End of the Line

1969 – Around the World and Close to Home

From Woodstock to the Moon, it’s a momentous year. Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, The Who and band after band, all capped by Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix play to hundreds of thousands rock lovers. Weeks earlier, 650 million worldwide watch Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the Moon. Seattle’s skyline is raised by the opening of the 50-story Seattle First National Bank headquarters Boeing’s jumbo jet, the 747, makes its maiden flight from Everett, and Major League Baseball comes to Seattle, albeit briefly, with the expansion Pilots opening play at an inadequate Sicks’ Stadium.

End of the Line

It was an excellent run. But as the Sixties conclude, the Seattle Hungarians’ historic state league reign reaches its terminus. After winning dozens or trophies and widespread acclaim for their skill and cunning and commitment to attack, the Magyars win a record seventh state league championship – the last five consecutively – to go with their seven Northwest (Washington-Oregon) titles.

Although the Hungarians were aging, with many of their stars now in their mid-30s, their expiration date is more a consequence of off-field matters involving their sponsor. Budapest-born Balint Ducz owned his bakery in the Hungarian capital when he and his family fled the post-World War II Soviet occupation. Ducz, his wife and two children made their way, via Munich and New York, to Burien in 1950. By 1953, the family converted a garage into the Ducz Viennese Bakery & Candy Shop. It became much more than a neighborhood business when their pastries were sold to travelers at SeaTac Airport and aboard United Airlines flights.

Ducz sponsored Hungarian refugee families and the United contract enabled him to sponsor a team comprised of nearly exclusively Hungarian players in the state league, beginning in 1958. By 1961 the Seattle Hungarians became the dominant team in Washington, and the following year Ducz took his flamboyant side, now including imports from leagues in Portland, Denver and Vancouver, to semipro status and the Pacific Coast League. In 1964, the Hungarians recorded the state’s first victory in the U.S. Challenge Cup, eventually advancing within a goal of the semifinals in 1967.

By then, the Hungarians had become more multi-national. In addition to the great Les Fabri, Mike Kuczi, Steve Furjesi, Zoltan Mako, Alex Bogdan, and Autal “Tommy” Major, Ducz lured Constantino Tagios, Geoff Wall, Coco DeVettori and Willi Lindner. The only interruption to their state league supremacy was the two-year stay in the PCL. Otherwise, they won the seven straight league seasons they entered.

Ducz, who also coached the team, created a close-knit squad out of some headstrong individuals that exhibited beautiful soccer on Sundays, the close control and interchanging positions being entirely new to the state. Some were well-compensated, and all were taken care of, with chartered buses (often stocked with complimentary postgame beer) for PCL away trips, travel blazers with embroidered patches for Challenge Cup, and bakery boxes of cakes to share with players and families following home wins (or tossed in the trash after rare defeats).

The 1968-69 campaign proves more challenging, with the Hungarians needing a second-half title to earn a place in the final vs. first-half winner Federal Old Line, which they defeat, 3-1. The following fall, their grip continues to slip as Leif Erikson Vikings win both the first half and their Challenge Cup tie, the latter by 6-2. The final game as Hungarians proved ignominious the manager fails to arrive at West Seattle Stadium with the uniforms, forcing them to forfeit.

The Ducz contract with United having expired, the new decade dawns with the team finding a new sponsor and playing under the name Seattle Magyars. Players would scatter, some retiring, but in 1971 many of them reunite under the Rainier Brewers banner and reassert their command. Ducz remains active in the game, being elected WSSFA vice-president in 1970. Certainly, no individual had invested more funds in a team to that point, with some estimating over $15,000 (equivalent to $390,000 in 2020) his time as sponsor.

U.S. Open Cup
Seattle Heidelberg, West semifinals
State Men's Champion
Hungarians
State Knockout Cup
Hungarians
NCSC Men's Champion
Western Washington (c)
President
Jack Mickelberry
Member Associations
2
Players
7,365 (boys)
Largest Attendance
7,764, West Ham v Kilmarnock

1969: End of the Line

Seattle Hungarians conclude a decade of dominance with a seventh state league title, but for sponsor Balint Ducz and his colorful squad, change is fast coming.

