In case you missed it, the Atlanta United of Major League Soccer (MLS) is leading the league in attendance in their first season. This is something you wouldn’t have thought possible 10 years ago.
Back in the old North American Soccer League (NASL) days in the early 80s, the Atlanta Chiefs were lucky to break 10,000 in a single game. In fact, the Atlanta Chiefs brought the city their first professional sports title in 1968 when they won the NASL title but very few knew about it and it didn’t really mean much to sports fans in those days compared to the Super Bowl or the World Series.
The Atlanta Chiefs played from 1967-1973 and then again from 1979-1981. The Chiefs best regular season was their championship season of 1968 when they went 18-6-7 and won the Atlantic Division. They defended the Cleveland Stokers 1-1 and 2-1 in the conference finals then beat the San Diego Toros 0-0 and 3-0 for the championship. The Chiefs won the championship in front of 14,994 fans in Atlanta Stadium on September 28, 1968. The Chiefs were sold to the owners of the Atlanta Hawks in 1973 and changed their name to the Apollos. The team folded a year later.
Ted Turner brought the Chiefs back to life in 1979 when he purchased the Colorado Caribous franchise and moved it to Atlanta. The “new” Chiefs were a box office flop in Atlanta. The team fared poorly in 1979 under Head Coach Dan Wood, a holdover from the Caribous days, finishing at 12-18. Average attendance of 7,350 ranked 20th among the NASL’s 24 clubs. A bright spot was English striker Jeff Bourne, who finished 4th in the NASL in scoring in 1979 with 18 goals and 15 assists. The 1980 season was even worse. Wood was fired midway through the season. The Chiefs finished with the league’s worst record (7-25), limpest offense (34 goals in 32 matches) and lowest attendance (4,884 per match at 52,000-seat Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium).
Oddly enough, the Chiefs drew better playing indoor soccer than they did outdoor in the summer. In the winter of 1979, the Chiefs had the league’s best record (10-2) and their attendance of 5,069 for six home games was above the league average. The Chiefs were 13-5 the next season and led the league in attendance with 10,287 per game.
Unfortunately, the indoor success couldn’t sustain the Chiefs as they eventually folded after the 1981 outdoor season.
Atlanta Chiefs Seasons:
1967 – 10-9-2 (4th place)
1968 – 18-6-7 (1st Place – NASL Champions)
1969 – 11-2-3 (2nd place)
1970 – 11-5-8 (2nd place)
1971 – 12-5-7 (1st Place – Lost to Dallas in Final)
1972 – 5-3-6 (3rd Place)
1973 – 3-7-9 (3rd Place)
1979 – 12-18 (4th Place)
Indoor Season – 10-2 (1st Place – Lost to Tampa Bay in Division Finals)
1980 – 7-25 (4th Place)
Indoor Season – 13-5 (1st Place – Lost to Chicago in Semifinals)
1981 – 17-15 (1st Place Lost to Jacksonville in First Round)
The Obscure Sports Page is a weekly report of sports leagues in the United States that are unique or get little coverage from the sports media.
American 7s Football League (A7FL) – The league will get national exposure on ELEVEN Sports Network on Sunday, July 9th for the A7FL Championship Game. The league’s third championship game will be played at Palisades Credit Union Park. NJ Paterson U, NJ Savage, PA Immortalz, NJ BIC, NJ Chiefs, Baltimore Kings, Baltimore Gators and PA Dynasty will begin the playoffs this weekend.
American Flag Football League (AFFL) – The league’s inaugural “test” game will be played on Tuesday, June 27th at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. The game will feature Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco and Justin Forsett. The league has advertised to be a modern version of flag football and will feature several technical innovations to the game.
American Hockey League (AHL) – Martin Frk scored the winning goal with 7:19 left in regulation to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 4-3 win in Game 6 of the Calder Cup finals to defeat the Syracuse Crunch. This is the Griffins’ second Calder Cup title in five years.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The league’s “Cross Coast Challenge” concluded last weekend with a high scoring game in Toronto. The Rush overcame an early three goal deficit for a 33-27 win over San Francisco. After trailing 16-15 at halftime, the Rush went on a 5-1 run to start the second half and never looked back. The current division leaders are: South-Raleigh (10-1), East-Toronto (8-3), Midwest-Minnesota (8-1) and West-San Francisco (7-3)
Arena Football League (AFL) – Philadelphia Soul running back, Mykel Benson, became the fifth player to rush for 100 touchdowns in league history. He joined the elite group on his second touchdown in the win over Tampa Bay. The Soul remain undefeated and on top of the league at 9-0 followed by Tampa Bay (7-2), Cleveland (3-7), Baltimore (2-6) and Washington (1-7).
