What If: USMNT World Cup Rosters(1954-1986)

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Zycho32, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Thought I'd just for the heck of it try to project who would've been part of the team rosters if the US had made all those World Cups during the Dark Ages. As a disclaimer, I KNOW what amounted to the USMNT during those forty years was nothing short of pathetic- at least on the organizational side. I also know there are a great many impossibilities as to the team ever having had a chance of reaching the World Cup- so many roads took a detour to a Mexican Torture Chamber, for instance- but this is all in the name of fun.

    As an additional note, the formations and players selected in these rosters are entirely speculation on my part. The site I drew my deductions from was able to provide the line-up the US put on the ptich for all their international games leading up to the end of 1989. However, they do not directly state which players played what positions, and as such am relying on the apparent pattern of GK-DF-MF-FW from right to left and just trying to figure out everything else from there.

    If I am wrong in any real detail, please inform me and I'll edit things accordingly.

    The 1986 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Arnie Mausser, age 32- Buffalo Stallions, MISL(?)
    -A 'Veteran' of the '78 and '82 campaigns, Mausser is getting on in years, but has yet to face an usurper for his position. He is also described in some places as the fore-runner to modern GK contemporaries like Meola, Keller, Friedel, and Howard. Might very well still be the best part of the US Defense, which is really not as good as that sounds. His Club career extends from 1974, but has been characterized by frequent transfers, making him a 'Mercenary' of sorts.

    Starting Right-Back: Gregg Thompson, age 25- Minnesota Strikers, MISL
    -Thompson had briefly been with the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the last two years of NASL's existance. Also having two main eyars of experience with the National Team, Thompson has propelled himself past several other candidates to take this position. He offers relative stability on the edge.

    Starting Center-Back: Paul Caligiuri, age 22- San Diego Nomads, WSA
    -A recent graduate of the University of California- Los Angeles, Caligiuri has seized a position in the back line since late 1984, and has remained a permanent fixture. Caligiuri will be later known for getting the US into Italia '90 and being a focal part of two World Cup teams, either in the midfield or on the edge. But for now, he's at the center-defense and may well be the best potential defender of the bunch.

    Starting Center-Back: Dan Canter, age 24- Minnesota Strikers, MISL
    -At 6'1, Canter is expected to take on the strongest- or the biggest- forwards the opposition has on the pitch. A brief but volatile career in NASL- including being one of the Team America Players- is the backdrop of his main outdoor experience, and as a benefit he played in a sweeper role while at Penn State, making him a bit more versatile than most.

    Starting Center-Back: Mike Windischmann, age 20- Brooklynn Italians, NY Cosmopolitan League
    -Windischman's career can be described as unorthodox even by American standards, only spending one year in his club career in the MISL, which was the main American League even though it was indoors. Windischmann's main claim to fame would be anchoring the Defense during the '90 WC, which unforunately included being humiliated by Czechoslovakia in the first group game. But for now, he's playing sidekick to Canter.

    Starting Left-Back: Kevin Crow, age 24- San Diego Sockers, MISL
    -In a bid to bolster the US Defense by putting in a five-man line, Crow gets the nod at Left-Back despite an unconsistant represenation on the National Team, mainly due to his size and potential. It also doesn't hurt that his club team may very well be the class of the MISL and that he is a key part of it.

    Starting Right-Mid: Perry van der Beck, age 26- Dallas Sidekicks, MISL
    -A sudden decline in Club productivity isn't likely to keep the US from inserting van der Beck into the starting lineup as there are a real lack of alternatives present. Even with that in mind, van der Beck is one of a select handful of veterans with extensive experience outdoors. The long-time Tampa Bay Rowdie has been an infrequent fixture in the midfield for the US since the beginning of the 80's and finally offers a stable presence on the right edge.

    Starting Center-Mid: Rick Davis, age 27- St. Louis Steamers, MISL
    -Davis has been the Team Captain for the US since 1984, and at present the best creator in the Midfield despite being constantly played as a forward in Indoor Soccer. Davis is quite simply the best the team has to offer on the International scale, and in a gruesome twist of fate, leads the present bunch in all-time scoring with seven goals... none of them in the last two years.

    Starting Center-Mid: Angelo DiBernardo, age 30- Kansas City Comets, MISL
    -This represents DiBernardo's first trip to the World Cup, his successive injuries in '81 and '82 robbing him of not only the chance to go to Spain, but also a good deal of the athleticism that drew raves in '80. Nevertheless, he still remains a savvy player who is capable of venturing forward into attack. But it's clearly obvious this will be his last hurrah Internationally.

    Starting Left-Mid: Herman "Chico" Borja, age 26- Wichita Wings, NASL
    -He might actually be just a Forward, but Borja seems to play on the left side, which makes him the man to go to. Having an overall solid career at the NASL and MISL levels, Borja is in all fairness a capable player... but that means anything from average to replaceable in the World Cup.

    Starting Forward: Hugo Perez, age 22- San Diego Sockers, MISL
    -In an ideal world, Perez would be the main attacker in Central Midfield, pushing Rick Davis to Left-Mid and further stabilizing an already potentially good middle. However the dearth of capable American forwards has frequently forced Perez into a striker role, which admittedly his dribbling and ball-control benefits from as he's more of a creative attacker than distributor. On a further note, the strategy seems to be 'hiding' Perez up front and letting someone from the midfield step into his place- though the options are again limited here.

    The Bench:

    Winston Dubose, age 31- Tampa Bay Rowdies, AISA (American Indoor Soccer Association)
    David Vanole, age 23- Los Angeles Heat, WSA
    -DuBose is a long-time backup to Mausser, but his availability might be in question. Even so, there aren't very many Goalkeepers on the radar. Vanole represents the best that the 'youth' has to offer, and seems no doubt prepared to take the mantle of top GK in the US, but it is not yet a reality. Between the two, DuBose might get the substiution mid-game, but Vanole probably would get the Emergency start if anything happened to Arnie.

    Paul Krumpe, age 23- Chicago Sting, MISL
    Jimmy Banks, age 21- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Eric Biefeld, age unknown- University of California- Los Angeles
    Erhardt Kapp, age 27- Los Angeles Lazers, MISL
    -For the most part, this is an extremely young group backing up the incumbents. Kapp is the lone exception, playing Wing Back on both sides during the qualifiers of '84 and '85, even scoring a goal. Krumpe also played wing back during '86 though could probably play central defense as well as defensive-mid. Banks is a pure defender despite his small size. Both Banks and Krumpe would be part of the World Cup roster in 1990. Biefeld represents depth in the defense.

    Michael Fox, age 24- Wichita Wings, MISL
    John Kerr jr., age 21- Harrow Borrough (Isthmian League, England)
    John Stollmeyer, age 23- Cleveland Force, MISL
    Eric Eichmann, age 21- Clemson University
    -Again, a really young group, but at least two of them already have extensive experience at the National Level. Fox has been an infrequent starter in Central Midfield and will likely continue to play the role as the main substitute there. John Kerr jr. meanwhile has played either entirely at Forward despite being listed as a Midfielder, or he has extensive experience playing Left-Mid. Either way, his two goals make him one of the few players available that can potentially produce offense. Stollmeyer and Eichmann are both future participants in Italia '90 with Stollmeyer perhaps more of a Holding Mid and Eichmann listed for some reason as a Forward, maybe an attacking midfielder.

    Bruce Murray, age 20- Clemson University
    Mark Peterson, age 26- Team Unknown (Last with Tacoma Stars, MISL, for the 85-86 season. Would sign with Seattle Storm, WSA, in 1987)
    -In a field devoid of American Goal Scorers, this might be the fring hope. Murray brings College moxie and a subtle play to the fold, and while he is probably too young to shoulder a heavy scoring burden, he will likely be counted on as the first forward off the bench, if not immediately inserted into the starting lineup. Peterson meanwhile brings an extensive scoring pedigree at the Club level in years past, most notably with the Seattle Sounders of the NASL where he was their top scorer. If Peterson so much as keeps the form that made him a frequent starter during '84, he may still factor into the equation.

