Vancouver Whitecaps (1974–1984)

The original Vancouver Whitecaps were a professional soccer team founded on December 11, 1973. During the 1970s and 1980s they played in the North American Soccer League (NASL).

Vancouver Whitecaps
Vancouver Whitecaps
Full nameVancouver Whitecaps
Nickname(s)The 'Caps
FoundedDecember 11, 1973[1]
Dissolved1984; 37 years ago (1984)
StadiumEmpire Stadium (1974–1983)
BC Place (1983–1984)
Indoor:
Pacific Coliseum (1980–81, 1983–84)
PNE Agrodome (1981–1982)
Capacity30,000 (Empire)
60,000 (BC Place)
15,613 (Coliseum)
3,200 (Agrodome)
LeagueNASL

The Whitecaps of that era included international players such as Alan Ball, Ruud Krol and Bruce Grobbelaar, but also British Columbian stars like Bobby and Sam Lenarduzzi, Buzz Parsons, and Bruce Wilson.

In 1979, the team from the "Village of Vancouver" (a reference to ABC TV sportscaster Jim McKay's observation that "Vancouver must be like the deserted village right now", with so many people watching the game on TV) beat the powerhouse New York Cosmos in one of the most thrilling playoff series in NASL history to advance to the 1979 Soccer Bowl. Saturday, September 8, 1979 they triumphed against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Giants Stadium before a crowd of 50,699 (66,843 tickets had been sold for the game).[2]

It was during this short period that soccer interest peaked in Vancouver. The Whitecaps attendance at Empire Stadium grew to an average of 28,000 per game with playoff matches reaching the 32,000 capacity.[3] The team also recorded two tracks, with "White Is the Colour" (a takeoff on Chelsea's "Blue Is the Colour") becoming a hit on local radio during the run-up to their championship win.

After playing at Vancouver's 32,000-seat Empire Stadium for most of their existence, the team moved into the new 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium in 1983.

The team played indoor soccer on and off during their existence. The Pacific Coliseum served as the home field for their 1980–81 and 1983–84 NASL indoor seasons. However, for the 1981–82 indoor season the Whitecaps used the much smaller PNE Agrodome, as the Pacific Coliseum became unavailable.[4]

With the demise of the NASL in 1984 the Whitecaps, along with many other teams in the NASL, were forced to fold.

Year-by-yearEdit

This is a complete list of seasons for the NASL club. For a season-by-season history including the current MLS franchise, see History of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. For solely MLS results, see List of Vancouver Whitecaps FC seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs CC Continental Average attendance Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name Goals
1974 1 NASL 20 5 11 4 29 31 –2 70 3.50 4th 12th DNQ Ineligible 10,098   Brian Gant[5] 6
1975 NASL 22 11 11 0 38 28 +10 99 4.50 4th 11th 7,579   Glen Johnson[6] 8
1976 NASL 24 14 10 0 38 30 +8 120 5.00 4th 9th R1 8,655 3 players[7] 5
1977 NASL 26 14 12 0 43 36 +7 124 4.77 4th 7th R1 11,897   Derek Possee[8] 11
1978 NASL 30 24 6 0 68 29 +39 199 6.63 2nd 2nd QF 15,736   Kevin Hector[9] 21
1979 NASL 30 20 10 0 54 34 +20 172 5.73 3rd 4th W 22,962   Kevin Hector[10] 15
1980 NASL 32 16 16 0 52 47 +5 139 4.34 7th 14th R1 26,834   Trevor Whymark[11] 15
1981 NASL 32 21 11 0 74 43 +31 186 5.81 1st 3rd R1 23,236   Carl Valentine[12] 10
1982 NASL 32 20 12 0 58 48 +10 160 5.00 3rd 5th QF 18,254   Ray Hankin[13] 11
1983 NASL 30 24 6 0 63 34 +29 187 6.23 1st 2nd QF 29,166   David Cross[14] 19
1984 NASL 24 13 11 0 51 48 +3 117 4.88 2nd 4th SF 15,190   Peter Ward[15] 16
Total 302 182 116 4 568 408 +160 1573 5.21 Unknown 167

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, League Playoffs, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

IndoorEdit

Season League Position Playoffs
League Pld W L GF GA GD Conf. Overall
1975 NASL 2 1 1 18 11 +7 2nd 6th DNQ
1976 NASL 2 0 2 8 29 −21 4th 12th
1980–81 NASL 18 11 7 91 96 −5 1st 5th SF
1981–82 NASL 18 10 8 93 94 −1 3rd 6th R1
Total 40 22 18 210 230 −20

HonoursEdit

StatisticsEdit

AttendanceEdit

The record home attendance for a Whitecaps game was on June 20, 1983. 60,342 came to watch the caps take on the Seattle Sounders in the first game at BC Place Stadium. It was also the largest crowd to ever see a club soccer match in Canada until the Montreal Impact surpassed the mark with 60,860 on May 12, 2012.

 
Original NASL Whitecaps Logo.

Average yearly attendanceEdit

  • 1974 10,098
  • 1975 7,579
  • 1976 8,656
  • 1977 11,897
  • 1978 15,724
  • 1979 22,962
  • 1980 26,834
  • 1981 23,236
  • 1982 18,251
  • 1983 29,164
  • 1984 15,208

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'Caps Coaches – The NASL Days | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". Whitecapsfc.com. August 29, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Morning Record and Journal - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Vancouver's soccer boom kicks sports scene up a notch". Vancouver Sun. November 6, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2020. Five years later, the average was 28,000 and the club was selling out playoff games at 32,000.
  4. ^ "The Vancouver Sun - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "NASL Soccer North American Soccer League Players-Brian Gant". Nasljerseys.com. April 23, 1952. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Holroyd, Steven (January 31, 2010). "The Year in American Soccer – 1975". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  7. ^ "Vancouver Whitecaps Rosters – 1976". Nasljerseys.com. April 23, 1952. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Holroyd, Steven (October 21, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1977". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on July 1, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Litterer, David (October 27, 2003). "The Year in American Soccer – 1978". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Litterer, David (May 30, 2010). "The Year in American Soccer – 1979". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  11. ^ Litterer, David (January 31, 2010). "The Year in American Soccer – 1980". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  12. ^ Litterer, David (June 6, 2004). "The Year in American Soccer – 1981". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  13. ^ Litterer, David (August 15, 2012). "The Year in American Soccer – 1982". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  14. ^ Litterer, David (August 17, 2011). "The Year in American Soccer – 1983". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  15. ^ Holroyd, Steve (January 31, 2010). "The Year in American Soccer – 1984". American Soccer Archives. Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  16. ^ "Home". indoorsoccerhall.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "Hey Now, You're An All-Star". kenn.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  18. ^ "NASL all-stars". Chicago Tribune. April 10, 1984. p. 4; sec 4. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "The New York Cosmos, who won the regular-season point..."
  20. ^ Henderson, Jim (April 21, 1981). "For Keith Bailey, The Long Wait Is Finally Over". The Tampa Tribune. p. 5-C. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  21. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140810194037/http://www.thesoccerhalloffame.ca/en-us/halloffame/halloffameinducteeannouncements/2014inductees.aspx. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)

See alsoEdit