Sea Change

For some, it was a year full of opportunity, hope and success. Yet for many, 1983 will be synonymous with colossal failure. It depended upon one's frame of reference and retrospective.

At the amateur level, it was a watershed year. Federal Way's Goalpost became Washington's first club to claim a national championship, and Seattle Pacific University, using a predominantly homegrown roster, won its second NCAA Division II men's championship.

Yet in the professional ranks, events largely reflected a national shift. The Seattle Sounders, facing financial challenges, were sold to Bruce Anderson, then majority control was later regained by Frank and Vince Coluccio. Meanwhile, on the field the Sounders were unable to navigate a season after undergoing a late coaching change with the firing of Alan Hinton, a leaner budget and losing several key contributors from past years, including Alan Hudson, Roger Davies and Steve Buttle. Seattle failed to make the playoffs for only the third time in 10 seasons, experienced further decline in attendance and ceased business operations days after completing the campaign. In all, the North American Soccer League lost three of its 12 teams during the offseason.

Meanwhile, the 6v6 indoor version of the game was surging, and a new pro venture was underway to the south. A group of prominent Tacoma area leaders purchased a franchise, beginning play in the newly completed Tacoma Dome. Leading the Tacoma Stars was former Sounders coach and GM John Best. By year end, the Major Indoor Soccer League had surpassed the NASL in participating teams.

It might rate as one of the most tumultuous years. Still, the youth and amateur side was advancing, both in terms of participation and pushing teams and players through to elite status nationally.

Several future national team selections led Lowenbrau FC to the national women's open finals for the fourth year in a row. Under Mike Ryan, Lowenbrau had won three national championships, but they succumbed to Dallas via penalties in the semifinal after drawing, 2-2. At a nearby Houston field, Seattle's FOE Eagles' run in the U.S. Open Cup ended with a 4-2 loss to eventual winner New York.

Seven weeks later, Washington's next title bid would not be denied. A team of Federal Way boys, coached by Ron Webber and sponsored by the popular soccer shop on Pacific Highway South, went the distance. Traveling cross-country in Rochester, N.Y., Goalpost first rallied for a semifinal victory over local favorite Oceanside, 4-3. A day later they etched their named into state soccer history, claiming the Niotis Cup by beating Scott-Gallagher of St. Louis, 3-1.

The capper to the 1983 calendar came in December. In 1978, Seattle Pacific became Washington's first collegiate champion. Five years later, they proved it was no fluke and, as time would tell, they launched an era of dominance. Featuring a team, like Lowenbrau and Eagles, comprised primarily of homegrown players, SPU upset the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II on the road. Gerard McGlynn's goal and Bill Glandon's shutout gave the Falcons a 1-0 win over Tampa.

Season Record
12-18, 3rd NASL West
Coach
Laurie Calloway
Best XI
(2nd team) Ray Evans, Steve Daley
Top Scorer
Mark Peterson, Peter Ward (13g)
State Men's Champion
FC Seattle-Gabriel
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Seattle Pacific (D2, champion)
NCSC Men's Champion
Washington (8-0-0)
NCSC Women's Champion
Western Washington (10-0-0)
NWAC Men's Champion
Skagit Valley
Boys National Champion
Federal Way Goalpost (U16)
Boys Regional Champion
Federal Way Goalpost (U16)
WIAA Boys Champion
Thomas Jefferson (all divisions)
President
Ozzie Gencoz
Member Associations
33
Players
74,419 (B-51,613 G-25,806)
Largest Attendance
16,736, Sounders v Team America (Kingdome, 4/23)

1983: Sea Change

While the Sounders closed their first era, an alternative version of the game took root in Tacoma. Meanwhile, the state's youth began flexing their muscle on the national stage.

National Reign Ends
July 3, 1983

Bidding for a fourth straight national women's amateur championship in Houston, Seattle Löwenbräu is dethroned by Dallas Michelob Ladies via penalties (2-2, pks) in the semifinal. Sharon McMurtry and Jan Smisek each scored equalizers for Löwenbräu. Dallas went on to win the title.

Huge Shorelake Tournament
September 3, 1983

Over 800 boys and girls from 54 teams throughout the western U.S. and B.C. converge on eight North Seattle fields for the fourth annual Shorelake SC Invitational.

A Change on Montlake
March 21, 1983

Washington coach Frank Gallo resigns after three seasons (51-9-2) and one NCAA tournament berth. The part-time position pays less than $3,000. Former Husky keeper Denny Buck is named Gallo's successor in June.

Durgan Scores in Debut
April 8, 1983

Tacoma's Jeff Durgan, 21, scores in his U.S. National Team debut, a 2-0 road victory over Haiti. The big central defender left the Cosmos after three seasons to serve as captain for the newest NASL club, Team America, in Washington, D.C.

Beginning of the End
January 12, 1983

Former NFL lineman Bruce Anderson buys the Sounders from Frank and Vince Coluccio and promptly fires coach Alan Hinton despite Seattle coming off a division championship and berth in Soccer Bowl. Anderson, seeking a more Americanized, gung-ho playing style, hires Laurie Calloway as the new coach 12 days before the first match.

WA Women Best in West
May 30, 1983

Seattle's Löwenbräu wins women's amateur West regional in San Francisco with wins over Colorado and Hawaii

Sounders Open BC Place
June 20, 1983

Mark Peterson of the Sounders scores the first goal at BC Place, but the Vancouver Whitecaps rally to beat Seattle, 2-1, before a record Canadian crowd of 60,342.

MISL Coming to Tacoma
June 29, 1983

Tacoma lands a Major Indoor Soccer League franchise after securing primary tenant rights away from a bid by the Sounders. Tacoma ownership buys the mothballed Denver Avalanche franchise for an undisclosed price, just over four months before the season starts.

