The NASL Championship is the annual championship competition of the North American Soccer League. There, the two top teams face off in the final to determine the winner of the NASL Trophy, known as the Soccer Bowl Trophy. From 1975 through 1983, and again in 2013, the championship game itself was also known as the Soccer Bowl.
NASL Soccer Bowl Trophy (est. 2011)
|Organising body||North American Soccer League|
|Founded||Original: 1967 |
|Last champions||San Francisco Deltas|
|Most successful club(s)||Original: Cosmos (5) |
Modern: Cosmos (3)
|NASL Championship 2017|
After the 1966 World Cup was successfully televised in the United States, two new leagues were formed. With international and national sanctioning from FIFA, the CFSA and USSFA, the United Soccer Association was created by a consortium known as the North American Soccer League. The second, independent league, enacted without sanction, was the National Professional Soccer League. By the following year, the two leagues merged and created the original North American Soccer League. Between 1968 and 1974 the championship game, or series (on three occasions), was titled the NASL Final, and no title match was held in 1969. From 1975 to 1984 it became the Soccer Bowl. The winner of the NASL Finals received the NASL trophy. During the Soccer Bowl years the trophy was interchangeably regarded by association as the Soccer Bowl trophy, though the official title remained the same.
The concept for the Soccer Bowl began in 1975 by then NASL Commissioner Phil Woosnam, who was trying to build a neutral-site championship event in the mold of the NFL's Super Bowl. Unlike the Super Bowl, the annual numbering scheme of the match did not use Roman numerals (e.g., Super Bowl XXI) but instead used the last two digits of the year played (e.g., Soccer Bowl '78). The original NASL's last Soccer Bowl took place in early October 1984 in a best-of-three series, as the league ceased operation in 1985.
With the formation of the new North American Soccer League in 2009 and their commencement of play in 2011, the Soccer Bowl name was used as the name of both the championship match and championship trophy of the new league. The 2011 and 2012 titles were decided in a two-game aggregate finish. Since 2013 the championship has been a single-game final. For the 2014 season, a new format was introduced, called the NASL Championship, with the final game being called the NASL Championship Final and the trophy the Soccer Bowl trophy.
NASL Championship / Soccer Bowl (1967–1984)Edit
Among the championship matches, there have been different formats used, mostly influenced by the original two leagues. The 1967 NPSL Final, and the 1968 and 1970 NASL Finals were contested by two-game aggregate goals. After 1971, the initial parameters by the United Soccer Association were used. The 1967 USA Final, and the 1972 through 1983 NASL Finals were all single-games. There was no 1969 NASL Final match contested. Instead, as in many leagues in Europe, the championship was awarded to the league winner; the team with the most points at season's end. The 1971 and 1984 NASL Finals were played in a best-of-three series.
|NASL Championship (1967–1984)|
|United Soccer Association Final||1967
(USA Final 1967)
|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Los Angeles||Los Angeles Wolves||6–5
|Washington Whips||17,842||CBS||Teams tied 4–4 at end of regulation. Both scored in extra time. After 120 min. match moved to golden goal time. Wolves win on an OG.|
|National Professional Soccer League Final||1967
(NPSL Final 1967)
September 3, 9
|CBS||Two-game aggregate goals series.|
(NASL Final 1968)
September 21, 28
|San Diego Toros||9,360
|CBS||Two-game aggregate goals series.|
(NASL Final 1969)
|n/a||n/a||Kansas City Spurs||n/a||Atlanta Chiefs||n/a||n/a||n/a||Championship awarded to team with the most points at the end of the season|
(NASL Final 1970)
September 2, 13
|Aquinas Memorial Stadium
||Rochester, New York
|Two-match aggregate goals series.|
(NASL Final 1971)
September 12, 15, 19
|Atlanta Chiefs||(G1): 3,218
|Best two out of three wins|
(NASL Final 1972)