    The Formation:
    -As you can see above, the default formation is that of a 5-4-1, mainly for the following reason; the US Defense is not at an International Level. There's just no other way to explain it. Even with five guys it might very well set a record for futility. But with nothing at all to be done about that, the next concern is the placement of the US offense. Isolating Perez as a single striker sounds ludicrous and it probably is, but again there is a distinct lack of US Forwards coming in to fill that hole.
    -The absolute Best Case scenario is either Murray or Peterson or possibly both rounding into a competitive form. If one does it, then he can join Perez up front and turn it into a 5-3-2 with van der Beck, DiBernardo, and Davis in control of the midfield. If both get into form, then you can do a number of things. You can roll the dice with a 4-4-2 (and hope the defense holds) or stick to the 5-4-1/5-3-2 format, but both offer the following wrinkle; Perez moves back to the midfield and takes DiBernardo's spot, putting him in a super-sub role, or joins DiBernardo and pushes Davis to Left-Mid. Either way the Midfield is as potent as it has ever been.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Canada qualified in the lone CONCACAF spot for '86 because Mexico was the host. If the US takes Canada's spot, then they would be drawn into Group C with the Soviet Union, France, and Hungary. By comparison, Canada failed to score a point or even a single goal in Group Play. They also only allowed 5 goals to the likes of the Soviets and a Michael Palatini(or whatever his name is spelled)- led France. Even more important, all this is taking place in Mexico during the summer, where the high elevation and high temperature spell doom for most teams.
    -The only chance the US has of even sniffing out a draw and at least ONE point is if the Forwards that are available suddenly have their form AND the defense doesn't leak like a seive- y'know, the way they did against England in a 1985 friendly.
    Hararea and FloridaFC2MLS repped this.

  2. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    The 1982 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Arnie Mausser, age 28- Jacksonville Tea Men, NASL
    -While chronologically Mausser is in his prime, his club career is in flux. A sub-par performance for Jacksonville will lead him to Team America next year, ending his longest stretch with any particular franchise in his career. That said, Mausser continues to recieve the lion's share of PT on the National Side and remains the favorite.

    Starting Right-Back: Colin Fowles, age 28- Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NASL
    -Speed is the key. Fowles is most likely the fastest player in the US pool, and this fact alone gives him the position. A failed Forward, Fowles has transistioned to Defense with moderate success despite a bit of a drop-off at the Club level.

    Starting Center-Back: Ty Keough, age 25- San Diego Sockers, NASL/St. Louis Steamers, MISL
    -Son of former US Fullback Harry Keough(himself a two-timer in these lists), Tyrone teams up with Steve Pecher to form a proper duo both Internationally and at the Club level, although in Indoor Soccer rather than outdoors. However, Keough came into the Professional ranks as a Midfielder, though the transition to Defense seems to imply he was more of a Holding Mid than anything else. But still, midfield skills are nothing to sneeze at on a line that could use every bit of talent that it could muster.

    Starting Center-Back: Steve Pecher, age 26- St. Louis Steamers, MISL
    -One of several highly regarded players from the St. Louis area, Pecher has been described as a take-no-prisoners type of defender, making him more likely to be the direct stopper on the line. As one of tha handful of players returning from the '78 Campaign, Pecher is regarded as a steady veteran presence on a team that sorely needs it.

    Starting Left-Back: Greg Makowski, age 26- St. Louis Steamers, MISL
    -In the revolving door that is Left-Back, Makowski is the latest recipient of the starting position, having earned it in Qualifying. Whether someone new would have come along to claim it in two years is anybody's guess.

    Starting Right-Mid: Ringo Cantillo, age 26- Jacksonville Tea Men, NASL
    -Cantillo represents the most stable Midfielder on the roster in terms of production and experience at the Club Level, securing his position here with little trouble. His ability to attack and distribute on the wing is of a great benefit to a somewhat hobbled US attack.

    Starting Center-Mid: Boris Bandov, age 28- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -There is a bit of peculiarity surrounding Bandov's career, as he could almost play more caps for the National Team at any given year, than for his own club. A clear-cut rock in the center for the US midfield (the only tangible information about his soccer ability being injuring Michael Palatni during a friendly with France), Bandov was once a promising Forward now relegated into a supporting role.

    Starting Center-Mid: Charlie Fajkus, age 25- Chicago Sting, NASL
    -Originally supposed to be a substitute, Fajkus has to be inserted into the lineup due to the loss of Angelo DiBernardo. Fajkus provides at least a somewhat comparable attacking game which will be sorely needed to keep the opposition honest.

    Starting Left-Mid: Rick Davis, age 23- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -It is Davis' ability to play on the left side and his learning experiences on the Cosmos which propel him to the starting lineup despite a somewhat lacking Club Career. Even under this light, Davis is regarded as the future leader of the US Squad.

    Starting Striker: Steve Moyers, age 25- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -Absolutely in Form, Moyers is at the peak of his powers as a goal scorer, all this despite playing second fiddle to Giorgio Chinaglia in New York. Moyers' late start in Qualifying gave way to a steady presence up front for the US, providing the team with one half of what looks to be a promising duo.

    Starting Striker: Mark Peterson, age 22- Seattle Sounders, NASL
    -A shock selection, Peterson has been the most consistant American Goal Scorer in the NASL and yet has had only sporadic caps Internationally. With no one else quite impressing, the job goes to a 'Dark Horse' with hopes that the collective 1-2 Punch will provide goals at the biggest stage.

    The Bench:

    Winston DuBose, age 27- Tulsa Roughnecks, NASL
    David Brcic, age 25- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -DuBose is the most likely candidate for #2 GK in the American Pool because to date he has had the most recent PT at the Club Level, headlining a shockingly shallow pool. Brcic is a case in point, here for his youth and potential rather than his production, having been a 2nd string Goalkeeper for the Cosmos. His career will not pick up until the NASL dissolves and he winds up in Indoor Soccer.

    Tony Bellinger, age 24- St. Louis Steamers, MISL
    Bruce Savage, age 21- Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NASL
    Dan Canter, age 20- Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NASL
    Jeff Durgan, age 20- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -This is actually an even younger group than the group going to Mexico four years later. Bellinger has the most International experience of the lost, taking both both wing positions through 1979 and 1980. Even though he lost his starting job, his youth beats out several others for the job. Savage is an oddity in that he got a couple of caps in '83 and '84, then dissapeared from the National scene until the 90's. And it's hard to understand why, as he seems to be a frequent starter at the club level in his career. Like Bellinger he rates as a wing back. Canter and Durgan were once the backbone of the US Defense back in 1984, and Canter would continue on to '86 but Durgan would have retired by '85. Neither one is in their actual prime, but both are youthful and large- by soccer standards- and enthusiastic should they be counted upon.

    Perry van der Beck, age 22- Tampa Bay Rowdies, NASL
    Chico Borja, age 22- New York Cosmos, NASL
    Pedro DeBrito, age 23- Tampa Bay Rowdies, NASL
    Rudy Glenn, age 23- Chicago Sting, NASL
    -More mostly untested youth. Van der Beck has yet to be a consistant contributor at his club but is a semi-consistant player for the National Team and expected to provide all-around midfield play. Borja is presumably capable of playing on the left side- the same reason he is the starting Left-Mid for the '86 team- and offers a genuinely consistant club performance along with it. DeBrito is a rookie at the club level who can also play forward and has the potential to provide attacking power and vigor. Glenn is a surprise selection chosen mainly for both his defensive capabilities as well as his capacity to play midfield, making him a reasonable choice to back up Bandov's spot.

    Njego Pesa, age 24- Tampa Bay Rowdies/Tulsa Roughnecks, NASL
    Mark Liveric, age 28- New York Arrows, MISL
    -Pesa and Liveric have been frequently capped players for the US in the years leading up to the Cup, albeit with sporadic success. Liveric provides extensive experience up front while Pesa brings what is hoped to be explosiveness when subbed in. Make no mistake, this is a rather shallow pool to draw from.

    The Formation:
    -Probably against all common sense, the US rolls out the standard 4-4-2, relying on an experienced if not outright tight-knit unit on defense to hold their ground. What promised to be a relentless assault from the midfield on up is jeapordized by the unfortunate injury to Angelo DiBernardo, a multi-talented midfielder who could push the ball at a frantic pace(as his performance at Indiana University testifies) and move forward in attack as well as defend. Charlie Fajkus is serviceable, but you know what 'serviceable' means in the World Cup. Boris Bandov has attacking experience- having been utilized as a forward back in 1976- but will probably be more of a Holder than a Facilitator.
    -Without DiBernardo, extensive pace and bombing will be needed out of the wingers Ringo Cantillo and Rick Davis, both of whom have the talent to pick up the playmaking slack caused by DiBernardo's departure. It's not completely ideal; Cantillo has peaked while Davis is not yet in his prime but has already been relied on excessively at the National level.
    -The starting pair of Forwards may be the best the US team has fielded since the days of Willy Roy, on paper anyways. Steve Moyers has rounded into his form at the club level and came on late for the US, while Mark Peterson is relatively untried at this level but brings an impressive scoring pedigree for an American. If both can do anything in the Finals, the upstart Americans might have a chance.