Sounders Closing Shop
September 6, 1983

After 10 seasons the Sounders confirm they are ceasing operations, two days after a season-ending, 2-1 loss to Golden Bay at San Jose. Ownership squabbles, the loss of popular players and the poorest on-field performance in the club's existence all contributed to declining attendance and significant financial losses. The Sounders were one of three NASL teams to fold, leaving the league with nine teams for what proved to be its final season, in 1984.

Verdict Goes to Eagles
July 1, 1983

In a last-minute replay of the protested Open Cup West regional, Peter Fewing's goal gave FOE Eagles another 1-0 win over San Francisco Greek-American in Houston. The hastily arranged match came after legal proceedings escalated to U.S. District Court and started at 10:20 p.m. local time and ended at midnight.

Vikings Are Perfect
October 29, 1983

Western Washington completes the first perfect season in state collegiate history by beating Washington's women's club, 3-0. Western finishes 14-0-0 with a 62-8 goal differential. Annette Duvall (27 goals, 10 assists) scored all 3 goals in the Vikings' 22nd straight win overall. An NAIA women's tournament begins the following year.

Gabriel Joins WA Youth
February 2, 1983

Former Sounders captain and coach Jimmy Gabriel is named the first coaching director for Washington State Youth Soccer.

Representatives at Sports Festival
June 24, 1983

Ken Fuegman (Federal Way, Wa./UW), Sasha Shefts (Seattle, Wa./SPU), Jerry Vick (Tacoma, Wa/Simon Fraser) and David McMullen (Seattle, Wa./Tampa) play for West squad at National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs.

Sounders Shed Stars
April 27, 1983

Following an opening night tiebreaker loss to Team America, the Sounders release captain and star midfielder Alan Hudson, who was earning a team-high $100,000. Other popular veterans who were released included former league MVP Roger Davies ($90,000), Steve Buttle, Frank Barton and Paul Hammond. The biggest signing was former England keeper Joe Corrigan.

SPU Wins D2 Title
December 2, 1983

An early counterattack goal from Gerard McGlynn stakes Seattle Pacific to an early lead that is never relinquished as the Falcons silence a capacity crowd of 4,000 and top-ranked Tampa's potent attack, 1-0, to claim the NCAA Division II championship. Bill Glandon made seven saves as the Spartans were shut-out at home for the first time in three years.

Ryan Rewarded
August 30, 1983

Seattle's Mike Ryan is named first head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team which will debut in early 1984. "This is something I've always dreamed about," said Ryan, who guided five women's teams to national titles since 1980.

What Might Have Been
March 11, 1983

Seattle’s Husky Stadium is listed as one of 14 potential venues in the U.S. Soccer Federation’s formal application to host the 1986 World Cup. Colombia’s withdrawal as host has prompted FIFA to accept offers from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Husky Stadium would be one of four sites requiring grass installed over the existing artificial turf. On March 30, FIFA unanimously selected Mexico to host.

Boys Make Nat'l Team
August 31, 1983

Sean Connors is named to U19 national team while Darren Royer and Robb Sakamoto are both selected to U15s.

Local Produce
May 11, 1983

Sounders play six Americans, including five local products–Jeff Stock, Mark Peterson, Brian Schmetzer, Chance Fry, Bill Crook–in home loss to the Cosmos. Roster also featured homegrown Geoff Wall and Tim Bartro.

Holmes Hat Trick Sparks TJ
May 27, 1983

Fueled by Rob Holmes's hat trick, Federal Way's Thomas Jefferson (16-0-3) wins its first title (all-classification), 4-0 over Inglemoor at Memorial Stadium.

Eagles Denied in Semi
July 3, 1983

FOE Eagles fall to defending champion New York Pancyprian Freedoms, 4-2, in the semifinal round of the U.S. Open Cup in Houston. The Freedoms went to take the championship over Kutis of St. Louis.

Dome Finale
August 24, 1983

In the Sounders' final home game Peter Ward scores all three goals in a 3-2 victory over San Diego. However, the Kingdome attendance is only 7,331 and Seattle went on to lose its final two games, failing to make the playoffs for only the second time in nine years.

Stars Come Out
November 5, 1983

A crowd of 12,284 is on hand for the inaugural Tacoma Stars game in the Tacoma Dome. Danko Grgic scores the Stars' first goal, but the L.A. Lazers go on to win, 6-2.

WA GU18 National Selection
August 31, 1983

Eight Washington girls are named to the national U18 squad: Bonnie Broughton, Gina Casella, Lori Henry, Shannon Higgins, Kris Jorgensen, Jenny Olsen, Kathy Ridgewell and Denae Ryan

1st National Youth Champion
August 21, 1983

Goalpost of Federal Way wins the USYSA boys U16 crown by defeating St. Louis Scott-Gallagher, 3-1, for the D.J. Niotis Cup at Rochester, NY. for the state's first national youth championship Jason Russ, Jim Weber and Robb Sakamoto score.

Dome Opener
August 2, 1983

The first sporting event in newly-opened Tacoma Dome features the Sounders hosting Brazil Internacional in their EuroPac tournament opener, a 2-1 loss before 6,340.

I love the Sounders. I don't want to see them leave.
Sounders fan
Pitch is what you get on your hands when you take out the Christmas tree. Lad is what I call my dog.
Bruce Anderson, new Sounders owner, bent on Americanizing club
1983 NCAA Final Highlights

VIDEO: 1983 NCAA Final Highlights

First game @ BC Place - Sounders vs. Whitecaps

VIDEO: First game @ BC Place - Sounders vs. Whitecaps

Mike Ryan, Lowenbrau Zurich

VIDEO: Mike Ryan, Lowenbrau Zurich

1983 Sounders Video

VIDEO: 1983 Sounders Video

On this Day in History