1982-83 MISL Season


By Dave Litterer of The US Soccer History Archives, with supplemental materials by Steve Holroyd and Paul Reeths

This season, the MISL welcomed three teams from the NASL, which had suspended its indoor season. The Chicago Sting, San Diego Sockers and Golden Bay Earthquakes provided some major market exposure for the league, as well as some competitive teams, with San Diego promptly taking the Western Division title. Originally the MISL had planned to also add a team in Los Angeles, but the Philadelphia Fever, suffering from dwindling support at home, moved west to become the Lazers. The league was up to fourteen teams, and expanded its schedule to 48 games.

A major change was the trade of Steve Zungul from the New York Arrows to the Golden bay Earthquakes. This had an immediate impact on the Arrows who finished at .500 this season. Zungul, despite again leading the league in scoring could not help the Earthquakes much and they finished next to last in the west, ahead of only the hapless Los Angeles Lazers. The Eastern Division was a three way race between the veteran Cleveland Force, the up and coming Baltimore Blast and the transplanted Chicago Sting. Cleveland had the scoring firepower, headed by Craig Allen, Keith Furphy and Kai Haaskivi, but Baltimore had the defensive mettle. Led by all-star Heinz Wirtz, Baltimore allowed only 224 goals, third best in the league, and won a narrow race by a single game. In the West, San Diego took the division rather easily, but there was a hot battle for second place and coveted playoff spots between Wichita, St. Louis, Kansas City and Phoenix. All of these were teams finally reaching their stride, and the growing rivalry between Intrastate foes Kansas City and St. Louis would provide many memorable matches in coming seasons.

Close races notwithstanding, the final standings provided a psychic-quality guide to the postseason. The top two teams from each division advanced to the next round. In the semi-finals, Baltimore defeated Cleveland in a tough five-game series to reach their first final series, as did the interloping San Diego Sockers, who made quick work of the Wichita Wings. The Championship series was the most lopsided ever, and showed the superior depth of the NASL talent base, despite its recent losses in the salary war. The Sockers blanked Baltimore 6-0 and 7-0 in the first two games before losing a pair of close games, with the second going into overtime and a 6-7 loss. They took the final 3-1 to claim the crown, the first MISL championship awarded to a NASL team. Ironically, the three NASL teams all withdrew from the MISL, anticipating that the NASL would return to the arenas the following year. But San Diego would return in the future, and become the dominating team for the rest of the MISL's existence.

The MISL enjoyed its most successful season yet, as attendance climbed to 2,652,613, for an average of 7,895 per game. In another first, the MISL made its network television debut as CBS broadcast a Cleveland-Baltimore playoff game on May 7, seen by an estimated four million viewers. During the offseason, the league announced the awarding of new franchises in Tacoma for 1983-84 and Dallas for 1984-85.

1982-83 SEASON
EASTERN DIVISION
G
W
L
GF
GA
GB
Pct.
Baltimore Blast
48
30
18
249
224
--
.625
Cleveland Force
48
29
19
285
267
1
.604
Chicago Sting
48
28
20
285
239
2
.583
New York Arrows
48
24
24
225
219
6
.500
Pittsburgh Spirit
48
24
24
250
247
6
.500
Buffalo Stallions
48
22
26
270
274
8
.458
Memphis Americans
48
19
29
239
274
11
.396
WESTERN DIVISION
San Diego Sockers
48
32
16
289
230
--
.667
Wichita Wings
48
27
21
273
249
5
.563
Kansas City Comets
48
26
22
219
210
6
.542
St. Louis Steamer
48
26
22
234
234
6
.542
Phoenix Inferno
48
24
24
249
255
8
.500
Golden Bay Earthquakes
48
17
31
240
290
15
.354
Los Angeles Lazers
48
8
40
191
286
24
.167
/r/n

1st Round
Baltimore defeated New York 11-4, 6-7, 8-3
Cleveland defeated Chicago 5-9, 5-4, 7-5
San Diego defeated Kansas City 6-2, 9-4
Wichita defeated St. Louis 6-5 (OT), 2-8, 9-7

Semifinals
Baltimore defeated Cleveland 6-7, 10-5, 7-3, 3-6, 8-6
San Diego defeated Wichita 8-5, 5-2, 4-3

Championship
San Diego defeated Baltimore 6-0, 7-0, 3-4, 6-7 (OT), 3-1

Before the season, Philadelphia moved to Los Angeles. Chicago, San Diego, and Golden Bay (formerly San Jose) from the NASL participated in the MISL this year.