Late McKeown Strike Wins for Vikings
December 21, 1969

Leif Erikson Vikings get the winner from Geoff McKeown with two minutes remaining to take the Pacific Coast Coal trophy, 3-2, versus Boeing Employes. McKeown and Harold Myrhold staked the Vikings to a 2-nil lead in the first half. The brace brings McKeown's goal total for the calendar year to 25. Boeing eventually got level through Harry Anderson's penalty and Robert Nutt.

Boys Soccer Becomes Metro Sport
September 20, 1969

Metro League athletic director Harvey Lanman announces that boys varsity soccer will have eight teams participating during the inaugural season and all 14 schools will field teams in 1970-71.

Magyars Rally to Win State Cup
May 4, 1969

Goals from Mike Kuczi and Les Mueller in the final 16 minutes complete a Hungarian comeback in the state championship final, 3-1 over Heidelberg before 1,200 at Lower Woodland. Ray Tudor opens the scoring for Heidelberg but Tommy Major's free kick cancels it at the hour mark. Both sides have players sent off for trading blows shortly before halftime.

Draw Favors Magyars
March 30, 1969

Eddie Carrillo's hat trick for Heidelberg is not enough as the Seattle Hungarians answer each goal for a 3-3 draw in the first division season finale. Consequently, the Magyars prevail as second-half champions and will face Heidelberg again for the state championship in May. Les Mueller scores a brace and Alex Bogdan adds the third goal.

Kilmarnock Beats West Ham on Turf
May 9, 1969

The first professional match played on artificial turf attracts a record crowd of 7,764 to witness Kilmarnock of the Scottish Premier League trim England's West Ham United, 2-1, at Memorial Stadium. Fans barely settled in their seats before the two sides exchanged goals in the first six minutes. Eddie Morrison's second-half header proved the difference. West Ham featured 20-year-old Trevor Brooking, plus future Sounders players and coaches Bobby Howe and Harry Redknapp.

Big Crowd Greets Manchester Lads
August 10, 1969

A crowd of 3,500 flocks to Bellevue High School to see the Eastside Juniors face a touring English side of Manchester schoolboys. The Britons win, 1-0, and proceed to play the Tacoma Juniors August 13 at Bellarmine Prep.

Eddie Craggs Voted to Hall of Fame
July 5, 1969

Eddie Craggs, instrumental in growing and organizing the local game since arriving in 1947, is voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Known as The Gaffer, he is the state's third inductee (Craggs accepts the award several weeks later, in Miami). Craggs was the longtime secretary of the state senior association and supervised the state league doubleheaders at Lower Woodland Park. He also managed the Fremont Boys Club which then morphed into perennial senior power Buchan Bakers.

Vikings Clinch First Half
November 2, 1969

An unstoppable Geoff McKeown unleashed four goals on Heidelberg as the Leif Erikson Vikings wrapped-up the first-half title with a 5-1 rout at Interbay. The Vikings eventually go 8-0-2 with a 46-9 goal-difference. Defending champion Hungarians are two points behind at 7-1-2.

First Footy on Turf
April 25, 1969

Monsanto and Metro League announce sponsorship of May 9 international friendly, which will mark world's first professional match to be played on artificial turf. England's West Ham United and Scotland Kilmarnock will meet at Memorial Stadium, which installed Monsanto's AstroTurf in 1967. Proceeds will benefit creation of varsity soccer program for Metro League.

Vikings Eliminate Hungarians in Challenge Cup
November 16, 1969

Behind the four goals from Geoff McKeown, Leif Erikson Vikings overpower Seattle Hungarians, 6-2, in overtime of a National Challenge Cup regional quarterfinal at Interbay. Harold Myrhold and Reidar Olsen add scores for the Vikings while Les Mueller and Steve Furjesi score in regulation for the Hungarians.

Boys High School Plays Begins
December 6, 1969

Seattle area boys varsity high school play begins with four games at Memorial Stadium. Jeff Martin of Ballard notches the historic first goal, but Rainier Beach rallies to win the inaugural contest, 3-1. Other scores on a date dubbed Demonstrate for Soccer Day are Franklin 2:1 Roosevelt Shorecrest 1:0 Cleveland and Shoreline 1:0 West Seattle.