Arena Pro Football (APF) – The Richmond Roughriders won the championship over the Florida Tarpons 74-61. On the game’s final play, Tarpons’ quarterback Chris Wallace rolled to his left looking for a receiver. Two Roughrider defenders closed in on Wallace as he hurried the pass which was intercepted by linebacker Malique Johnson who returned it for a touchdown to end the game and give the Roughriders the title. Richmond (8-0) completed an undefeated season. Although the Roughriders claimed the first title in the APF, it will be their last in the league as it is set to merge with the CAN-AM Indoor Football League to form the American Arena League but Roughriders’ owner isn’t sure about following the rest of the league into the merger. Owner Gregg Fornario is considering other options including the National Arena League (NAL) and Indoor Football League (IFL).
Big 3 Basketball League (BIG3) – The inaugural season of the 3-on-3 basketball league tips off this weekend in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center. The league was created by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The league will feature eight teams with former NBA players.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIF) – The Omaha Beef will face the Texas Revolution on Friday for the CIF title. Omaha defeated the Sioux City Bandits 55-45 and Texas got past the Amarillo Venom 77-71 in the semifinals.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – Here are the current Top 10 rankings in the GDFL:
North Mississippi Road Warriors
River City Pythons
Indoor Football League (IFL) – Nebraska Danger quarterback Drew Powell was named the league’s offensive player of the week after leading his team to a 59-44 win over the Wichita Falls Nighthawks. Powell completed 17 of 23 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 71 yards. Sioux Falls Storm defensive back Rashard Smith was the defensive player of the week as he helped his team end the Iowa Barnstormers’ 11-game winning streak returning an interception 49 yards for a touchdown to give the Storm a 21-point lead with less than five minutes left.
Major League Futsal (MLF) – Diablos Ensenda MX leads the Men’s Pro Division with 18 points. The Women’s Pro Division is led by Alianza F.C. with 3 points. Futsal is the official version indoor soccer which played without dasher boards.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Davey Emala and Will Manny combined for eight goals in Boston’s 16-9 win over the Outlaws in Denver on Saturday night. The win avenged Boston’s loss to Denver two weeks ago. Boston goalie Tyler Fiorito earned the Coca-Cola Player of the Game after stopping 20 of the 29 shots against him. He made eight saves and did not allow a goal in the fourth quarter. The teams were within a goal of each other at the end of the first quarter and within two goals after the second quarter, but Boston pulled away by outscoring Denver by a 7-2 margin in the second half. The loss drops Denver into a first place tie with the Ohio Machine (5-2).
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) – Boston (3-0), Rochester (3-0), Austin (3-0) and Los Angeles (3-0) continue to lead their respective divisions early in the season. Austin’s Monroe Augustine leads the Individual Quaffle Stats with 12 goals and nine assists. This weekend’s matches will feature Boston hosting Ottawa and Phoenix at San Francisco.
National Arena League (NAL) – The playoffs are set for this weekend’s league semifinal games. The Columbus Lions (9-3) will travel to play the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) while the Jacksonville Sharks (11-1) will host the Monterrey Steel (7-4). The Steel upset the Sharks in the final regular season game last weekend 44-37.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – Here are the current standings for the league:
USSSA Pride (8-2)
Scrap Yard Dawgs (7-5)
Chicago Bandits (9-7)
Texas Charge (7-6)
Akron Racers (5-7)
Beijing Eagles (0-9)
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Week 14 of the NASL Spring Season comes with another stern test of Miami FC’s title-winning credentials. Miami faces the New York Cosmos, who sit seven points behind along with the San Francisco Deltas in the table, on Saturday night. A win at Riccardo Silva Stadium would move Miami closer to gaining the Spring Championship. A loss, of course, would bring the rest of the pack a little closer. The Deltas head north to take on FC Edmonton and the club has yet to lose on the road in league play. The other Saturday night kickoff gets underway in Cary as North Carolina FC squares off with Indy Eleven. On Sunday, Jacksonville Armada FC hosts Puerto Rico FC as both sides look to rebound from conceding four goals apiece a weekend ago.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The North Carolina Charge are still on top of the league with 21 points. The Charge will play Boston this weekend. Boston is in 9th place in the standings.
Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) – The Cape Fear Heroes had little trouble with the Cap City Bulls in the first round of the league playoffs. The Heroes ran away with the game 63-14. Unfortunately, there appears to be no information about the next round this weekend.
United Soccer League (USL) – Trevin Caesar had a hat trick and a highlight-reel assist to lead Sacramento Republic FC to a 6-2 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 at Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday night.
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – In the second round of the playoffs:
St. Louis Slam 69, Madison Blaze 8
Orlando Anarchy 57, Cincinnati Sizzle 6
Arkansas Wildcats 36, Austin Outlaws 6
Southern Oregon Lady Renegades 46, Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz 6
Toledo Reign 22, Maine Mayhem 7
Boston Renegades 27, DC Divas 24
Chicago Force 45, Pittsburgh Passion 0
Dallas Elite 53, Minnesota Vixen 0
Montreal Blitz 49, New York Sharks 27
Tampa Bay Inferno 35, Carolina Phoenix 26
San Diego Surge 35, Central California War Angels 34
Mile High Blaze 28, Sin City Trojans 14
This week’s schedule for the third round:
Chicago at Boston
San Diego at Dallas
Tampa Bay at Montreal
Mile High at St. Louis
Orlando at Toledo
Arkansas at S. Oregon
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Glory Johnson recorded her fourth 20-point game of the season to help the Wings get their second consecutive win over the Stars, 81-78. Johnson ended the day recording her sixth double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Throughout the game, the Wings found themselves down by as much as 14, then were lifted back up when Skylar Diggins-Smith drove it up the lane late in the fourth quarter sinking a layup and a chance to make the 3-point play, when a foul was also called on San Antonio’s Erica deSouza. At the line, Diggins-Smith completed the play to give the Wings a one point lead over the Stars 79-78. The team sealed the win, when Karima Christmas-Kelly was sent to the foul line and sunk one to put the Wings up 81-78. Three Wings players recorded double figures for the day. Diggins-Smith and Christmas-Kelly scored 16 points, with Diggins-Smith leading the team in assists dishing out six.
The Obscure Sports Report is a weekly report of obscure sports leagues in the United States. An obscure sport/league is one that gets little or no attention from the media. Here is this week’s report:
American 7s Football League (A7FL) – The 2017 Championship Bracket is set. The Round 1 matchups will be: New Jersey Paterson U vs. New Jersey Savage, Pennsylvania Immortalz vs. New Jersey BIC, New Jersey Chiefs vs. Baltimore Kings and Baltimore Gators vs. Pennsylvania Dynasty. The games will be played on June 25th.
American Hockey League (AHL) – After an ugly 5-1 loss in Game Five, the Grand Rapids Griffins will attempt to clinch the Calder Cup at home in Game Six. Griffins goalie Jared Coreau gave up five goals in the first period. The third-year veteran will try to regroup this week against the Syracuse Crunch.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – Scores from last weekend:
Jacksonville 27, Atlanta 23
Raleigh 32, Nashville 20
San Diego 21, Seattle 20
Los Angeles 25, Seattle 20
San Francisco 27, San Jose 19
Madison 23, Minnesota 22
Montreal 16, Ottawa 13
Toronto 35, Philadelphia 28
DC 25, Toronto 17
Arena Football League (AFL) – Philadelphia Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh became the youngest in AFL history to pass for 30,00o yards in his career. Raudabaugh now has 667 touchdowns and has a career record of 85-31. The Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators, 59-49, to stay undefeated on the season at 8-0.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – The Vermont Bucks defeated the Rochester Kings, 61-41, to win the title. Quarterback Steffen Colon threw for three touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Cabrinni Goncalves ran for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns. The Bucks’ defense picked off the Kings several times in the rout and returned one for a touchdown.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – In the final weekend of the regular season, the Amarillo Venom demolished the Duke City Gladiators 70-41 and the Sioux City Bandits took care of the Bismarck Bucks 82-43. In other games: Omaha 43, Bloomington 30; Texas 63, Dodge city 59.