|Hofstra Stadium||Hempstead, New York||New York Cosmos||2–1||St. Louis Stars||6,102||Josef Jelínek converts game winning penalty kick in the 86th min.|
(NASL Final 1973)
|Texas Stadium||Irving, Texas||Philadelphia Atoms||2–0||Dallas Tornado||18,824||Dallas concedes an OG in 66 min. Bill Straub scores in 85 min. to secure win.|
(NASL Final 1974)
|Orange Bowl||Miami, Florida||Los Angeles Aztecs||4–3
|Miami Toros||15,507||CBS||Match went directly to penalties after 90 min. Tony Douglas scores fifth and securing shot on a re-try.|
|Soccer Bowl||1975 (Soccer Bowl '75)
|Spartan Stadium||San Jose, California||Tampa Bay Rowdies||2–0||Portland Timbers||17,483||CBS||Stewart Jump||Arsène Auguste scored game winner in the 66th min. Clyde Best also scored in 88th min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1976 (Soccer Bowl '76)
|Kingdome||Seattle||Toronto Metros-Croatia||3–0||Minnesota Kicks||25,765||CBS, CBC||Wolfgang Sühnholz||Eusébio scored game winner on free kick in 41st min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1977 (Soccer Bowl '77)
|Civic Stadium||Portland, Oregon||New York Cosmos||2–1||Seattle Sounders||35,548||TVS||Steve Hunt||Stephen Hunt scored in 19th min. and assisted on Giorgio Chinaglia's game winner in 78th min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1978 (Soccer Bowl '78)
|Giants Stadium||East Rutherford, New Jersey||New York Cosmos||3–1||Tampa Bay Rowdies||74,091||TVS||Dennis Tueart||Dennis Tueart scored in the 30th and 76th min. Giorgio Chinaglia scored game winner in 44th min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1979 (Soccer Bowl '79)
|Giants Stadium||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Vancouver Whitecaps||2–1||Tampa Bay Rowdies||50,699||ABC, CTV||Alan Ball||Trevor Whymark scored in 12th and 59th min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1980 (Soccer Bowl '80)
|RFK Stadium||Washington, D.C.||New York Cosmos||3–0||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||50,768||ABC, CTV||Giorgio Chinaglia||Julio César Romero scored the game winner in 48th min. Giorgio Chinaglia added goals in the 70th and 87th mins.|
|Soccer Bowl||1981 (Soccer Bowl '81)
|Exhibition Stadium||Toronto||Chicago Sting||1–0
|New York Cosmos||36,971||ABC, CTV||Frantz Mathieu||Sting won in shootout. Karl-Heinz Granitza and Rudy Glenn converted for Sting.|
|Soccer Bowl||1982 (Soccer Bowl '82)
|Jack Murphy Stadium||San Diego||New York Cosmos||1–0||Seattle Sounders||22,634||USA, CTV||Giorgio Chinaglia||Giorgio Chinaglia scored game winner in 31st min.|
|Soccer Bowl||1983 (Soccer Bowl '83)
|BC Place Stadium||Vancouver, British Columbia||Tulsa Roughnecks||2–0||Toronto Blizzard||53,326||USA, CTV||Njego Pesa||Njego Pesa scored game winner (19 yard free kick) in 56th min.|
|Soccer Bowl Series||1984 (Soccer Bowl Series '84)
|Best two out of three wins. Game 1: Manuel Rojas 86th min game winner. Game 2: Patricio Margetic 82nd min game winner.|
*From 1977 through 1984 the NASL had a variation of the penalty shoot-out procedure for tied matches. The shoot-out started 35 yards from the goal and allowed the player 5 seconds to attempt a shot. The player could make as many moves as he wanted in a breakaway situation within the time frame. NASL procedure during this era called for the box score to show an additional "goal" given to the winning side of a shoot-out.
*No championship game was held in 1969. Kansas City finished first in the regular season and was awarded the championship.
NASL Championship Final/ Soccer Bowl (2011–present)Edit
On October 22, 2011, the day their inaugural championship series got underway in Minnesota, the new NASL unveiled its championship trophy. The silver trophy has a large bowl etched with the NASL logo resting atop three long prongs, and the words "North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl" inscribed prominently across the base. In the league's first two seasons, the championship was played as a classic two-legged series. The league announced a switch for the 2013 season to a one-game championship final, also known as the Soccer Bowl. In 2014 the format was tweaked again, and the game was renamed the NASL Championship Final, with the trophy being referred to as the Soccer Bowl Trophy.