    The Odds of Success:
    -The two representatives of CONCACAF were Honduras and El Salvador. Honduras went in Group 5 against Northern Ireland, Spain, and Yugoslavia. El Salvador when in Group 3 against Belgium, Argentina, and Hungary. Honduras managed to scrape two goals, and two draws, against their group before bowing out. El Salvador only managed one goal and no points... and that goal was earned while conceding ten to Hungary.
    -If playing in the place of Honduras, Group 5 still isn't winnable, but as the Hondurans proved, it is possible to take points away from an otherwise underperforming grouping.
    -If playing in the place of El Salvador, Group 3 will be much more painful. The Belgians are all-around strong at this point in time, the Hungarians are strong as well... and who the heck is going to mark Maradona?! Getting goals in this group is possible... but points probably are not.
    FloridaFC2MLS repped this.
  3. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively Let us soccer

    Jan 17, 2012
    Little Rock
    United States
    W0w. That's a lot.
  4. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    The 1978 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Arnie Mausser, age 24- Colorado Caribous, NASL
    -Mausser gets the nod as the Starter despite a statistical decline at the club level, mainly on the basis of his size and potential. It is hoped that Mausser will be in goal for the US in the years to come.

    Starting Right-Back: Jim Polihan, age 24- Rochester Lancers, NASL
    -Having started the Qualifying Campaign in central defense, Polihan seems to have settled on the wing, and even his club performance- and uptick in points produced- lends some credibility to the notion that he might be capable of attacking as well as defending. Though he spent his collegiate career as one of the best forwards in the country, he was shifted to defense at the professional level, and was treated much the same way with the National Side.

    Starting Center-Back: Steve Pecher, age 22- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    -As part of the decision to use five defenders, Pecher becomes the lucky recipient of the job, joining fellow teammate Myernick in central defense. Already having showed great potential at the club level, winning Rookie of the Year and earning a solid stretch of PT for the National Side in '76. Despite a drop-off in '77, Pecher remained the favorite behind the incumbent starters and shows the capacity to defend which will keep him with the USMNT all the way through the '82 campaign.

    Starting Center-Back: Glenn Myernick, age 23- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    -Part of a defense partnership in the middle that developed in '77, Myernick takes on the responsibility as the true center-man and stopper for the US Defense despite his youthful age.

    Starting Center-Back: Don Droege, age 23- Rochester Lancers, NASL
    -Like Myernick, Droege had a late start in the campaign in '77, but very quickly took the reigns of his job in central defense. There are still doubts about how long he'll have the job, as other candidates are now coming out of the woodwork.

    Starting Left-Back: Dave D'Errico, age 26- New England Tea Men, NASL
    -The lone defender remaining from the previous campaign, D'Errico's ability to play on the left side has provided him ample opportunity to keep proving himself at the International level. At times the Team Captain, D'Errico's experience makes him ever more valuable to a young and potentially over-their-heads defense.

    Starting Right-Mid: Colin Fowles, age 24- Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NASL
    -Fowles gets the job more out of potential than production, being considered the fastest player in the NASL. Speed is speed, and speed will always be a threat... no matter how ineffective the rest of the game is (see Robbie Findley for an example.)

    Starting Center-Mid: Al Trost, age 29- California Surf, NASL
    -Described as a do-it-all type of midfielder, one who can dominate a game, Trost is the best midfielder the US has yet produced since the days of Walter Bahr and John Souza. Such a player is sorely needed in an attack long on potential but short on actual production. This in effect makes Trost the leader, and maybe the one man the opposition will mark closely.

    Starting Center-Mid: Boris Bandov, age 24- Tampa Bay Rowdies, NASL
    -Originally tried at Forward in '76, Bandov had been pushed back to the midfield in the following year, where he seems to have found a niche supporting his attacking partner. Ideally, he is a dirty-work unsung hero.

    Starting Left-Mid: Rick Davis, age 19- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -Way, way, WAY too young, and yet Davis represents the closest thing to the future in US-Born talent. His development potential might very well see him go down as the finest US Player ever produced... but that is years away, and much like the rest of the team, he'll have to get by on his raw skills and athleticism.

    Starting Striker: Greg Villa, age 21- Minnesota Kicks, NASL
    -Out of a dismal Forward corps. with several key absences- more on that later- Villa stands out for only two reasons; in the 77-78 stretch he scored the most goals with 3, and he looks the strongest out of anyone else. And playing as a lone striker, Villa may as well be a target man lost on an island. It's not the ideal situation, but then there are precious few alternatives available.

    The Bench:

    Alan Mayer, age 25- San Diego Sockers, NASL
    Bob Rigby, age 26- Los Angeles Aztecs, NASL
    -Mayer is probably as close as a #2 GK will ever come to potentially unseating Mausser for the top spot. Rigby is a veteran of the previous campaign, and although his numbers have taken a dip in recent years, can still be counted on in a pinch.

    Santiago Formoso, age 24- New York Cosmos, NASL
    Tony Bellinger, age 20- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    Jimmy McAllister, age 21- Seattle Sounders, NASL
    -There isn't too much to say about these guys, other than all three are frequent starters for their Club teams and are comparatively versatile in the defensive line. Of the bunch of them, Formoso is probably the most experienced, having two years on the National Side, albeit inconsistantly.

    Steve Ralbovsky, age 25- Colorado Caribous, NASL
    Ane Mihailovich, age 26- Washington Diplomats, NASL
    -Ralbovsky is a winger on the right side who can in a pinch play in the defensive line should you need it. He's actually a little steadier than Fowles is, but not by enough to generally warrant a spot ahead of him. Nevertheless, his versatility will be quite helpful. Mihailovich is a converted forward from the ASL who has to move to midifeld and become more of a defender once he got into the NASL. And on a team seemingly lacking in able bodies for the midfield, that's a good thing.

    Gary Etherington, age 20- New York Cosmos, NASL
    Mark Liveric, age 24- Oakland Stompers, NASL
    George Nanchoff, age 24- Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NASL
    Louie Nanchoff, age 22- Colorado Caribous, NASL
    Mike Flater, age 28- Portland Timbers, NASL
    -There's a reason for a glut of forwards, mainly because the US has tried during this time period a three-forward arrangement which could sometimes be a 4-3-3 or a batty 5-2-3, or a stupefying 3-4-3. All the same, this is an import-heavy unit that still doesn't quite measure up. The Nanchoff brothers made waves at Akron and Louie is having a reasonable season as a role-player, but George has dropped off in '78. So has Liveric, who seems to have emerged inexplicably as a favorite despite having precious little production after a high quality '76 Club year. Gary Etherington seems to be more of a distributor than a goal scorer, but if he can play Left-Mid, then his value only increases- his strike partnership with Rick Davis in the 1977 Youth Championships certainly helps. Mike Flater is riding a comeback year playing for Portland, and has played in midfield for the US in the past year, making him at the very least a serviceable backup in both areas.

    Players Who Should be Here:
    -Really only four to speak of for now.
    Werner Roth, age 30- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -This sounds an awful lot like favoritism, but this is a guy who got a good deal of PT on the backline of arguably the greatest NASL team once Pele came along. True, the anchor was Carlos Alberto once he arrived, but Roth was constantly in central defense and likely would've been the key veteran presence to get this young line in fantastic order. The reasons why Roth did not gain another cap past 1975 are unknown, though there's some speculation that the Cosmos exerted some pressure (oddly enough they didn't do the same for players like Rick Davis or Boris Bandov, or a number of other players on their roster over the years).
    Bobby Smith, age 26- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -Unlike Roth, there's a potential reason for his decline, having only played 19 Cosmos games in two years since '76. Then again, players like Bandov and Davis were frequent selections despite a lack of consistant First-Team experience, so that's not quite believable. At any rate, Smith is a maybe because he did anchor the right edge during Qualifying and might very well have been used in that same capacity in the next year had the US advanced that far.
    Kyle Rote jr, age 27- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    -One potential reason Rote faded from the scene in '75 was a lack of technical skill, and since he was a late introduction to soccer that's credible. Here's what's not; almost everyone brought in to man Forward for the USMNT afterwards either had spotty records at the Club level or were simply nonexistant. And in the meanwhile, Rote only had one rather bad year by US Forward standards in '76. Otherwise, if you put down a top ten list of US Citizens in terms of points scored in the NASL on a year by year basis, Rote would probably consistantly be in the top 5 or higher.
    Steve Moyers, age 21- California Surf, NASL
    -This being technically his 'rookie' year, Moyers nevertheless showed his potential for goal scoring with seven goals and four assists. The only one on the actual list to match the goals was Flater, and even HE might've been scrubbed past '77. Only Rote and Etherington beat him in assists. Everyone else underperformed, so why were they given spots throughout the year and not Moyers? Moyers will not see National Team PT until '80.