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The Missouri Cyclones (4-0) remained unbeaten as they edged the Missouri Valley Pitbulls (2-2), 19-17. Impact East Division leaders, Tri-City Outlaws (2-1) had no trouble with the Gateway Spartans (0-4), 54-0. The Chattanooga Eagles (4-0) rolled past the Georgia Knights (0-3), 64-6. The Huntsville Rockets (3-0) blasted the Nashville Storm (0-2), 63-6.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Arizona Rattlers (11-4) knocked off the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-14) by a score of 56-24 in their final home game of the regular season in front of 13,251 fans. With the win, the Rattlers extended their winning streak to seven games. Arizona’s offense was led by RB Ketrich Harmon who ran for 73 yards on 12 attempts and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Cody Sokol went five-for-nine with 43 yards and two touchdowns.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Chesapeake Bayhawks attackman Josh Byrne was named the Cascade Rookie of the Week for Week 8. The Bayhawks fell to the Rattlers in overtime on Saturday night, 17-16. Byrne, 23, scored seven goals for the Bayhawks in his first game as a professional, the most goals in a pro debut since at least 2010. The Hofstra product sparked a comeback for the Bayhawks after a 21-minute scoreless drought by scoring his first goal on the man advantage. Byrne also had a highlight-reel goal as he successfully scored a one-handed shot while falling to the turf off of an illegal check. Chesapeake selected Byrne with the No. 19 pick in the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft.
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) – Yes, believe it or not there is a major league for this sport and I found the information on the season. Scores from last weekend: Boston Night Raiders defeated New York Titans 130-40, 190-70 and 201-90. Austin Outlaws over Kansas City Stampede 190-20, 200-20, 220-60. Los Angeles Guardians topped Phoenix Sol 180-80, 170-90, 150-50.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – Aaron Kovar scored in the third minute and Zach Mathers added a second-half penalty kick, leading the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday. Seattle jumped on top off a finish from Kovar that was set up by a pinpoint cross from left back Nouhou. Portland’s Augustine Williams would equalize with a headed finish in the 38th, but Mathers’ PK after a handball in the box in the 54th would prove to be the dagger, sending the Sounders through to the Open Cup quarterfinals.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) rallied in the second half to finish off the regular season with a win against the Georgia Firebirds Saturday night. The team hit the road and found a way to win as they defeated the Georgia Firebirds (2-7), 51-26. The Steelhawks sit in second place behind the undefeated Jacksonville Sharks (11-0).
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Lyle Thompson’s pass to brother Miles gave the Georgia Swarm a 15-14 win in overtime against the Saskatchewan Rush to clinch the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup at Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The win gives the Swarm their first title.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – Nine different players scored for USSSA on Monday night as the Pride dominated the Chicago Bandits (6-3) by a score of 11-1 in game two of the series at JoAnne Graf Field. The Pride won their fourth game in a row and improved to 4-1 on the year. Chicago used a trio of singles in the first inning, including an RBI base hit up the middle by Sahvanna Jaquish, to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Zach Steinberger of the Jacksonville Armada currently leads the league with six goals. The Armada has 19 points and in second place in the Spring Season standings.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The league is currently on an international break but will resume the season on June 17.
Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) – This weekend the Cap City Bulls (1-5) from Austin, Texas will face the Cape Fear Heroes (4-2) in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The winner will play the Triangle Torch (6-0) for the league title on June 24th.
United Soccer League (USL) – The league hopes to have a team in Baltimore approved by the end of the year. USL president Jake Edwards told The Baltimore Sun that the second-tier professional league hopes to have the city’s prospective ownership group finalized by August and the construction plan for a new venue in place by 2018, with the team’s launch targeted for the 2020 season.
