North American Soccer League Teams


As Major League Soccer continues to grow and embed itself in the United States with team names such as the Galaxy, Rapids and Patriots this article takes a slightly irreverent look at the previous attempt to bring soccer teams in America to the masses.  The North American Soccer League started off successfully in a blaze of glory and petered out in a blaze of litigation but one thing it did have is good team names. Here are ten of the most memorable names from the era.


New York Cosmos (1971 – 1984) 

The worlds top Stars flocked to the NASL superpower. With players like Pele, Beckenabauer and Messing the Comos were the glamour girl but also by all accounts loved a goof row with each other.


Team Hawaii (1977)

My favourite purely at the thought they could have won 5-0 or had a ref on hand call Danno to hand out a few bookings.  What a nice away trip it would have been


The Caribous of Colorado (1978)

Named after type of stag they took on there local persona by wearing a brown kit with wild west style fringing on the chest.


Chicago Sting (1975 – 1984)

I don’t know if they had the nickname the blues but maybe they should have done.  The team was named in reference to the popular 1973 film “ The Sting” action was set in Chicago of the 1930s


San Diego Jaws (1976)

Just when you thought it was safe to enter the soccer stadium along came the Jaws. The film of the same name was infinitely more successful.


Las Vegas Quicksilver (1977) 

Actually the Jaw franchise which moved to the desert and failed to hit the jackpot. Finished lower than the Hawaii Guys


New England / Jacksonville Tea Men (1978 -1980)

Owned by the Lipton Tea Company surprisingly enough. Any team with England in the name were bond to be useless and involve tea.


Detroit Express (1978-1980)

The Express were co-owned and directed by famous English soccer pundit Jimmy Hill who was also the managing director and chairman of the English club Coventry City.


Tampa Bay Rowdies (1975-1984)

Rowdy by name rowdy by nature.  Any team containing Englands` flamboyant bad boys Rodney Marsh and Frank Worthington had to be erm… rowdy.


Washington Diplomats (1974 – 1981)

All you can say about the diplomats is that is the least scary most boring name in the history of football. The must have carried boots in a briefcase.


So there you have it my sideways look at soccer teams America and the NASL. Where did it all go wrong I wonder. Lets hope that MLS has slightly more longevity.