In only their fifth season, the Vancouver Whitecaps reached their peak on this day in 1979, when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey’s Meadowlands to claim the North American Soccer League’s Soccer Bowl championship.
It was the weekend after they outlasted the heavily favoured New York Cosmos in a dramatic tiebreaker.
Where were you on this day?
I was watching the ABC telecast with third grade friends at home in North Vancouver’s Carisbrooke neighbourhood.
The next day, I was at the newly built Robson Square, on the back of the stage, when the team returned from New York with the trophy. Who could forget captain John Craven and goalkeepker Phil “Lofty” Parkes with the trophy, which had separated from its base? Or Carl Valentine in a cowboy hat, clutching a pen for autographs in one hand and a stubby bottle of Labatt Blue in another? Or Mayor Jack Volrich, who drew some of the loudest cheers for promising to build the team a new stadium?
To commemorate the 39th anniversary, I invite you to watch the entire match below.
Watch closely and answer these skill-testing questions:
- How many miles apart, according to play-by-play man Jim McKay, are Vancouver and Tampa?
- Which Whitecap’s surname was misspelled on his jersey?
- Which Whitecap’s number was blue on his back?
- Who accepted the ceremonial kickoff from Pele and the Soccer Bowl trophy from Henry Kissinger?
- Who was the Vancouverite that starred with the Rowdies?
- What is in the Lenarduzzi family basement?
- What does Bob Lenarduzzi play in the off-season?
- Who is the “most famous soccer fan in America”?
- Which Whitecaps “left the field” as Rowdies?
The first three people to correctly answer all nine questions in the comments section below will each receive a copy of a Whitecaps program from the 1984 NASL season.
Support theBreaker.news for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here.