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz will be in the playoffs for the first time in the team’s 7-year history. The team finished 5-1 in the Mountain West Division. They will face the South Oregon Lady Gades in the first round of the Division III playoffs. Here some of the other matchups for the first round:
Maine Mayhem at New York Knockout
New England Nightmare at Connecticut Hawks
Atlanta Phoenix at Pittsburgh Passion
Cleveland Fusion at D.C. Divas
Kansas City Titans at Minnesota Vixens
San Diego Surge at Los Angeles Warriors
New York Sharks at Philadelphia Phantoms
Miami Fury at Tampa Bay Inferno
Everett Reign at Sin City Trojans
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) –Chelsea Gray scored 24 points, Nneka Ogwumike added 21 and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Dallas Wings 97-87 on Tuesday night.Gray and Ogwumike combined to make 10 of 11 shots in the first half for 24 points. They finished 15 of 18 from the field as the Sparks shot 57 percent. Candace Parker had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles (6-3), which avenged a 96-90 loss at Dallas last Friday. Los Angeles raced out to a 23-6 lead as Dallas went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the first quarter. The Wings were just 4-of-17 shooting in the quarter. Dallas rookie Allisha Gray hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to pull to 36-28 and Kayla Thornton made the Wings’ fifth 3 of the second to get within five points, but Seattle closed on an 8-0 run. Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 28 points for Dallas (4-7), which has lost five of six.
American Hockey League (AHL) – The Calder Cup Finals are set and will start on Friday night when Grand Rapids hosts Syracuse in Game One. both teams are in the finals for the second time in five years. Grand Rapids defeated Syracuse in six games to win the title in 2013.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The current division leaders are: Raleigh (South), Toronto (East), Minnesota (Midwest) and San Jose (West). In games played last weekend, San Diego edged Los Angeles 24-23, Jacksonville topped Atlanta 23-20, Madison beat Chicago 21-20, Pittsburgh defeated Detroit 23-21, DC over New York 28-25 and Toronto blasted Philadelphia 31-18. Dallas will face Madison this weekend on AUDL TV.
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Tampa Bay Storm has acquired former AFL Rookie of the Year, Greg Reid. Reid played college football at Florida State and high school football with Lowndes in Valdosta, Georgia. The Storm hopes he will make an immediate impact this weekend when they host the Baltimore Brigade.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – Vermont Bucks kicker Carol Ojala has signed to play with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. According to the Bucks’ website, they are scheduled to play the Penn Chargers this weekend in a game that is billed as “Win or Go Home” for the two teams.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – The Sioux City Bandits (9-2) have wrapped up home field advantage for the playoffs after their 61-55 win over the Omaha Beef this past weekend. Dodge City held onto their lead in the South Division by edging the Texas Revolution 49-46.
ECHL – Shawn St-Amant’s fifth goal of the playoffs led the Colorado Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in the Kelly Cup finals. The Eagles now lead the series 2-0. Game three will be played on Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The defending league champs won a tough game on the road as the Oklahoma Thunder got past the Mississippi Road Warriors 14-8. Ethan Sharpe tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jaylind Brothers in the first quarter then Jerry Mathis had a fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the fourth for the Thunder. Current division leaders: Missouri Cyclones (Impact North), Oklahoma Thunder (Impact West), Tri-City Outlaws (Impact East), Starkville Steeldogs (Impact South), Nashville Storm (Xtreme North), Chattanooga Eagles (Xtreme West), River City Pythons (Xtreme East), Georgia Crush (Xtreme South).
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstomers (11-2) pushed their winning streak to nine straight wins after a 64-12 blowout win over the Green Bay Blizzard (2-12). The Barnstormers will host the Spokane Empire on June 9th. The Barnstormers will try to keep pace with the Sioux Falls Storm at the top of the United Conference. The Arizona Rattlers (9-4) lead the Intense Conference after defeated the Nebraska Danger 43-33.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Rochester Rattlers attackman Jeremy Boltus was named the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week. Boltus scored the game-tying goal with just over two minutes left in regulation then got the game winner with 43 seconds left to defeat the Denver Outlaws 16-15. Boltus finished the game with four goals. It was the Outlaws’ first loss of the season.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – Toronto FC (29 points) and Sporting Kansas City (22 points) continue to lead their conferences. Toronto blasted Columbus 5-0 in their last match. Sporting Kansas City lost a 1-0 game to Colorado.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Jacksonville Sharks had no problems on the road at Corpus Christi with a 71-6 win over the Rage. The Sharks won their ninth straight under a new coach, Siaha Burley, after Mark Stoute was dismissed last week. The Shark’s pass rush was too much for the Rage as quarterback Jake Joblonski was under constant pressure the entire game. The Shark’s defense recorded two safeties as they built a 51-6 lead at halftime.
