two-legs aggregate)

9/28/01  Milwaukee   2-2  Richmond

9/30/01  Richmond    2-1* Milwaukee

Toronto advance on 4-3 aggregate after extra time

 

9/26/01  Pittsburgh  2-1  Rochester

9/29/01  Rochester   3-0  Pittsburgh

Rochester advance on 4-2 aggregate

 

9/27/01  Portland    0-2  Hershey

9/29/01  Hershey     1-0  Portland

Hershey advance on 3-0 aggregate

 

9/26/01  San Diego   2-0  Vancouver

9/29/01  Vancouver   4-1  San Diego

Vancouver advance on 4-3 aggregate

 

Semifinals (Two-legs aggregate)

10/3/01  Vancouver   0-4  Hershey

10/6/01  Hershey     0-1  Vancouver

Hershey advance on 4-1 aggregate

 

10/4/01  Milwaukee   2-3  Rochester

10/6/01  Rochester   1-0  Milwaukee

Rochester advance on 4-2 aggregate

 

A-League Championship

10/13/01 Rochester   2-0  Hershey

Leading Goalscorers

Paul Conway, Charleston            22

Dustin Swinehart, Charlotte        18

Jakob Fenger, Nashville            14

Jeff Houser, Nashville             14

Digital Takawira, Milwaukee        13

Mark Baena, Portland               13

Iggy Moleka, Atlanta               12

Luis Macias, El Paso               12

Kevin Jeffrey, Richmond            11

Leighton O'Brien, Seattle          11

Rodrigo Costa, Indiana             11

 

Goalkeeping Leaders                GAA

Jon Busch, Hershey                 0.60

Scott Vallow, Rochester            0.97

Didar Sandhu, Vancouver            1.09

John Swallen, Minnesota            1.14

Dusty Hudock, Charleston           1.20

Miek McGinty, Richmond             1.21

Randy Dedini, Pittsburgh           1.30

Greg Sutton, Montreal              1.30

Bill Andracki, Rochester/Atlanta   1.30

Matt Napolean, Portland            1.31


2001 A-League Award Winners

Most Valuable Player:  Paul Conway, Charleston Battery
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Jon Busch, Hershey Wildcats
Defender of the Year:  Rick Titus, Vancouver Whitecaps
Rookie of the Year:  Robbie Aristidemo, Toronto Lynx
Coach of the Year: Dale Mitchell, Vancouver Whitecaps

2001 A-League First XI

G - Scott Vallow, Rochester Raging Rhinos
D - Chris Fox, Richmond Kickers
D - Craig Demmin, Rochester Raging Rhinos
D - Scott Cannon, Richmond Kickers
D - Scott Schweitzer, Rochester Raging Rhinos
M - Brian Loftin, Milwaukee Rampage
M - Yari Allnutt, Rochester Raging Rhinos
M - Stoian Mladenov, Minnesota Thunder
F - Paul Conway, Charleston Battery
F - Darren Sawatzky, Seattle Sounders
F - Digital Takawira, Milwaukee Rampage
 

Home Attendance     G    Total    Avg.

Rochester          16  172,480   10,780

Portland           15   89,612    5,974

Vancouver          13   72,050    5,542

Minnesota          15   52,675    3,512

Pittsburgh         15   48,390    3,226

Charleston         15   46,248    3,083

El Paso            15   45,269    3,018

Hershey            15   43,658    2,911

Toronto            13   36,340    2,795

Milwaukee          15   40,234    2,682

Richmond           15   36,542    2,436

Montreal           13   27,340    2,103

Connecticut        15   29,784    1,986

Atlanta            14   27,167    1,941

Indiana            15   28,967    1,931

Seattle            15   28,271    1,885

Charlotte          15   22,646    1,510

Tennessee          14   20,261    1,447

Long Island        13   14,268    1,098

Cincinnati         15   13,138      876

San Diego          15    8,698      580

LEAGUE            306  904,038    2,954

Overview of the 2001 A-League Season - From the American Soccer History Archives

The A-League started the year with more memories of the NASL being evoked. Vancouver was bought in August 2000 by financier David Stadnyk of Starlight Sports, who revived the old NASL team name, Whitecaps. Meanwhile, the expansion Portland Timbers made a successful debut, and the three-way rivalry between these cities and Seattle was on again.

In Late February, indoor and NASL legend Kai Haaskivi was appointed general manager and head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. John Dugan took the helm at Atlanta, bringing four former Raleigh players with him, meanwhile, Cincinnati signed Luis Labastida from Minnesota, 5th in scoring last year, as well as Nigerian forward Abel Salami.

Vancouver signed 31 year old Junior Busby, goalkeeper from Crystal Palace. and Charleston tabbed Dan Calichmen who was waived by MLS. Richmond acquired Jamaican International Clifton Waugh and Rochester signed former MLS midfielder Carlos Parra. San Diego continued its roller coaster ride; despite some great finishes and large crowds, the team's financial situation remained as the league was forced to run the franchise for the entire season.

The 2001 season was one of the tightest in A-League history, with the top five teams separated by only three points in the standings. Richmond took top honors, taking the central division, while Hershey bested Rochester by one point in the East and Vancouver won the West by a comfortable margin. The playoffs were delayed a week as a result of September 11, and the top teams received first round byes, as they watched the remainder of the playoff pool battle through the first round.

This year, Charleston and Pittsburgh followed Rochester's lead by stocking up on high quality talent. Rochester lost three of their top players, Yari Allnutt, Craig Denningand Onandi Lowe to MLS, but compensated by bringing back veteran goalkeeper Pat Onstad, a key part of their 1998 championship team, and other major signings. But cash alone was not necessarily the way to success. Hershey beat out both Rochester and Pittsburgh for top spot in the East. In the Central, high-spending Charleston lost a close divisional race to the ever successful Richmond Kickers in a close race. Vancouver maintained their dominance of the west, with a comfortable margin over San Diego and Milwaukee. The new kid on the block, Portland, finished 4th in the west, with a respectable record, but more importantly, the fans took to the Timbers with great enthusiasm, with consistently large crowds.

Pittsburgh, San Diego, Milwaukee and Portland easily swept through the first round to the quarterfinals. But there, the three division winners had their way, joining Milwaukee in the semifinals. Rochester was matched against their nemesis Milwaukee, but took two straight, sweeping into the championship with 3-2 and 1-0 victories. Hershey meanwhile swamped Vancouver 4-0 in the opener. They lost the nightcap 0-1, but goal differential took them into the final match against Rochester, who reclaimed their winning style, by shutting out the Wildcats for a 2-0 victory, and yet another league title.

At the end of the season, franchise problems cropped up. San Diego folded after a series of financial woes, and Nashville was forced to withdraw for a year because of stadium problems, a fate that threatened the Indiana Blast. A major worry for club owners was the increasing salary expenses; it was imperative to increase fan support, although the league did register double digit growth in average attendance over the past two seasons. The league averaged 2,954 fans per game in 2001, for a total attendance of 904,038. With Calgary moving in and three two-drawing teams being relegated, chances looked good for the league to break the 3,000 average attendance mark in 2002. A painful reminder of the challenges remaining was the Hershey Wildcats folding less than a week after playing in the league title match.

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