157: The NASLs Chicago Sting With Willy Roy (Part Two)
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Toronto contrast thousand especially the own home field. You know whether they had everything going for them. We beat them in the own. The ballpark and that shows that we're number one. We're the best team in North America. Where the best professional soccer team? Thank you very much really. Ryan Newman got the coach of the year award. But certainly willy. Roy should have deserved. He got the money in Thetford. That's all welcome to good seats. Still available a curious little podcast devoted to exploring what used to be an professional sports. Here's your host. Tim Handling all right. How are you tim? Hamlin and good seats still available? Yes it's our weekly journey into what used to be in professional sports. We have course appreciate you finding US downloading putting into your ear buds this week. We continue to Soldier on and we hope you are too given all the the craziness of the world around us and we hope that You and yours are safe remaining healthy and doing all the right things around you to To stay that way as we all sort of struggle and lumber on through all of this craziness wacky -ness of times both economically as well as of course in health and we wish you nothing but the best in continuing to do so and hopefully and our own small very little miniscule like way We can distract you from the various drumbeats of news and And fears and anxieties. And all that kind of stuff with our little silliness that we have been doing each and every week if you're new to the festivities around Teams and leagues and no longer with US whether defunct or previously relocated or whatever our little fascination. Born from frankly North American Soccer League childhood memories was Yours truly was in New York Cosmos. Soccer Fan a back in the day. The giant stadium the old Yankee Stadium and You know sort of wondering why in wear These This team that team. Of course the North American soccer league pro soccer went all this various teams that sort of came and left in the greater logos and color schemes. And all that kind of stuff and that you know as we got older a little wiser Sort of just kind of morphed into kind of a perverse fascination about all kinds of teams and leagues in Pro Sports and you know the USFL in the world football league and You and now. It's become almost a one hundred sixty episodes and counting of inquisitiveness around. What the hell happened to these teams some of the stories around them. These Leagues Some of them. Frankly never even got off the ground tow. What I've all of those things the motivations the people the the personalities The the business rationales whatever Around all of this And it's become a for us and you out there and listener landed. We're just amazed at the growing number of folks who have done so and not just in the United States and Canada but all over this planet who have similarly discovered either a particular team or sport at its peak their interest or a mighty band of folks who have been instilled with a similar about of curiosity around this little genre that we've somehow create for ourselves. We appreciate it of course and again if we can distract you from the day to day in the boredom perhaps says As your pining around the house for a couple of weeks now God forbid we can lighten your load a little bit and we're pleased to do so and we're happy to engage you in in that process and this week we We reward you hopefully with part two of our fantastic conversation that we began last week with former Chicago. Sting legend and national soccer hall of Famer. Willie Roy and as you remember last week Not Shy with the opinions Mr Roy and we were kind of literally only kind of scratching the surface Sort of with a prelude I guess of the Career Right The if you haven't listened to the previous episode number one fifty six with Willie by all means give a listen. Maybe WANNA listen to that before this one but the The sojourn if you will of of the pro soccer player in the late nineteen sixties in this country not the easiest or clearest cut of of journeys for sure and Willie. Gillis was some of his national team exploits in the late sixties. Early Nineteen Seventies Pioneering those for sure the nineteen sixty seven national professional soccer league one of the two predecessors of the nineteen sixty eight and onward North American Soccer League with the Chicago Spurs of Said and PSL The nineteen sixty eight Relocated Kansas City Spurs and of course then the The collapse or most of the NSL. The spurs kind of soldiering. On the Saint Louis Stars experienced from seventy one through seventy four That Willy Experienced including by the way the Nineteen seventy-two championship game against the New York Cosmos who won their First Championship in nineteen seventy two The sale was stars where the team that they beat. Two to one at Hofstra That season and of course we leave you on your doorstep for this conversation this week. Our part to with Willy Roy as we get into the depths of the Chicago sting story in that little clip that you heard at the top of our little show Graham here Was the the crazy locker room stuff going on after the Second Championship. Winning game clinching. That the Chicago sting won in Nineteen eighty-four who said earlier? It's a October third. Nineteen eighty-four The Second Championship. This that the sting one ironically the second championship they won in Toronto. This time actually beating a team. Toronto BLIZZARD IN. A best of three game set the first one of course being that dramatic nineteen eighty-one Shootout victory over the mighty Newark Cosmo's at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. It's just a very interesting a little piece of Trivia there as we also said before the second piece of Trivia of course. Is that game in the locker? Room machine antigens that you heard there With Kenny Stern. The son of sting founder release turn Doing the interviews. He was on the broadcast teams for many of those Chicago. Sting years. You might remember interviewing really Roy and you know that a that time I. It doesn't seem if you look at the Youtube clips at the various interviews and stuff doesn't seem like they particularly Were fearing too much What might come next season and of course alas there