|NASL Championship (2011–present)|
(NASL Championship Series 2011)
October 22, 29
|National Sports Center
||NSC Minnesota Stars||3–1
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||4,511
|GOL TV||Luke Mulholland
(NSC Minnesota Stars)
|Luke Mulholland scored game one winning goal in 53rd min.|
|NASL Championship Series||2012
(NASL Championship Series 2012)
October 20, 27
|National Sports Center
||Tampa Bay Rowdies||0–2
(Tampa Bay Rowdies)
|Jeff Attinella saved 3 penalty kicks in shoot-out. Fafà Picault scored winning penalty kick.|
(Soccer Bowl 2013)
|Atlanta Silverbacks Park||Atlanta||New York Cosmos||1–0||Atlanta Silverbacks||7,211||ESPN3
(New York Cosmos)
|Marcos Senna scored championship winning goal in the 50th min.|
|NASL Championship Final||2014
(NASL Championship Final 2014)
|Toyota Field||San Antonio, Texas||San Antonio Scorpions||2–1||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||7,847||ESPN3
ONE World Sports
(San Antonio Scorpions)
|Rafael Castillo scored on a bicycle kick in the 69th min. and assisted on Billy Forbes game winner in 74th min.|
|NASL Championship Final||2015
(NASL Championship Final 2015)
|James M. Shuart Stadium||Hempstead, New York||New York Cosmos||3–2||Ottawa Fury||10,166||ESPN3
ONE World Sports
|Gastón Cellerino (New York Cosmos)||Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick before a modern NASL-record playoff crowd.|
|NASL Championship Final||2016
(NASL Championship Final 2016)
|Belson Stadium||Queens, New York||New York Cosmos||0–0
|Indy Eleven||2,150||CBS Sports Network||None|
|NASL Championship Final||2017
(NASL Championship Final 2017)
|Kezar Stadium||San Francisco||San Francisco Deltas||2–0||New York Cosmos||9,691||beIN SPORTS|
- North American Soccer League (2011–present)
- United States soccer league system
- Canadian soccer league system
- North American Soccer League (1968–84)
- National Professional Soccer League (1967)
- United Soccer Association (1967)
- North American Soccer League (1968–84) on television
- Record attendances in United States club soccer
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- "The Year in American Soccer – 1976". American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
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- "Question of the day: Where was Sir Rodney?". St. Petersburg Times. August 28, 1978 – via Google News Archive Search.
- "Philly Soccer History – 1979". Philadelphia Union. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
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- Atkin, Ross (September 23, 1980). "Cosmos regain soccer title". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
- "Sting Victorious In Soccer Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. September 27, 1981. p. 14B. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
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- "Sounders Shut Out By Cosmos In Soccer Bowl". Tri-City Herald. September 19, 1982. p. 8C. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
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- "This Day In 1981 : Soccer Bowl Edition | Chicago Fire Confidential". Archived from the original on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
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- "NASL Soccer Bowl Championship Trophy Unveiled".
- "- NASL".
- North American Soccer League (September 5, 2012). "NASL Announces Split-Season Format for 2013". nasl.com. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "- NASL".
- "NSC Minnesota Capture first NASL Championship". NASL.com. Archived from the original on 2011-11-02. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Cesar. "NASL Championship Series First Leg: Minnesota Stars Win 3-1 over the Strikers". Bleacher Report.
- "Tampa Bay Wins NASL Championship Series After Penalty Shootout". NASL.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Tampa Bay Rowdies. "Al Lang Stadium". Tampa Bay Rowdies.
- "The Rowdies win the 2012 NASL Super Bowl: Tampa Bay Rowdies beat the Minnesota Stars on Penalties". Vermont Premier Soccer.
- "NASL: Rowdies rally to give the Soccer Bowl a new home". MLSsoccer.com.
- NASL. "NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 To Air Live On ESPN3 And ESPN Deportes". North American Soccer League.
- NASL. "New York Cosmos Win NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 1-0 victory edged Atlanta Silverbacks in NASL finale". North American Soccer League.
- Wagner, Joe (November 16, 2014). "Scorpions Raise Soccer Bowl Trophy With 2-1 Win Over Strikers". nasl.com/.
- "Gastón Cellerino Hat Trick Powers Cosmos to NASL Title". North American Soccer League. November 15, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.