Houston Hurricane

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Houston Hurricane
Logo
Full name Houston Hurricane
Nickname(s) Hurricane
Founded 1978
Dissolved 1980
Ground Astrodome
Capacity 45,000
Chairman Hans Von Mende
Manager Timo Liekoski
Eckhard Krautzun
League NASL

The Houston Hurricane was a soccer team based out of Houston that played in the NASL.[1] They played from 1978 to 1980. Their home field was the Astrodome. Their colors were orange, white and red.

History

The team was the last of six expansion teams granted for the 1978 season and had about three months to sign players and sell tickets. Though the coach, Timo Liekoski, who had been an assistant with the Dallas Tornado, was capable, assembling a competitive team in so short a time would be daunting. In any case, the Hurricane placed last in its first season with ten wins of thirty matches (there were no draws in the NASL) and drew a miserable average attendance of 5,806, with only the Chicago Sting and San Diego Sockers drawing less in the 24-team league.

In the 1979 season, the Hurricane produced the second best record in the league, winning the division with 22 wins in thirty matches. Timo Liekoski was awarded Coach of the Year honors.[2] But the Hurricane couldn't replicate those results in the playoffs, losing to the Philadelphia Fury in two straight. Average attendance was better at 6,211 but was still next to last in the league - the worst being Philadelphia. Kyle Rote, Jr. had joined the Hurricane that season, but left the team after the season on a relief mission to Cambodia and later retired from soccer.

The Hurricane didn't do as well in what turned out to be their final season, placing second in the division and again losing in the playoffs versus the Edmonton Drillers. They won fourteen and lost eighteen in the expanded schedule, and attendance fell to 5,818 a match, with only the Atlanta Chiefs and, again, Philadelphia being the only teams with worse gates. The Hurricane's Denver-based owners had had enough, and the team folded in late 1980.

Year-by-year

Year League W L Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Attendance
1978 NASL 10 20 96 4th, American Conference, Central Division Did not qualify 7,750
1979 NASL 22 8 187 1st, American Conference, Central Division Lost Conference Quarterfinal (Philadelphia) 6,212
1979–80 NASL Indoor Did not enter
1980 NASL 14 18 130 2nd, American Conference, Central Division Lost 1st Round (Edmonton) 5,818

Honors

Regular Season Premiership

Division Titles

  • 1979: Central Division, American Conference

Coach of the Year

FIFA World Cup players

All-Star Selections

Indoor All-Tournament Team

U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame members

Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame members

References

  1. ^ Conway, Joe (January 30, 2006). "Can 1836 be a hit where other soccer teams have missed?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "NASL Honors Houston Coach". Salina Journal. Salina, Kansas. August 26, 1979.
  3. ^ Carrick, Buzz (March 5, 2013). "Former Dallas Sidekicks Coach Gordon Jago Named 2013 Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, TX. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013.


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