was no next season at least outdoors for the the North American Soccer League. That was indeed the final game in and ASL history that that Second Championship winning game against Toronto for the Chicago Sting. And that's what we're going to get into with Willie this week. All of these sort of ups and downs and Sideways of coaching this The now legendary team the Chicago sting and It's it continues to be a crackling Discussion and Much like we set up last week. In our first part you will enjoy and then some The various exclamation points of this week's conversation as we center more solidly around the Chicago sting with our guest again this week. Willy Roy. We look forward to present of that too in mere moments before we do so we want to tip our Our promotional capture our friends at sports history collectibles DOT COM Dean Mitchell in San Diego chief. Proprietor of such where we encourage you to visit early and visit often and of course there's great while memorabilia all kinds of things from all kinds of great teams and leagues no longer with us all kinds of sports and it's just it's a treasure trove and it's fascinating and it's all well photographed and there for you to enjoy and hopefully make a purchase of and of course when you go to sports history collectibles. Dot Com. We got a Promo Code for you. It's good seats. Make sure use the Promo code good seats and get fifteen percent off. All of your purchases When you visit early and often of course there's lots of Chicago sting stuff there for you including very interestingly July nineteen eighty-four issue of soccer digestive. Remember that sort of the somewhat smaller sort of publication. That was out. There was kind of the complement. If you will the monthly compliment to the more weekly and a newspaper like soccer America and on this This copy Which you can purchase for a reasonable price sports collectible dot com and use the Promo code good seats in fifteen percent off that already. Reasonable price is a picture of karl-heinz Grenada and the subtitle. Why his sting hate outdoors Which I think is telling because Nineteen eighty-four is very interesting and transitional year four the North American soccer. He was a few years earlier too. But as for the dalliance of of this indoor game at the major indoor soccer league had essentially perfected and the MSL recognizing that they had to go full bore into it. And the sting is you'll hear with Willie and a couple of seconds road that That wave of indoor With some gigantic crowds at the the old Chicago stadium pack into the rafters so the indoor game was certainly becoming more interesting to the general American fan for sure versus the outdoor game but in Chicago for a brief period of time. It was all the rage especially with the Bulls and the blackhawks somewhat languishing the indoor version of the sting Certainly in the The first go around the short sort of ASL season They played in the MSL Then the NFL again when NFL decided they were going to be serious this time and then once again back into the MSL. That's all part of the sting history and I don't know what the If the contents of that article might reveal the headline already certainly indicates that the sting were already kind of You know moving their collective gears. I think more towards The indoor game and possibly seeing that being more financially remunerative but it certainly didn't mean that they weren't given up on the outdoor field for sure. And that's what we're going to get into among other things with Willy Roy. This week our part to conversation around in this case the Chicago sting and a and all the The holiday and the excitement that came around with that we. We appreciate your listening and here. Is that conversation our part to with Willie coming right up. Please as always enjoy. Give me a sense. Then when you're officially handed the reins what happens right. Give me a sense because I think it's lost on our audience right in many respects the sting at that time. Seventy six seventy seven seventy eight arguably right starting while gaining some some attention right and we talked before about some of the players and some of the personalities it still was kind of still somewhat of a vagabond kind of experience right because there was a soldier field experience. And then you know. There's playing into baseball parks and not necessarily everybody remembering where they needed to play. A you know give us a sense of sort of how once you get the reins how you approach coaching this team. And all these personalities and frankly. Somebody Likely Stern with some box that you know. This league is really starting to gain some steam now I don't WanNa take all the cutters and I also believe that if the team wins then. The coaching staff will get together You know that we might do sort of and you know and you know stuff like that I had an opinion because I played so far board. And my basic belief was if we're GONNA make mistakes We're not going to be a defensive team That tries to prevent it team from scoring goals against us. But if we make mistakes. I'm GonNa Make Fun of the opposing team's goal. You know the ball might dance that way for you and you end up getting a you know easy goal or stuff like that. So my whole Approached us to build an exciting offensive team and goalscoring by sweet. Ended up doing that. You know For most most of my coaching time That we've and it's amazing how you know from game to game How defense actually android it You know and enjoyed coming. You know coming to the Games and stuff like that. I play golf. I just to show your last. Sunday was like sixty. Two sixty three sixty four went to a local golf course over here and We caught up to a single and then I said My name is really and my buddy's nameless Nino and he's set to me but it's your last name I said Rory Really Roy Houston would've sting games and he remembered to sing games now who Who Remembers the fire? Football team that George Allen Coach Begins Chicago Football League and then in the US now and all these teams that have come and guest. Sure not many right nobody. Nobody remember Sam but there's still remember the Chicago sting so okay. So let's let's give me some sense that if what made this team and this time in this city so special you mentioned I think a little bit before right some of the personalities involved