UPDATED - January 28, 2007

A-League Archives Home


1996 Season

Atlanta Ruckus - Colorado Foxes - Montreal Impact

New York Centaurs - Seattle Sounders - Vancouver 86ers


1996 Home - 1996 Results - 1996 Stats


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


A-League Championship

10/6/96  Seattle     2-0 Rochester


Overview of the 1996 A-League Season - From the American Soccer History Archives

The 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.

Leading Goalscorers

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

Most Valuable Player:  Wolde Harris, Colorado
Top Goal Scorer:  Doug Miller, Rochester
Coach of the Year: Lorne Donaldson, Colorado
Rookie of the Year: Wolde Harris, Colorado
Defender of the Year:  John Kimniatis, Montreal
Official of the Year:  Kevin Skinner

1996 A-League First XI

G - Paolo Ceccarelli, Montreal
D - John Limniatis, Montreal
D - Wade Webber, Seattle
D - Carlos Llamosa, New York
D - Rene Rivas, Rochester
M - Nick DeSantis, Montreal
M - Martin Nash, Vancouver
M - Anthony McReath, Colorado
F - Wolde Harris, Colorado
F - Domenic Mobilio, Vancouver
F - Doug Miller, Rochester


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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