Monday, August 01, 2016

No, Not Wolverhampton vs. Sunderland This Time

Here's the front cover of the official program of the Saturday, June 29, 1968 North American Soccer League contest between the Los Angeles Wolves and hosts Vancouver Royals.

Both clubs had played the previous year in the US Soccer and FIFA-sanctioned United Soccer Association with both clubs actually clubs from England in disguised, Wolverhampton Wanderers masquerading as the L.A. Wolves and Sunderland disguised as the then-Vancouver Royal Canadians.

Needless to say, when the USA merged with the "renegade" National Professional Soccer League after the '67 season to form the NASL, these two clubs had to start over from scratch.

The Royal Canadians were largely taken over by the former owner of the defunct San Francisco Golden Gate Gaels (USA) and were renamed the Vancouver Royals.

Both clubs vanished after the '68 campaign as only five of the 17 clubs survived (Dallas, Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, and St. Louis) into the 1969 season.

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