right give me a sense of because not all you gotta be a coach right and you're darn good one. That really brought this team to become one of the better sides and frankly didn't even you know one of the consistently better sides short of a championship which obviously took care of itself a little later on. But how do you corral and find these great personalities and players and how do you also then sort of help the process of the sting becoming more known and appreciated as a team as a club because some of that's on field play which is important but also some of it is? Shall we say external marketing and and the community and awareness to kind of generate enthusiasm for this club and get people come out of the Games but football winning dust wondrous okay And the kind of place that we pat on my headache but as long blond hair and those days unheard of everybody pretty much short hair. The whole thing. Karlheinz would have been pink classes and and the actual stories. I would call Johnny Morris and I would call Tim by Gustav Birds and you know I call them and say listen. If you have a slow day is slow date and you need somebody. Give me a call and bull run to play over there or lease stern. What's a good interview you know? He left I mean you know. He probably marches. That'd be nice by speaking You know Some deep place of his interviews. And you know I didn't do so badly myself on television and radio and stuff like that so you know we. I think once people listen to us and stuff like that and they saw that you being you know. Kinda honest not like nowadays We're talking about the bears and nobody knows but it's skis going to be a great quarterback Bad for the back instead of being honest saying you know what he's going to have to prove himself to see other mice we're GONNA have to make changes and be honest with the public. You know And I think we really were honest with our fans and we did have a good guy. You know it's John McDonnell Vincent who worked for the Chicago sting for about four or five years. I didn't know whether you knew that. The current president of the Blackhawks and he didn't know any thing about soccer and even within US sales department and then I heard an interview by coincidence but he was being interviewed and he said you don't have to know anything about anything. If you have a good product it will sell itself. And he's right argument. You're the chief product Guy Right. You GotTa make sure that the players and the GOP totally. What kind of. What kind of hand did you have? Give me a sense of the process of how you were complimenting these these German players which arguably was kind of the base wants you took the reins where and how and maybe the process of finding and discovering and getting new players to kind of sort of if you will augment your product on the field. You know what we we did things Because I was basically brought up in the United States. I was thirteen years old when I came here so I played softball. You know I I. I did all the American sports because soccer was played in schools Only in the private ethnic community clubs We used to get involved And I'm so proud of all my American players Rudy Glens that Charlie fight this The John Team as Stevie long still holds all the place. I have to get it from the college Scene and we used to have charity events that the Bulls they had a softball team You know different sports the Ice Hockey data softball team. So we used to play against the trucks Smart SKIS. And all you know. I don't want to call them clowns Radio announcers and stuff like that. Does the press kick around? Yeah Yeah Right. And that's how we kind of worked out south into their hearts that they said. Hey man you know what these guys are really cool or you know they're smart. They're college educated. Most of them and Blah Blah Blah Blah. And get on. And you start spreading out. But you're trying to sell so as the teams getting better. I mean you've other names to come. I can go Peter and Franz Matt too you know but we get into some of those but I get the sense that around nineteen eighty or so is kinda where kind of even sort of blew up even further right. Your attendance was still relatively lagging right. I in you know the years leading up to that right so eight thousand or so but you know seventy nine is when I remember this game watching as a kid. You got a great crowd at Wrigley Field against the Cosmos which is obviously always a top drawer and it seems like that fans were really starting to kind of make the sting more of a substantial part of their of their sporting attention and may be peaking around the time that you guys were truly maybe to your point because you're winning. That doesn't hurt either. In you know I keep going back to winning. Basically everything people feel good about being. You know you run. That'd be a non fence that successful you win the cassettes. How you learned. That's how you casper. That's you know how you know I had the opportunity in my days to coach Against Two of my idols in those days vice via who coached the cosmos? And another Guy Vino. Smcgaels set coached your car if the Dutch national team and you know and some the here we are and I'm like can nobody from the south side of Chicago and I'm beating with my team. I'm you know but beating all these world class players Beckenbauer pay and all these. You know stuff like that so You Know I. I don't know how how they express myself that I felt no. It wasn't my doing. It was my team's doing but yet I had something to do with but my team. What's doing now? I think that's hugely important. Infant a fantastic observation. Because let's let's use that as a segue into the cosmos for second because if there's any team obviously that that most people love to hate it was the cosmos and there were various reasons for that and and you know we can. We've talked about it many many times. About sort of the cosmos the best indoor the worst of the League and and all all the rationale but when it when it came to competition I mean probably no bigger nemesis frankly than the cosmos for the Chicago Sting and in many times many many times. You guys Maybe to your point punching above your weight so to speak given all the stars and the and the legacies and all that stuff. You had the COSMO's number on many many occasions. GimMe sense that rivalry. How why what