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Game One of the Champions Cup will be played this weekend as the Georgia Swarm will host the Saskatchewan Rush. The Swarm are attempting to win their first title and dethrone the defending champions.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Jacksonville Armada FC overtook North Carolina FC for second place in the Spring standings. Jacksonville defeated North Carolina 2-1 and gained some ground on Miami FC which played to a draw with Puerto Rico FC 1-1.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Here are the current standings: North Carolina (15 points), Chicago (13), New Jersey (13), Seattle (12), Portland (12), Kansas City (11), Boston (8), Orlando (6), Houston (6), Washington (4).
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Central California War Angels (6-0) remained undefeated after beating the San Diego Surge, 34-12, two weeks ago. After having a bye week, they will close out the regular season at the Los Angeles Warriors (5-2). The Dallas Elite (5-0) blasted the Austin Outlaws (3-4) to remain unbeaten and will host the Arlington Impact (6-1) this weekend. Also in Division 1, the Boston Renegades (6-0) kept their record perfect after edging the Chicago Force (6-1) 25-24. The Renegades will host the Philadelphia Phantoms (4-3) this weekend.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Jewell Loyd (Seattle), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles) and Elena Delle Donne (Washington) are all averaging 21 point per game to lead the league. The Minnesota Lynx are the lone undefeated team at 6-0. The Lynx dominated the San Antonio Stars 80-66 for their sixth win.
United Soccer League (USL) – Omaha, Nebraska could be getting a USL team as Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Green has tentatively agreed to lead an ownership group to bring a team to Omaha in 2019.
American Flag Football League (AFFL) – This is a new start-up league which plans to hold a pilot game next month in San Jose to feature its new 7-on-7 style of flag football. The league is looking for eight league-owned teams to start playing in 2018. Former NFL Quarterback Michael Vick is expected to play in the pilot game. The league will be unique in the ways it attempts to use technology during the game.
American Hockey League (AHL) – Both the Eastern and Western Conference finals are tied at 1-1. In the East, the Providence Bruins evened the series with the Syracuse Crunch with a 2-1 win in overtime. The San Jose Barracuda tied up their series on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Grand Rapids.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The leading goal scorers after Week 8 are:
Jay Froude (Dallas) 33
Caleb Denecour (Austin) 32
Jeremy Langdon (Jacksonville) 31
Jackson Stearns (San Jose) 30
Anthony Davis (Detroit) 28
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Tampa Bay Storm defeated the Washington Valor 53-47 on Saturday in Tampa. Storm WR Joe Hills led the team with 123 yards and three touchdowns including the game winning score with three seconds remaining. With the win, the Storm (5-1) keeps pace with the undefeated Philadelphia Soul (6-0). The Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators 64-46 as WR Darius Reynolds had seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – The East Division championship which was originally scheduled to be played between the Vermont Bucks and Boston Blaze has been changed to the Bucks playing the Central Penn Chargers. The change is reported to be due to the merger with the American Arena League.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – Tucker Milliken was successful on a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give the Omaha Beef at 42-39 won over the West Michigan Ironmen. The Beef trailed 39-32 late in the fourth quarter when Skyler Scott scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. On the next possession, Omaha defensive back Paul Robinson picked off a pass and returned it to the Ironman 6-yard line to set up Milliken’s game winning field goal. The Beef will host the Sioux City Bandits this weekend.