    The Formation:
    -The US never actually ran a 5-4-1 leading up to '78, but the truth of the matter is they lacked any real punch with a three-forward scheme and they need all the potential defense they can muster against truly talented International Clubs. The formation will rely heavily on Trost, Fowles, and Davis to give Villa all the help they can to make this attack anything remotely capable.
    -Shifting to a 5-2-3 will without question remove the wingers and either move them up front or replace them with whoever else is available. At this point Etherington and Davis might as well be the forwards in question because both make quality distributors but have the potential to score.
    -If by some lunatic streak the US goes to a 4-3-3, they might just move Fowles up top and replace a defender with a forward, probably Etherington or Liveric.

    The Odds Of Success:
    -Just getting to Argentina would be a miracle because only one CONCACAF team could make it, and doing so requires winning the CONCACAF Championship. In Mexico. With the Mexicans in top form. Presuming the US takes Canada's spot, they would wait until the very last of their matchups to face Mexico... and by then they are unbeaten, so the US would have to be unbeaten just to have a shot, THEN they'd have to beat Mexico in their own turf! Probaby the freaking Azteca!
    -Taking Mexico's place, and neverminding the unpredictablility of the pot, the US would go to Group 2 and join Poland, West Germany, and Tunisia. Mexico couldn't even beat Tunisia and finished with no points and only two goals, conceeding twelve. Just matching the point differential might be a tall order. Maybe if the five-man line holds on defense, they can allow twelve goals, maybe one or two less. But scoring twice with that bunch at forward sounds like a pipe dream.

  5. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Romagna, Italia
    No Thomas Dooley on the 1986 squad?

    Or does the list only include players we were aware of at the time?
  6. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    The list typically involves players who were taking active participation during the Qualifying Games and closest friendlies to when the World Cups take place, as those are as good as I could possibly get with what I know to the player pool being looked into.

    I understand Dooley wasn't genuinely looked at until sometime after the US was granted the hosting rights to the '94 cup.
  7. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    The 1974 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Bob Rigby, age 22- Philadelphia Atoms, NASL
    -Riding very high from an international standpoint after a phenominal rookie year in Goal. Rigby represents perhaps the finest Goalkeeper yet to come out of the US, and has a good chance to produce the finest performance in a World Cup Finals from a US Goalkeeper since Frank Borghi twenty-four years ago.

    Starting Right-Back: Dave D'Errico, age 22- Seattle Sounders, NASL
    -One of two relative newcomers to the backline, D'Errico comes with college credentials but with little else on his resume. That said, he was the #1 selection in the NASL Draft which speaks a lot for his talent and potential. He might very well survive this baptism by fire.

    Starting Center-Back: Bobby Smith, age 23- Philadelphia Atoms, NASL
    -One of the anchors of the Defending NASL Champions, Smith has mainly played at Right-Back for the National Team this past year. However, the arrival of D'Errico forces him inside, though there remains the hope Smith will remain as effective a defender as ever.

    Starting Center-Back: Werner Roth, age 26- New York Cosmos, NASL
    -The other established anchor on this re-tooled US line. Roth will not only lead the defense, but as Team Captain he's expected to guide the squad through thick and thin. It remains to be seen if he's up to the challenge.

    Starting Left-Back: Arthur "Buzz" Demling, age 25- San Jose Earthquakes, NASL
    -The other newcomer. Demling's credentials seem limited to a reasonably solid rookie year, a developing sophmore year, and prior experience on the US Olympic Team. Nevertheless, the potential is there. If Demling can play to form, the US line will be as solid as it ever was.

    Starting Mid: Barry Barto, age 24- Philadelphia Atoms, NASL
    -Described as 'Tenacious', and apparently capable of transitioning to defense without much difficulty, Barto resembles something of what a Holding Mid ought to be. In a pinch he may very well have to be a 5th defender, but it's hoped that won't be necessary.

    Starting Mid: Al Trost, age 25- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    -The best thing the US has to a box-to-box midfielder and playmaker. It's still a relatively surprising selection, but Trost is undeniably talented. Whether he's up to International Standards remains to be seen.

    Starting Right-Wing: Gene Geimer, age 25- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    -A startling problem seems to have manifested by '74, mainly a surprising lack of Wingers on the attack who are either in form or who are built for the requirements of the position- it feels like the majority of players on form are built more for Center-Forward roles than on the outside. For this reason Geimer is the slated starter on the wing, and probably would've remained that way throughout a full Qualification cycle, despite a rather noticeable decline in production at the club level.

    Starting Striker: Willy Roy, age 31- Team Unknown (Last with St. Louis Stars, NASL, in '73. Would join Chicago Sting, NASL, in 1975)
    -The only veteran from the '70 campaign to return, Roy has the best scoring pedigree of anybody else, despite his elder status on the team. Almost a walking cliche on 'Determination and Will', Roy is the rock on which any offensive potential is tethered to.

    Starting Striker: Kyle Rote jr, age 23- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    -A surprise inclusion over the other candidates. Rote has the athletic gifts to best compliment Roy on the inside, and with his rookie campaign to draw inspiration from, it is hoped the duo can generate something akin to a 1-2 punch.

    Starting Left-Wing: Mani Hernandez, age 25- San Jose Earthquakes, NASL
    -A 5'3 player? Really? Even for a sport that is not particuarily prevalent on size and vertical reach like soccer it's rare. However, Hernandez is the lone winger in the US Pool with a reasonable production, making him the ideal choice despite being relatively untried.

    The Bench:

    Mike Ivanow, age 26- San Jose Earthquakes, NASL
    Mike Winter, age 21- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    -Ivanow absolutely does not look like a Goalkeeper at first glance, but that's a very vain observation to be made. Fact of the matter is he would've earned the starting Goalkeeper job for steadily taking it from Mike Winter throughout '73, then Rigby's rookie season culminated in a record performance, giving the upstart the nod in place of the established 'Vet'. For now Ivanow is a reasonable insurance. Winter in the meanwhile makes 3rd GK based on experience and a lack of available options- perhaps relatively unushed Shep Messing would've been the only competition.

    Barry Mahy, age 32- New York Cosmos, NASL
    Alan Hamlyn, age 27- Miami Toros, NASL
    Wally Ziaja, age 24- Denver Dynamos, NASL
    -While their Club production may be limited, all three players on this list have served extensive time with the National Team for the last two years leading up to the World Cup. Mahy was originally Roth's partner in Central Defense and will be the first substitution should something go wrong. Hamlyn can do Right Back or Center Back and is reasonably adept at his position, enough so to be the 5th defender should a formation change be needed. Wally Ziaja has by far the least club PT of the lot, but he can play Left Back, which gives the US a genuine replacement in a pinch.

    Pat McBride, age 30- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    Charlie McCully, age 25- Rhode Island Oceaneers, ASL
    -This backup two-some does not lack in the experience department. McBride may be getting on in years but he's still a sterling Midfielder by US standards, enough so to take over for either Barto or Trost in a pinch. McCully in the meanwhile has seemingly spent time everywhere in the formation but Goalkeeper, but rates more as a midfielder. However, he's adept at moving into defense, giving the team another quality body back there.

    Archie Roboostoff, age 22- San Jose Earthquakes, NASL
    Dennis Vaninger, age 22- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    Dan Counce, age 22- Boston Minutemen, NASL
    Johnny Moore, age 24- San Jose Earthquakes, NASL
    -The lone 'experienced' veteran in the bunch is Moore, but he's not the 'non-rookie' of the lot. Roboostoff seems capable of playing either inside or on the wing and has had a reasonably productive season. Vaninger can say much of the same, except he seems projected as a pure center-forward and will likely be the first one called up should either Roy or Rote falter. Counce is the lone selection of all the college stars who came out professionally this season to make the roster, and that's mainly due to his potential and his MVP award in '73. Moore in the meanwhile has a peculiar position of Assistant General Manager for his club (no, seriously) and can play any spot in the forward positions as well as potentially midfield. Actually had a more consistant look with the National Side when he was not part of the NASL.