After the season, Chicago, San Diego & Golden Bay returned to the NASL.

All-Star Game:  Western Division defeated Eastern Division 9-5.  
(At Memorial Auditorium Buffalo, att: 13,426.  MVP = Tony Glavin)

Leading Scorers                   GP   G   A  TP

Steve Zungul (New York/Golden Bay)43  75  47 122
Stan Stamenkovic (Memphis)        41  55  65 120
Juli Veee (San Diego)             37  57  53 110
Stan Terlecki (Pittsburgh)        45  65  40 105
Omar Gomez (Wichita)              44  37  49  86
Craig Allen (Cleveland)           45  53  31  84
Keith Furphy (Cleveland)          46  56  28  84
Kai Haaskivi (Cleveland)          46  38  46  84
Steve David (Phoenix)             47  61  20  81
Ruben Astigarraga (Phoenix)       43  34  46  80
Kaz Denya (San Diego)             45  45  32  77
Carlos Salguero (Buffalo)         48  44  31  75
Karl-Heinz Granitza (Chicago)     46  41  33  74
Pato Margetic (Chicago)           47  41  33  74
Chris Dangerfield (Golden Bay)    48  52  20  72
Jorgen Kristensen (Wichita)       42  15  56  71
Vidal Fernandez (San Diego)       47  34  37  71
Mike Lashchev (Buffalo)           46  40  30  70
Yilman Orhan (Kansas City)        45  43  26  69
Tony Glavin (St. Louis)           44  50  18  68
Paul Child (Pittsburgh)           45  47  21  68
Dave McWilliams (Baltimore)       45  41  27  68

LEADING GOALKEEPERS   (Min. 1300 minutes to qualify)

                             GP   Min. Sho  Svs   GA   W-L   GAA
Zoltan Toth (New York)       27  1555  635  342  104  12-14  4.01
Slobo Ilijevski (St. Louis)  44  2548 1111  697  175  23-19  4.12
Keith Van Eron (Baltimore)   38  1969  991  486  138  23-9   4.20
Alan Mayer (San Diego)       43  2407 1118  560  172  30-10  4.29
Victor Petroni (Kansas City) 26  1498  778  395  112  14-10  4.49
Victor Nogueria (Chicago)    28  1441  722  396  110  14-12  4.58
Enzo DiPede (Kansas City)    24  1362  645  285  109  12-12  4.80
Mike Dowler (Wichita)        42  2502 1130  584  203  25-17  4.868
Blaze Tamindzic (Phoenix)    39  2252 1124  601  183  19-18  4.876
Krys Sobieski (Pittsburgh)   41  2273 1032  543  185  19-20  4.881
Shep Messing (New York)      24  1361  508  296  113  12-10  4.98
Kirk Shermer (Los Angeles)   34  1797  818  321  157   8-22  5.24
Richard But (Memphis)        31  1759  870  870  156  12-16  5.324
Cris Vaccaro (Cleveland)     35  1939 1130  567  172  21-11  5.325
Ardo Perri (Buffalo)         32  1664  844  438  148  15-13  5.34
 
Most Valuable Player:  Alan Meyer, San Diego Sockers
Coach of the Year:  Pat McBride, Kansas City Comets
MISL Scoring Champion:  Steve Zungul, New York Arrows-Golden Bay Earthquakes
MISL Pass Master (most Assists):  Stan Stamenkovic, Baltimore Blast
Defender of the Year:  Bernie James, Cleveland Force
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Zoltan Toth, New York Arrows
Rookie of the Year:  Kirk Shermer, Los Angeles Lazers
Championship Series Player of the Year:  Juli Veee, San Diego Sockers

All-MISL team:

G - Alan Mayer, San Diego Sockers
D - Val Tuksa, New York Arrows
D - Heinz Wirtz, Baltimore Blast
M - Stan Stamenkovic, Memphis Americans
F - Alan Mayer, San Diego Sockers
F - Steve Zungul, Golden Bay Earthquakes






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