All-Stars All Square After 8 Goals
May 25, 1969

Bryan Codd scored two of four second-half goals for the Seattle All-Stars in a 4-4 draw with their Vancouver counterparts at West Seattle Stadium. Bobby Hough and Roger Goldingay also tallied for the locals. Vancouver's side was largely comprised of players from Eintracht FC and defunct Vancouver Royals of the NASL.

Federal Old Line Lifts Lipton
April 13, 1969

Mike Ryan's Federal Old Line claims the state junior championship and the Thomas Lipton Cup over Tacoma Wanderers, 3-1, in Tacoma. The victors earn the right to represent Washington in a junior international tournament in San Francisco in June.

Federal Old Line Wins 5-a-Side
April 27, 1969

Roger Goldingay scores twice and brother John Goldingay adds another goal as Federal Old Line, a team of juniors, prevails, 3-0, over state league men's side Sons of Norway in the Five-a-Side final at West Seattle Stadium. FOL squad also features Jeff Williams, Dennis Adams, Mike Carney and Mike Mancer.

Seattle Metro League Adds Soccer
February 20, 1969

Harvey Lanman, Metro League athletic director, announces boys' soccer, wrestling and gymnastics will be added in the fall, along with interscholastic girls’ tennis, golf and track.

No parades, no speeches, no violence. Just attend the first-ever Metro High School soccer games at Memorial Stadium and root for your favorite school. That’s all there is to ‘Demonstrate for Soccer Day.’
Tommy Grieve, youth soccer booster
It will be the first time soccer cleats have touched the new Astroturf in Memorial Stadium. Local boosters have cast envious eyes on the pool-table green ever since it was laid, dreaming of the opportunity to display their sport’s speed and footwork on a smooth, unbroken surface instead of the customary mud.
Vince O'Keefe, The Seattle Times, on approaching West Ham-Kilmarnock match
The crowd (of 7,764 for West Ham vs. Kilmarnock) was 616 persons larger than watched the (MLB) Seattle Pilots defeat Boston, 2-0, in Sicks Stadium.
The Seattle Times
Soccer is my first love. I like boxing (too). (To me) boxing is hitting the other fellow and not allowing him to hit you.
London-born Geoff Wall, Seattle Hungarians top player and occasionally pro boxer
Collegiate Men's Records
Puget Sound 3-5-0
Seattle University 3-4-1
Seattle Pacific 1-7-0
Washington 5-2-1
Washington State (club) 6-5-1
Western Washington (club) 6-6-1
Washington State Youth Cup Winners
Age Boys
U16 Tacoma Wanderers (TPCJSA)
U17 Federal Old Line Juniors (SYSA)
On this Day in History
November 21, 2009
Josh Peters powers Tacoma Baptist to a second straight boys' 1B/2B championship, 2-0 over Bear Creek School in Sumner. After a scoreless first half, Peters gives the Crusaders the lead in the 45th minute, then doubles it four minutes later. He also had two goals their semifinal win.
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August 31, 1990
Dominic Garguile reaches 100 career wins at Western Washington with a 2-0 road victory over Regis. Garguile (100-37-11) in his 10th and what proves to be his final season with the Vikings.
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December 10, 2000
Four months before launching play, WUSA conducts its first player draft, and three Washington State Youth Soccer Association products are selected. Spokane's Kim Stiles, who plays at the University of Portland, is chosen by Boston in the ninth round with the 69th overall pick. Seattle's Theresa Wagner, from UW, is next, going 72nd to San Jose. Federal Way's Justi Baumgardt, also of Portland, is drafted 74th by Washington. Two months later, Kennewick’s Meotis Erikson of Notre Dame goes to Boston with the 11th pick in the supplemental draft.
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December 16, 1956
Seattle's Sacred Heart is vanquished by Vancouver's North Shore All-Stars, 7-2, at Lower Woodland, giving the Canadian boys the Oldershaw trophy. Sacred Heart had won the rescheduled first leg, 2-0, the day before, but lose, 7-4, on aggregate. The original first leg at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park was postponed due an icy pitch.
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