    The Formation:
    -Finally the US advances to the next age- albeit extensively late- by going to a 4-2-4 alignment. History buffs remember this as the radical formation Brazil used to run over everybody in '58 and subsequently dominate the International Stage for over the next decade. However, this formation has suffered extensive growing pains as the US talent simply has a long way to go before they can even come near Brazil (a laughable thing to say to begin with). Anyway, the 4-2-4 is prevailent on wide-ranging mdifielders and attacking fullbacks from the defensive line. The US by contrast can supply the midfielders, but whether the defenders can push up in attack has yet to be seen. D'Errico's still relatively unproven and Demling seems more suited to central defense despite his position.
    -An alternate is a 5-2-3 that the US has run on occasion. However, the usefulness of this formation is prevalent upon how stretched out the 'wingers' are to the striker, as you'd be hard-pressed to find many available forwards suited for working on the wings to begin with, and neither Roy nor Rote is of much use being the lone man up front. For the attack to work, it seems obvious you need two strikers up front.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Taking Haiti's place, the US would be placed in Group 4 with Poland, Argentina, and Italy. Going by Haiti's performance, they were soundly defeated in all three matchups, even suffering a horrifying 7-0 defeat at the hands of Poland, who would go on to win 3rd Place honors. They do have two achievements of note; first scoring against Italy, who had been holding an active record in conceeding no goals. Unless Roy and Rote and the young bunch behind them can turn into a reasonable facsimile of Manu Sanon, it's unlikely to happen. At least the US won't lose a player to a doping scandal either. Anyway, the Haitians ultimately scored twice and conceeded fourteen goals, and the scary part is that the US could likely do worse. Scoring on Poland and/or Argentina, much less Italy, would be the pinnacle of reasonable expectation.
    FloridaFC2MLS repped this.
  8. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Using too many parentheses
    Houston Dynamo
    American Samoa
    This is SO much work, reps just for that.
    soccersubjectively repped this.
  9. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    From this point onward, personal data will be extremely spotty if not completely non-existant. Also, with less and less International Games in the earlier campaigns to go through, and the miserable tendency of the USFA to literally call up a bunch of players from just about anywhere on incredibly short notice makes these next few rosters a major excercise in incomplete guesswork. And it only gets harder from here.

    Let's be honest, you could probably submit hundreds of players in the US during these times who could have been called up.

    The 1970 United States World Cup Roster:

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Orest Banach, age 22- Team Unknown(Located in Chicago, would play for St. Louis Stars, NASL in 1971)
    -Much like how Arnie Mausser and before him Bob Rigby were predecessors to the modern US Goalkeeper, Banach represents the prior rung in the evolutionary ladder. He only played in '69 and conceeded three goals in two games, which is reasonable by USMNT standards if the US attack would've come up with anything.

    Starting Right Back: Adolf Bachmeier, age unknown- Chicago Kickers, National Soccer League of Chicago
    -Originally varying between the midfield and forward spots, Bachmeier has been settled into the defense to further solidify an admittedly week area in recent years. That said, putting a longtime veteram at fullback can only help.

    Starting Left Back: Werner Mata, age unknown- Team Unknown(Perhaps the Los Angeles Kickers)
    -Only just coming onto the National Team scene in '69, Mata provides an unexpected foundation on the defensive line. Sadly, this is virtually everything that can be dug up about him.

    Starting Right Half: Ed Murphy, age 39- Team Unknown(Presumably a club in the National Soccer League of Chicago)
    -The age is NOT a typo. Even in his elder state, this former Star-Forward has been repeatedly relied upon in the midfield, where his playmaking skills have presumably kept him relevent. Ideally he'd be delegated as a substitute a la Roger Milla for Cameroon, but the other available options just haven't proved enough.

    Starting Center Half: Nick Krat, age 27- Ukrainian Lions, National Soccer League of Chicago
    -The closest the US will have to a genuine stopper by far. Krat will prove in future years to be a valuable transition piece into more modern formations. Adept anywhere else in midfield and even at fullback.

    Starting Left Half: Larry Hausmann, age 28- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    -One of the select few National Team starters to play in the NASL during this year, Hausmann's main plus has been his extensive PT in a league that's seriously bidding for top-rung status. That said, Hausmann is a prospective Forward pushed back because the starting five up top is set in stone and the team needs playmakers in the midfield to push the ball up.

    Starting Right Wing: Peter Millar, age unknown- New York Inter Guiliana, GASL(German American Soccer League, NY Region)
    -That's to give you an idea of his perplexing history. The Wiki page states he started playing in American Soccer leagues in 1960, which would probably put him in the late 20's to early 30's by 1970. However, the NASL page not only tacks on a brief stint in the MISL during the early eighties, it establishes his birthyear as 1951, which would have made him nineteen in the World Cup, but also NINE YEARS OLD in 1960. It's best to ignore the NASL info unless some startling new evidence comes forth. Ignoring the calamity over his bio, Millar is the second-most dangerous forward on the US Roster after Roy, making this offensive unit the most likely one in ages to make some waves in the Finals.

    Starting Right Inside: Gerry Baker, age 32- Coventry City, Football League First Division(England)
    -A highly experienced player from England, with all the benefits that applies. Baker was born on American soil despite living in England, and his dual-citizenship served him well when it became apparent he would not be called up for the English National Team. Would most likely be the playmaking anchor on the attack alongside Stritzl.

    Starting Center Forward: Willy Roy, age 27- Team Unknown(Presumably in Chicago?) (Played for Kansas City Spurs, NASL in 1968, would play for St. Louis Stars, NASL in 1971)
    -Two World Cup years, and BOTH times Roy is out of the NASL for some reason or another. With no evidence to support a theory that he was injured during these times, the only answer seems to be he went back to Chicago for some spells. A peculiarity in an otherwise sterling National Career.

    Starting Left Inside: Siegfried Stritzl, age 26- Blau-Weiss Gottschee, GASL(German American Soccer League, NY Region) (Played for Baltimore Bays, NASL in 1969)
    -Really only in a lesser league because the NASL club he was on folded, the same year he made ROY honors- and to be even fairer, Stritzl had cut his teeth developing in that same league before making it to Baltimore. Stritzl was half of a duo that absolutely locked down the left side of the attack for every signle Qualifier in this campaign, so that says a great deal about their talent.

    Starting Left Wing: Dietrich Albrecht, age 30- SK Sturm Graz, Nationalliga(Austria)
    -Actually kinda rare to find a guy on the US Side playing in Europe at the time of a World Cup(as in, much MUCH rarer back then). However there's a lack of info as to how he played.

    The Bench:

    Gary DeLong, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for Vancouver Royals, NASL in 1968)
    Sandy Feher, age 26- Kansas City Spurs, NASL
    -There isn't too much to speak of concerning these two, other than they shared the vast majority of the PT during '68 and were pushed aside by Orest Banach in '69. Both did have their success against likewise minnows, however.

    Eddie Clear, age 26- Team Unknown(Played for St. Louis Stars, NASL in 1969)
    Helmut Kofler, age unknown- Team Unknown(Presumably in the German American Soccer League)
    -Having been the original Fullback pairing for the early half of '68, Clear and Kofler represent the replacement pair in a Worst Case Scenario.

    Bob Gansler, age 28- Team Unknown(Played for Chicago Mustangs, NASL in 1968)
    Carl Gentile, age 23- Team Unknown(Played for St. Louis Stars, NASL in 1968 and 1971)
    Gene Tober, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -Gansler represents the next best thing the US has to a topper at Center-Half, like it or not. Gentile routinely played CH during '68 but is more suited to playing wing-half in this new arrangement. Tober is pretty much a warm body.

    Miguel Maliszewski, age 21- Team Unknown(Played for Baltimore Bays, NASL in 1969)
    Jim Benedek, age 29- Dallas Tornado, NASL
    Bayardo Abaunza, age unknown- Team Unknown(Played for Orange County FC in 1967)
    Patrick McBride, age 26- St. Louis Stars, NASL
    -Maliszewski can play both sides on the wing. Benedek has defensive experience despite normally playing forward. Abaunza feels a bit like just a warm body, but McBride could very well be a surprise participant, equally adept at midfield or forward.

    The Formation:
    -It's a 2-3-5 of some type, either the Pyramid or the WM. For sanity's sake I'm believing they go with the WM. You probably know my general opinion of the Pyramid as a modern formation in another thread.
    -Ideally, this might just be the best possible offensive punch the US has put together... in virtually ANY of these Dark Age rosters, which is downright sickening to consider. Roy and Millar head-line with a rediculous wealth of goals the likes of which have never been seen outside of the 1959 Pan-American Games. But they are also supplemented by solid performers in Baker, Stritzl, and Albrecht. And when teamed with a number of potential ball pushers featuring the likes of Murphy, Hausmann, Gentile, and even McBride, the offensive potential is as high as it could ever possibly be.
    -The WM is used to get the fullbacks on the wings and a stopper at center-half against the center-forward. However, this turns sour immediately when faced with the newer formations like the 4-2-4 or 4-3-3 or some combonation thereof.
    -It's.... possible the US could unveil one of these modern formations, but it certainly would involve removing someone up front and adding another defender, then bending one or two more players from attack into the midfield role. But now I'm just babbling in foreign tongues.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Taking El Salvador's place, the US would be placed in Group 1 with the Soviet Union, Mexico, and Belgium. El Salvador lost all their games and failed to score once, conceeding nine goals. There's a chance the US could actually score, but taking a point from somebody is unlikely. Facing Mexico in Mexico? Nightmare. Taking on the Soviets who are still a strong team? Again, a fat chance. Getting a positive result against Belgium, even just a draw... is possible, but those guys beat El Salvador 3-0. It stands to reason tying with Belgium would require the greatest offensive push the US could ever hope to muster.
  10. Schapes

    Schapes Member

    Aug 20, 2001

    Wow. Great reading.
  11. Black Tide

    Black Tide Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    the 8th Dimension
    No Shep Messing? He was one of the best NASL keepers.
  12. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    I did pay serious attention to him during the '74 and '78 parts to be sure, but he never ever got an actual cap for the National Side.