ECHL – The Colorado Eagles and Manchester-South Carolina winner will meet in the Kelly Cup final. Manchester forced a seventh game with a decisive 5-1 win over South Carolina on Monday.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The nation’s largest semi-pro football league kicked off the 2017 season as the defending champion Oklahoma Thunder defeated the Mississippi Road Warriors 14-8. In a shocker, the Chattanooga Eagles used a ball control offense along with stingy defense to upset the Georgia Crush 8-6.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstormers (10-2) extended its winning streak to eight straight after a 50-47 win over the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (9-3). Kicker Kenton Chun connected on an 18-yard field goal to give the Barnstormers the lead. The Nighthawks missed a chance to tie the game on their possession as they missed a field goal try when time expired.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Chazz Woodson scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the overtime period as he led the Florida Launch to a 9-8 win over the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday. The Launch got their second win of the season while the Rattlers dropped to 2-3. The Denver Outlaws remain atop of the MLL with a 4-0 record.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – The Chicago Fire was named the MLS Team-of-the-week after three straight wins including shutouts against the Colorado Rapids (3-0) and D.C. United (1-0). The Fire has climbed within five points of Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference. Sporting Kansas City continues to lead the Western Conference by three points.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus Lions attacked and destroyed the Dayton/Atlanta Wolfpack 77-0 before a record crowd of 6,425 on Military Appreciation Night. The onslaught started in the 2nd quarter, as the Lions offense got on track, and the vaunted “Black Shirt” defense systematically attacked the Pack offense series after series, creating turnovers, sacks, and locking down any attempts to advance the football passed midfield. The offense got on track as well with 4 TD passes by Darren Daniel, two to standout Tristan Purifoy, and two more to Greg Hollinger, who suited up in place of Durron Neal who is attending a CFL tryout. Joe Marshall added a 1 yd. TD plunge to make the score 39-0 at halftime.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Miami FC defeated Indy Eleven 3-2 to maintain the top spot in the standings while the Jacksonville Armada FC lost a key game to North Carolina FC 3-1. The league plays a spring and fall season.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Barcelona has approved a developmental plan to add a team to the league. It will be the first European club to have a team in an American league.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – The Minnesota Lynx (3-0) and Los Angeles Sparks (2-0) are the only undefeated teams in the league. Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx with 27 points and Maya Moore added 21 in an 89-87 win over the Dallas Wings. Elena Delle Donne scored 27 points to lead the Sparks to a 99-89 win over the Washington Mystics.
United Soccer League (USL) – The Tampa Bay Rowdies cruised into the next round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win over the Jacksonville Armada U23s at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. The U.S. Open Cup is a tournament featuring teams from all levels of the American soccer system regardless of league. The Rowdies will play either Miami FC or the South Florida Surf in the next round on May 31st.
United States Hockey League (USHL) – Chicago Steel defeated the Sioux City in overtime to capture their first Clark Cup championship in team history. Tyler Gratton scored the game winner 11:30 into overtime.
In the early successful years of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the late seventies and early eighties, the most usual locations became popular for Americanized soccer. One such location was Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tulsa Roughnecks played from 1978-1984 after moving from Hawaii after the 1977 season. Tulsa was actually one of the more profitable teams in the old NASL. Their average attendance in their first season was 11,256. They had their best season in 1980 when they averaged 19,787 fans at Skelly Stadium. The Roughnecks were also successful on the field as well. They finished their first season at 15-15 but lost to Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs. In 1979 they finished at 14-16 but made it to the conference semifinals losing to the mighty New York Cosmos. In 1983, the Roughnecks won the NASL title as they defeated Toronto in the Soccer Bowl. In their final season in 1984, the Roughnecks finished 10-14 and eventually went under with the league.
Some of the most notable players for the Roughnecks were:
Njego Pesa – Most Valuable Player in the 1983 Soccer Bowl
Laurie Abrahams – scored 38 goals for the Roughnecks in 1979, 1982-83
Barry Wallace – played in 128 games from 1980-1984.
The Roughnecks also participated in indoor soccer throughout their years in Tulsa as they played in the NASL’s off-season during the winter months. In 1983, they lost the semifinal match to Tampa Bay.
So what is a “Roughneck”?
The term is for a person whose occupation is hard-manual labor and usually a slang term describing someone who works drilling for oil. Naturally, a fitting nickname for a sports team in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A form of the Roughnecks still exist in the United Soccer League (USL) which is much like the minor leagues of professional soccer. The Tulsa Roughnecks FC are currently in their third season.
Tulsa Roughnecks seasons
1978 – (15-15) Lost to Minnesota in First Round
1979 – (14-16) Lost to New York in Conference Semifinal
1980 – (15-17) Lost to New York in First Round
1981 – (17-15) Lost to Minnesota in First Round
1982 – (16-16) Lost to New York in First Round
1983 – (17-13) Won Soccer Bowl ’83 over Toronto
1984 – (10-14)
The highest attendance for any Roughneck game occurred on August 26, 1979 when Roughnecks played in New York before a crowd of 76,031.