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1989-90 MISL Season


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

The Major Indoor Soccer League faced increasing competition with the National Professional Soccer League, formerly the AISA, which made clear its intentions to compete head to head. This soon led to an all out salary war, which had grave repercussions for both leagues. Meanwhile, the MISL implemented four rule changes: (1) permitting goalkeeping on the fly, (2) elimination of the sixth foul rule, (3) elimination of the three-line violation by field players, and (4) awarding of shootouts in place of penalty kicks.

The MISL returned to one of its most successful cities with the expansion St. Louis Storm, who lost their debut to cross-state rivals Kansas City before 14,752. The league season saw a close race in the East between the perennial favorites Baltimore Blast and Kansas City Comets, with the Comets claiming the crown with a mere 2 point lead after a 52 game season. The Dallas Sidekicks had an easier time of it with a decisive Western Division crown. Tatu continued his impressive goalscoring feats with 64 goals. League attendance held steady, at an average of 7,765 for the regular season. At the conclusion of the season, MISL reached an agreement with ESPN for a nine game TV schedule for the following season. The league remained busy during the summer, announcing a renewal with the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America to host their annual showcase of senior collegiate stars. Later, the league changed its name to the Major Soccer League, and reached an agreement with the USSF to play two outdoor exhibitions against the Men's National team. Finally, USSF President Alan Rothenberg appointed commissioner Earl Foreman to a commission to study the feasibility of establishing a 1st division outdoor league in the United States.

1989-90 SEASON
EASTERN DIVISION
G
W
L
GF
GA
Pct.
GB
Baltimore Blast
52
32
20
231
191
.615
--
Kansas City Comets
52
30
22
208
205
.577
2
Wichita Wings
52
26
26
210
229
.490
6.5
Cleveland Crunch
52
20
32
201
237
.392
11.5
WESTERN DIVISION
Dallas Sidekicks
52
31
21
217
190
.596
--
San Diego Sockers
52
25
27
217
204
.481
6
St. Louis Storm
52
24
28
202
205
.462
7
Tacoma Stars
52
20
32
191
217
.385
11
/r/n

Divisional Semifinals
Kansas City defeated Wichita 5-4, 4-3, 3-4, 5-4
San Diego defeated St. Louis 3-2, 3-4 (OT), 4-1, 5-4

Divisional Finals
San Diego defeated Dallas 4-2, 1-6, 1-4, 4-2, 4-0, 3-1
Baltimore defeated Kansas City 6-4, 4-2, 2-1 (OT), 2-3 (OT), 2-3 (OT), 7-2

Championship
San Diego defeated Baltimore 4-7, 4-3, 5-2, 4-1, 2-3,6-4

New teams in St. Louis and Cleveland were added.

Scoring Leaders:
                                GP   G   A  Pts
Tatu, Dallas                    52  64  42  113
Jan Goossens, Kansas City       51  41  55   96
Preki, Tacoma                   44  33  39   72
Michael King, Cleveland         52  45  26   71
Dale Mitchell, Kansas City      48  47  23   70
Dale Ervine, Wichita            47  47  20   68
Hector Marinaro, Cleveland      45  40  23   63
Zorin Karic, Cleveland          47  34  28   62
Branko Segota, San Diego        44  27  34   61
Domenic Mobilio, Baltimore      48  41  20   61
Chico Borja, Wichita            43  24  35   59
Carl Valentine, Baltimore       52  24  34   58

Leading Goalkeepers:
                               GP   Min. SHT   SV  GA  Avg.   W  L
Joe Papaleo (Dallas)           27  1633  829  342  91  3.34  16 10
Zoltan Toth (San Diego)        27  1640  682  334  95  3.48  14 13
Scott Manning (Baltimore)      34  2091  991  457 122  3.50  22 12
Slobo Illjevski (St. Louis)    32  1903  851  415 113  3.56  17 14
Victor Nogueira (San Diego)    25  1511  590  284  91  3.61  11 13
Mike Dowler (Kansas City)      28  1671  751  308 102  3.66  17 10
Krye Sobieski (Dallas)         22  1354  644  237  85  3.77  14  8
Jim Gorsek (Kansas City)       26  1485  648  275  95  3.84  13 11
Ron Fearson (Wichita)          33  1988  789  331 128  3.86  18 14
Cris Vaccaro (Tacoma)          28  1672  730  313 109  3.91  11 17
P. J. Johns (Cleveland)        38  2087  894  439 140  4.02  16 18
David Brcic (St. Louis)        21  1269  558  275  87  4.11   7 14

1st All-Star Team:

G - Victor Nogueira, San diego
F - Tatu, Dallas
F - Zoran Karic, Cleveland
M - Preki, St. Louis
D - Kevin Crow, San Diego
D - Fernando Clavijo, St. Louis

Most Valuable player:  Jamie Swanner, Canton Invaders
Coach of the Year:  Billy Phillips, Dallas
MISL Scoring Champion:  Tatu, Dallas Sidekicks
MISL Pass Master (most Assists):  Jan Goossens, Kansas City Comets
Defender of the Year:  Wes McLeod, Dallas
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Joe Papaleo, Dallas Sidekicks
Rookie of the Year:  Terry Brown, St. Louis Storm
Newcomer of the Year:  Claudio DeOliviera, St. Louis Storm
Championship Series Player of the Year:  Brian Quinn, San Diego Sockers
Championship Series Unsung Hero:  Paul Wright, San Diego Sockers