    Now it's possible that he was repeatedly called up to be the #2 or #3 GK during that time period, but that's not something I can find out. The site I used to determine who got capped and where during those Internationals only lists the Starting Lineup and the Substitutions. They say absolutely nothing about the remainder of the roster that never left the bench. If somebody knows of a site with greater attention to detail, please let me know.

    The only other help I had were the random collection of Team Photos taken during the 70's- 72, 74, 75, 76, and 79- and the only time I ever saw Shep Messing in a photo was for the '72 Olympic Team. Everything else, not a sight.

    I suppose he might have been controversial. He did pose nude for a photoshoot and made at least a couple of inflammatory remarks here and there. But that's just wild speculation on my part.
  13. Black Tide

    Black Tide Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    the 8th Dimension
    Hmm interesting. I was under the impression that during his time at the cosmos he did appear for the US Nats. It is interesting that he did not as he was the highest paid American in the NASL in the late 70s.
  14. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    I have definitely hit a snag at this point, as my initial research can only find a maximum of fifteen players who participated in Full Internationals, Qualifiers and Friendlies, leading up to the '66 World Cup.

    In trying to delve into the rosters that participated in the '63 and '67 Pan-American Games, as well as the roster that tried to qualify for the '64 Olympics, I have gotten absolutely nowhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  15. lplaksina

    lplaksina Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    So, how are you enjoying that retirement ? :)
  16. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Just like Brett Favre.
  17. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Now we've come to where the available player pool, at least the portion of it I can directly find, is so shallow it forces me to get creative, certainly a great deal more creative than you could give the USFA credit for. Outside of the 1965 Qualifiers, there is only a 1961 Friendly, a 1964 Friendly against England, and a large split between '65 and '68. That and a horribly sparse historical record from the club level.

    The 1966 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Victor Gerley, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -It's obvious the guy had a career of sorts, probably in the East Coast. Otherwise he wouldn't have played in all four Qualifiers. or actually managed a clean sheet for one of them. Gerley's 1-1-2 record and only five goals conceeded is a level of National Performance that was actually rather unthinkable for its time.

    Starting Right Back: Andras "Andy" Cziotka, age 25- Team Unknown (Probably in GASL)
    -Much like Gerley, Cziotka's club career is unlisted but obviously existant. As an established starter on the defensive side, It stands to reason thet Cziotka is a valuable defender.

    Starting Left Back: Bayardo Abaunza, age unknown- Orange County FC (Continental League)
    -It stands to reason that Abaunza, the last man to have the starting job at Left-Back, would be the one to keep hold of it for the Finals. In the '70 WC he was more or less a warm body on the bench, but here he's a vital cog.

    Starting Right Half: Fred Cameron, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -To be perfectly fair, Cameron is part of an admittedly iron-clad defense which if nothing else was not often replaced or switched around. However, not participating in the last Qualifier raises some questions.

    Starting Center Half: Bob Kehoe, age 38- St. Louis Kutis
    -You read the age right, folks. Kehoe was the lone starter from the purely Amateur Ranks, and his birthyear was in fact 1928. How. Does. That. Happen!? Well, it's nothing against Kehoe's ability, as he seems to be a reasonably capable stopper and he was though highly enough to somehow be the Team Captain. And if that wasn't stupendous enough, he never so much as sniffed out another cap in the years prior to 1965. His only other time when he presumably would've gotten a cap was during the ill-fated attempt to have Kutis play two Qualifiers in 1957, but he didn't get a cap during that.

    Starting Left Half: Cornell Krieger, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -Another near total mystery in the Starting Lineup. If this was the World Cup for Gridiron Football or Baseball or Basketball this wouldn't be a problem, but nooooooooooo... it's gotta be the one freaking sport which the collective country gives the ol' stink-eye! What do I gotta do, INVENT a freaking history for these guys!? What, give him seven years in the GASL and make his age about 28 and say he's more of a Holding Mid as opposed to an attacker? Well, guess what? I don't know. Because I can't find anything on the guy, so all that crud is made up. Er.. sorry about the outburst, moving on.

    Starting Right Wing: Ed Murphy, age 35- Team Unknown (National Soccer League of Chicago)
    -You'll hear of a trio of Goal Scorers who lead the US to a third place finish in the 1959 Pan-American Games at some point. Murphy is one of that trio. He's also still one of the most prolific Goal Scorers among the active bunch during Qualifying. And while he has a height that might be better suited for Center-Forward, he's pretty much always been Right Wing, so make of that what you will.

    Starting Right Inside: Adolf Bachmeier, age unknown- Chicago Kickers, National Soccer League of Chicago
    -With the Midfield pretty much spoken for and the forward line practically in flux, Bachmeier gets applied to the interior like he were glue. Unfortunately he's more of a defender regardless.

    Starting Center Forward: Walter Chyzowych, age 29- Newark Ukrainian Stitch, ASL
    -At the time, Chyzowych was in fact the post prolific Goal Scorer on the American scene, even though his National Production fell short. Not attending half of the Qualifiers probably didn't help. As a future National Team Coach, it stands to reason that he can marshall the attack.

    Starting Left Inside: Helmut Bicek, age unknown- Team Unknown (maybe Los Angeles Soccer Club)
    -Bicek spent the Qualifying cycle moved around multiple places, most notably Inside Forward on both sides. Bicek spent the most time at Right Forward but is being moved to Left to allow for Bachmeier to be inserted into the lineup.

    Starting Left Wing: Al Zerhusen, age 34- Los Angeles Kickers
    -One of the famous trio alongside Ed Murphy. Zerhusen is considered the best Amateur Midfielder in the country and a longtime Team Captain for his club. He's also the lone rock on the Forward line, holding down the same position through all of the Qualifiers.

    The Bench:

    Uwe Schwart, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for 'US All-Stars', ISL in '65)
    Timothy Tarpley, age unknown- Team Unknown (University of California-Berkeley in '64 and '65)
    -Very slim pickings. Schwart may have conceeded ten goals to England in '64, but that was a poorly trained and hastily assembled team. What isn't known is that he made MVP in the ISL in '65 which is nothing to sneeze at. Tarpley isn't so mcuh a Dark Horse as a complete shot in the dark as there is virtually NO 3rd Goalkeeper to speak of. Tarpley's main exploits are earning First-Team honors in '64 and '65 while in college, but that was accidental as he was using soccer to get in shape for baseball. Whatever he persued a club career past that is totally unknown, but so is every other Goalkeeper the US could've picked up.

    Tibor Resznecki, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for 'US All-Stars', ISL in '65)
    Ivan "John" Borodiak, age 26?- Newark Ukrainian Stitch, ASL
    -Resznecki is the other defender who played Left Back during the Qualifiers, making him the likely first choice off the bench. Borodiak didn't have a great showing in '64, but you can't look the other way at a guy who was part of a frequent National Challenge Cup winner, as well as a First-Team all-star for the NASL in '69 (granted, there were only five teams, but still...).

    Robert Gansler, age 24- Team Unknown (Played for Chicago Spurs, NPSL in '67)
    Nick Krat, age 23- Ukrainian Lions, ASL
    Zenon Snylyk, age 32- Newark Ukrainian Stitch, ASL
    -Gansler is the Rock at the Heart of the 'B-Teams' of the '64 and '68 Olympics, as well as the '67 Pan-American Team. It stands to reason he'd get a shot in the '66 Finals as an all-around Halfback and potential Fullback. Krat gets the nod just for earning Defensive MVP honors while attending Michigan State in '65, making him a reasonable choice for Center-Half should Kehoe break down. Described as one of the best tacticians in the American Pool, Snylyk can transfer from Halfback to Inside Forward without much difficulty and provides the kind of veteran presence you most want to settle down the youngsters, regardless of how much his skills have eroded with age.

    Alex Ely, age 28- Santos (Brazil)
    Willy Roy, age 23- Hansa, National Soccer League of Chicago
    Pat McBride, age 22- St. Louis University
    Walt Schmotolocha, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -Out of all of the players, Ely has the most experience, plugging up holes left and right. And on top of that, he plays for Santos. Y'know... the team that PELE plays for!? Roy isn't the Goal Scoring demon that he will be in later years, but makes for a fine understudy to Chyzowych at Center-Forward. McBride is a college hopeful with great potential who can probably play anywhere at Forward or Halfback. Schmotolocha scored in his first cap in a Qualifier, but it's not known how useful he can be.

    The Formation:
    -It's still a 2-3-5, and I'm just gonna plug my ears and pretend it's a WM.
    -It feels like this is a more defense-oriented formation, more so than even US standards. That probably puts it close to the 1950 Squad. It's just a shame that it's not ten years prior, otherwise they'd have an actual chance.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Taking Mexico's spot, the US is drawn into Group 1 with England, Uruguay, and France. Mexico actually forced two draws and only allowed three goals. Of course they only scored one. It's not a completely lost cause if the US defense can hold together. Taking at least one draw is a distinct possibility, but it may have to be scoreless. Maybe against Uruguay. But they sure as heck aren't taking anything from the Hosts, who will no doubt take genuine pleasure in a revenge match for 1950 that is a real World Cup matchup.
  18. Bookmesir

    Bookmesir Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    FC Aarau
    United States
    This represents an incredibly credible revisionist history. In fact, its better than the true story, because you give us, against all odds, reason(s) to believe we might have actually been something of a national team when the reality is we weren't even close to contending.
    Major props for this research and your attention to detail.
  19. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    To be perfectly fair, as much as the USMNT was incapable of contending during these years, less of it had to do with the collective talent than you'd think.

    The organizational structure behind it was, to put it bluntly, head-up-arse levels of incompetence. There have been multiple recorded instances throughout the 50's and 60's where a team would be picked and assembled mere DAYS from a scheduled fixture. The funding was bottom of the barrel. And even in the 70's where the competence was supposedly picked up a notch with the arrival of the NASL giving the country something resembling a Top Division, major episodes of stupidity still reigned. Remember when Dettmar Cramer left the USMNT for Bayern Munich because he was never signed to an actual contract!?
  20. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    The 1962 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Helmut Michel, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for Chicago Schwaben, National Soccer League of Chicago)
    -Again, the crop of goalkeepers that are known are very shallow and mysterious. However of the bunch of them, Michel has the most recent news, part of his club team touring in '61. And he did get the closest cap to the '62 Finals.

    Starting Right Back: Kenneth Finn, age unknown- New York German-Hungarians, GASL
    -There's actually a fair bit of info on Finn. Formerly of Ireland, he was a highly capable fullback for Dundalk FC in the late 50's and was called up in Youth games internationally before he emigrated to the US in 1959. Had he stayed, he probably would've been a consistant fixture for Ireland in Senior competition. In a '61 Friendly, Finn had to switch to Goalkeeper at half-time because Helmut Michel was injured and kept a clean-sheet, which makes him a useful emergency GK as well. Finn either played RB or RH, but going just a little bit by the overall production, he looks like a better fit at RB.

    Starting Left Back: Joseph Krische, age unknown- Blau-Weiss Gottschee, GASL
    -And we're back to the mysterious bit. Krische had to have been good by US standards if he played LB in both qualifiers and the '61 Friendly. That and he did have a nineteen year career at the club level.

    Starting Right Half: William Freitag, age unknown- Team Unknown
    -Since Freitag and Finn switched positions between '60 and '61, it stands to reason the positions they ended up with after the switch would be the positions they would have in the Finals. Other than that, there's nothing about Freitag to be found.

    Starting Center Half: John Peter Traina, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for St. Louis Kutis in '60)
    -This might require a change, because Traina presumably had retired after '60 but still participated in a '61 Friendly for the US. That said, Traina was the full-time Center-Half for the US in this period, which means he must have some ability to be a stopper.

    Starting Left Half: Adolph Bachmeier, age unknown- Chicago Kickers, National Soccer League of Chicago
    -For a guy who got sporadic PT up to '68, he sure gets penciled in the starting lineups for these Finals an awful lot. In a bid to help solidify the overall defense, Bachmeier gets the nod over the other candidates.

    Starting Right Wing: Ed Murphy, age 31- Team Unknown (National Soccer League of Chicago)
    -He STILL isn't under 30 yet! At this point, what the heck more can I say about him?

    Starting Right Inside: Zenon Snylyk, age 28- Newark Ukrainian Stitch, ASL
    -Here's a more complete idea of the player Snylyk was. He was only listed at 5'7 in size, but had been described by Gene Chyzowych(Walter's brother) thus; “He was the most intelligent tactician I ever played with. . . . Zenon had no size or strength, but skills and speed of thought would compensate for duels and tackles other players would get into.” This seems to make him more of a playmaker-dribbler in the John Souza mold, or at least the closest thing to him.

    Starting Center Forward: Carl Fister, age unknown- Team Unknown (Presumably in GASL)
    -As far as most Center-Forwards go, Fister actually scored a goal in Qualifying. Lemme repeat that; Fister is the first Center-Forward to score a goal since JOE FREAKING GAETJENS in 1950. And he'll be the last one to do so until William Roy in 1968. I just... I have no words for that lack of production in a key offensive spot for eighteen dang years. It stuns me.

    Starting Left Inside: Helmut Bicek, age unknown- Team Unknown (Los Angeles Soccer Club?)
    -Bicek is someone who at first glance, looks like the first one to be deemed replaceable- mainly due to lack of information. Then you find out he scored twice in his International Career and that there was probably a reason he was a key cog in two separate qualifying campaigns.

    Starting Left Wing: Al Zerhusen, age 30- Los Angeles Kickers
    -Here's an interesting tidbit. Zerhusen is a natural US Citizen but when he was five his family moved to Germany. He didn't move back to the US until he was nineteen, in 1950. A are case of an American learning at a very early level how to play soccer in his formative years. Small wonder he earned the reputation as the finest Amateur Midfielder in his country by the 1960's. Small wonder this is his second out of three campaigns.

    The Bench:

    Henry Noga, age unknown- Team Unknown (Somewhere in New England)
    Al Didriksen, age unknown- Team Unknown (Maybe Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, ASL)
    -Again, precious little. Noga played the two qualifiers in '60 but as a whole contributed little more than Michel did in '61 before he got injured. Didriksen never gained a cap on the USMNT, or ever so much as hinted that he was called up, but he did headline what was called the stingiest defense in the ASL in '61, which makes him a rare name to be known in this dark history.

    Willy Schaller, age unknown- Team Unknown (Maybe Blau-Weiss Gottsche, GASL?)
    Ivan "John Borodiak, age 22?- Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, ASL
    -Schaller was a key member of the 1959 Pan-American Squad, though he was never capped for the Senior Team. Borodiak was a key member of the Ukrainian Nationals' dominance of the ASL during the early 60's. Both are rather untested, but better options are not quite visable.

    Alex Ely, age 24- New York Americans, ISL
    Andy Racz, age unknown- Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, ASL
    Bob Kehoe, age 34- St. Louis Kutis
    -Ely did not have as much PT as he did in the '66 Campaign, but he still gets the nod over the other candidates, the rest not actually earning any caps here. Andy Racz played LB in a '64 friendly but was ASL MVP in '60 which meant he had to have been a midfielder at the very least. Bob Kehoe is the next best Center-Half that is known and it stands to reason that he should've been considered at the Qualifying effor not sputtered at the starting line.

    Bill Looby, age 30- St. Louis Kutis
    Mike Noha, age unknown- Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, ASL
    Peter Millar, age unknown- Inter-Brooklynn Italians, ASL
    Walter Chyzowych, age 25- Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, ASL/Toronto City, East Canada Professional Soccer League
    -Looby is the lone vet and the one who absolutely deserves the spot based purely on experience. Noha and Miller are fantastic goal scorers at the club level (Though both might very well have eligibility issues because it's not established if they are genuine American citizens yet). Chyzowych is here based on his strong collegiate performance at Temple University. Virtually all four can be placed anywhere on the Forward Line.

    The Formation:
    -Another 2-3-5, and we're still pretending it's a WM.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Taking Mexico's spot, the US would be placed in Group 3 alongside Brazil, Czechoslovakia, and Spain. Mexico DID win a match, but that was against a Czechoslovakia team that already Qualified to advance. Elsewhere Mexico only conceeded 2 Goals to Brazil, and 1 Goal to Spain. As for the US? Well, they couldn't freaking mark Brazil with handguns so I'll let you draw conclusions from there. It's debatable if the US could take the Czechoslovakia match even with the relative lack of pressure. Again, scoring may be the lone reasonable expectation.
  21. barnabyjonez

    barnabyjonez Member

    May 28, 2011
    Outer Cletusville
    Vancouver Whitecaps
    I loved seeing those old NASL names. It brought back sweet memories of when Canada was actually a better team than the US. Enjoy your hex, Americans.
  22. Bookmesir

    Bookmesir Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    FC Aarau
    United States
    I agree completely with your assessment on the total failure of the USSF to adequately govern , aid and abet the national team for decades.
    For whatever its worth, I played for Blau-Weiss Gottschee in the 1980's with the son of Joe Krisch (Joe Krisch Jr.), Steve Ralbovsky (the nastiest teammate I've ever had), as well as against some of those you've culled from the annals of history.
    Our home field was the Metropolitan Oval before Nike dumped some million $'s into reviving it as a viable playing field.
    Those were the days (daze).
  23. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Halfway through the Qualifying period for the '58 World Cup, the US did something rather unique; they called up an entire team to represent the country in two games against Canada. For this reason, selecting a roster from this group is potentially even more shallow than in the last two incarnations. However, this time at least we have genuine rosters from other non-Senior Team tournaments which will greatly help bolster the available pool.

    Oh, and for additional info on the St. Louis Kutis experiment, check out Roger Allaway's article;

    The 1958 United States World Cup Roster

    The Lineup:

    Starting Goalkeeper: Victor Ottoboni, age unknown- Team Unknown (Presumably San Francisco Vikings)
    -As far as Goalkeepers in the US go, this is well and truly the Dark Ages. Absolutely none of the available candidates showed anything on an international level, technically not even this guy. However, Victor's main asset is that he is comparatively untested and did give good efforts a year later in the 1959 Pan-American Games. Given that, this is a Dark Horse being given the reigns.

    Starting Right Back: Herman Wecke, age 31- St. Louis Kutis
    -This is a no-brainer. Wecke, who had been present for all of the Qualifying in '54, would also be present for all of the Qualifying in '57 as a member of Kutis. By now he ought to be considered the best American Defender in the country just based on his record.

    Starting Left Back: Harry Keough, age 30- St. Louis Kutis
    -Unusually, Keough played all the Qualifers in '57 at Right-Half as opposed to a Fullback position. However, the apparent sieve on defense probably forces ther US to tighten their colelctive belts, even if that means pushing Keough back to Fullback. Then again, he did prove he could play Left Back in '54.

    Starting Right Half: Zenon Snylyk, age 24- Chicago Levy
    -Have a look at Snylyk's club career when you get a chance, then look at all the overlapping dates and the fact he was also a teacher during this time. Busy, busy man. And also the best possible replacement at Right-Half to accomodate Keough's move to Fullback, even though he's listed as a Forward.

    Starting Center Half: Val Pelizzaro, age 25?- St. Louis Kutis
    -The best benefit of having a Defensive Line anchored by three teammates? They know how to work together. Pelizzaro may not be a traditional stopper, more of a genuine pest who can get the job done, but you can certainly do a lot worse and there's always Keough and Wecke to rely upon.

    Starting Left Half: Walter Bahr, age 31- Team Unknown (Played for a Philadelphia Club in '57)
    -Presumably Bahr had retired as a player not only Internationally, but also Domestically, after the failed '57 Campaign. But then, if the US went on, it's very concievable that Bahr would've gone on as well. And really, how good could a US Midfield in the 1950's realistically be without its Team Captain at the helm?

    Starting Right Wing: Ed Murphy, age 27- Team Unknown (National Soccer League of Chicago)
    -Gets the nod here over Bill Looby for two reasons; First, he scored twice against Mexico. Second, Looby's being moved to Right-Inside anyways. Physically Murphy is in his prime and provides a genuine offensive weapon to the proceedings.

    Starting Right Inside: Bill Looby, age 26- St. Louis Kutis
    -There's an admitted prejudice of sorts here, as I am intrigued by the Murphy-Looby-Zerhusen trio that took the '59 Pan-American games by storm, even more so because that was the only tournament those three played together- one or two was always not playing or not on the National Team before and after that. A surprising thing. Even though that's still a year away, Looby has demonstrated Goal-Scoring capacity in an International Setting and an affinity to move all-around the Forward line.

    Starting Center Forward: Al Zerhusen, age 26- Los Angeles Kickers
    -It's surprising, but Center-Forward it is. Zerhusen played that position for the two 'All-Star' games against Mexico, and while he didn't score, his counterpart with Kutis did not either.

    Starting Left Inside: Ruben Mendoza, age 27- St. Louis Kutis
    -On a short list of Greatest US Players in the 1950's who didn't make it to a World Cup, Mendoza is probably the top candidate. He had a reputation for skillfull headers and bicycle kicks and was probably the closest thing in the US to an offensive juggernaut. Although at this point injuries might sap a portion of his potential, Mendoza still remains an indespensible weapon for the US.

    Starting Left Wing: Elwood "Butch" Cook, age 28- St. Louis Kutis
    -Another one of those 'surprising' selections that you assume are filler, Cook had to have been good to merit a slection to the '52 Olympic Team AND a spot on both versions of the National Squad in '57. Or maybe it was his left pairing with Mendoza that did the trick.

    The Bench:

    Svend Engedal, age 29, Team Unknown (Played for Danish-American Soccer Club in '56)
    Robert Burkhard, age 36, Team Unknown (Presumably St. Louis Kutis)
    -Engedal's International Record reads like a murder scene; '56 Olympics against Yugoslavia, nine goals conceeded. Two '57 Qualifiers against Mexico, thirteen goals conceeded. A miserable performance, and this is supposedly the best he country had to offer at the time. Maybe a lot of it can rest in the hands of an unprepared defense, and the usual USFA incompetence. And yet, the preference is to go with an unknown rather than the known. Burkhard, if he has not retired yet, represents the best overall performance of any Goalkeeper during '58 Qualifying, despite being one of the Kutis Players.

    Terry Springthorpe, age 34- New York Hakoah-Americans, ASL
    Willy Schaller, age 25- Blau-Weiss Gottschee, ASL
    -Not too much to say, except that Springthorpe was thought to be an upgrade at Fullback in the second game against Mexico, and Schaller would be a part of the '59 Pan-American Team- though it is not knonw if he started).

    John Traina, age unknown- St. Louis Kutis
    Bill Eppy, age unknown- St. Louis Kutis
    Bob Whitehead, age unknown- St. Louis Kutis
    -Very slim pickings in this group. Traina was one of two candidates at Center-Half in the first Mexico Game and the general concesnsus is he mades an dequate backup at this stage. Eppy and Whitehead were part of the Kutis team during the second half of Qualifying, and while that's a very flimsy platform to justify their selection, the rest of the available pool is flat-out unknown.

    Lloyd Monsen, age 27- New York Hakoah-Americans, ASL
    Gene Grabowski, age unknown- Team Unknown (Played for Elizabeth Falcons, ASL in '56)
    Bob Rooney, age unknown- St. Louis Kutis
    George Brown, age 22- Team Unknown (Played for Elizabeth Falcons, ASL in '57)
    -Monsen at this time is one of the leading scorers in the ASL, making him a prime candidate for a starting spot if one were available. As such, he's a '6th Man'. Grabowski is also adept at achieving a starting spot as well but will have to settle for backup status. Rooney gets the nod over fellow Kutis member Jimmy Murphy strictly by virture of being a Center-Forward and this a reasonable backup at that position. Brown's damaged knee will absolutely keep him off the pitch but then his potential is such that such a venture is justified.

    The Formation:
    -A 2-3-5, WM classification.

    The Odds of Success:
    -Taking Mexico's place, the US is slotted in Group 3 with Sweden, Wales, and Hungary. Mexico managed a draw with Wales, ultimately scoring one gial and conceeding eight. It's not.... inconcievable, that the US could match it. Then again, we're assuming these guys will be running a comparatively modern formation with the time and practice needed to round the squad into top form. And that's a lot to ask for. It's been a lot to ask for the organization throughout this entire exercise, in fact. Then again, Wales isn't exactly a powerhouse at this point in time so drawing them isn't so impossible. And maybe they can keep up with the other two candidates and match the PD Mexico achieved.
  24. Bookmesir

    Bookmesir Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    FC Aarau
    United States
    Ah...the WM 2-3-5 with inside forwards (inners) playing off, behind and between the three forwards (striker and two wings). Two true defenders behind three midfielders (L-C-R). The forwards were not expected to defend. Nor were the inners. The midfield covered box to box and everybody else played in a defined zone (not zonal).

    In 1958, baseball was king, and the three-letterman (football-basketball-baseball) was the BMOC. Deep in the heart of the Cold War, there was no way soccer was ever going to be accepted as a viable athletic pursuit. Not because it inferred the participants were Communists, but simply because it was more popular in foreign lands. Our xenophobia was in an acute phase.
  25. aarond23

    aarond23 Member+

    Feb 24, 2006
    Fulham FC
    United States
    This is one of the most detailed articles I've ever read about the National Team from the 'dark ages', thanks very interesting info. I'm sure the audience would be miniscule, but a book about these 'mystery men' would be very interesting. I'm sure the oral history still lives, its just getting it all together that would be the problem.

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