do you think sort of give us some sense of it As as a player or as a coach I think you need reasons to motivate and a lot of times. It's harder to motivate your crew when you play a bad team or a team that has a bad record or whatever and you know you get. Mum Be played the cosmos. I really didn't have to go into my bag of trips We had You know We knew who I knew who was driving that team book each a bitch and midfield for many years. You know so. We have to eliminate him. So you know gets GonNa Disruptive Style of play but you look at NASA's skin spice Berg and Beckenbauer Cindy Canal you know fence Matthew. He was so much quicker than canal so we can now not against us even though always scored a lot of goals against everybody else so we eliminated their strong points. And then we said that that's up to us now but the paddle Callahan's I remember one game especially New York Let Simeon. You'll go so scenario set. The only team wants to play for Chicago because he played against US many times for the cosmos and he knew what kind of style we played Blah Blah the whole thing so I get a phone call from his agent and he was making a hundred seventy five thousand dollars in New York in those days. So I mean I. I'm Big Fan. But but you know he was. He wasn't even sort of in the top tier of stars. And that's a pretty significant salary at that point in time but he was he was the good play but they you know the date you know the League at the start for can play us so sometimes even when the size would have to be sitting on the bench to put an American player in you know just to see but expects for them so anyway his agent calls me too and he says you know sinew easily. He'll go back to Portugal or he only wants to play for one team. That's your team so I said fine. He so I said I really do not have a lot of money left in my budget. And he says well. I don't think money should be an issue. So I'm being honest with him and I said all I have is thirty eight thousand dollars and the guy hung up the phone on me. The agent. Click call speck ten minutes later. He said that was an insult and I told him. You know what Nobody ibis being honest with you because if he came to us and found Donald that you know we have way more money available and stuff like that. Do you think he would be a good player? He said no he wouldn't be so to Come to the point scenario science with us. Okay and three weeks later. We have a game in New York against the cosmos so but but a scenario do he. Scores two goals gets an assist. We beat the cosmos five to nothing in New York which nobody else had ever done. And We used to go up the they have a lounge upstairs at trying to stadium so we went there and Monday. The Oregon Ono's Whether or the other one came to me set by a why did we let sin in your coat and I looked at a mess. I don't know my you have to ask you coaching staff. And whatever well that's and that's but that's also a I guess a real testament to your understanding of the game and maybe sort of not getting too much around sort of the I. Guess the aura of the cosmos. I mean you recognize quality and the availability of it. But there's probably no more I guess. Dramatic turn I guess in that. Sort of COSMO's rivalry then and I'm sure you remember. This in Nineteen eighty-one obviously that championship season of the sting. Right there was a it was a huge game in. I think it was in June at Wrigley Field. I think over thirty thousand people in there which is like a huge record crowd by then and then by then and then some and it was amazing. Game probably one of the better games ever in. Nfl history was a six five shootout win over the cosmos. I don't know how much you remember about that game. But if there's any game that defined maybe the your destiny. Later in the year and onward. It was probably that game in terms of the crowd in terms of the the beating of the Cosmos and ultimately what wound up becoming a championship beating. Those various COSMO's later in the year. The amazing part plus. We actually had a winning record against tassels and yet when it came to You know to the championship game in Toronto. We both the underdog and We had a banquet together. We stayed at the shore. Then hotel you know. Beautiful Hotel. Nice Hotel and the Cosmos owned Cook. Their own chef fed them whatever the reading. I don't I didn't mind the know what But they'll be even because it didn't help them and You kinda looked I mean. They put themselves on the pedestal. But I said Okay with the Blue Collar team We don't have You know whoever Namie a good Clothing makers make suits or uniforms. They designed their own uniforms. You know we went to the Shelf Adidas and you know okay. That's good enough for us. You know and stuff like that and at that bank would i? You know we all got a chance to speak and stuff like and I made funded Cosmos and I said so fading you guys and Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah and the whole thing and. Guess what it prevailed again. We ended up winning in the shootout Moody Glen scoring the winning goal for senator shootout and you know disaster for the concert listening disaster It was the game that we deserve to win Both teams Both do the furnace. Uh US and the New York goalkeeper. You know Both of them had two games and the actual game school could've spend on. You know it was what it was You know both defenses and then again fronts map. You'll taking care of Cambodia and stuff like that so I was at that game at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto and it was probably the most exciting zero zero game drama persona describe to me what might have been indescribable at the time of vanquishing and ultimately you know beating the mighty three times or four times at the time. Cosmos and then the the the reception back in Chicago which was almost like you guys had landed on the moon. You know some games a little more tense than other Games and especially we had games against the Cosmos e Transatlantic Cup game I think Florence Italy and Nationalen from Uruguay in the consciousness Played for the championship. The national team from Your Guy. With the club champions. You know it's like the UEFA champion's league playing against the South American champion sleek we've on that And so you know. We played totally against some but the reception My good friend Thank thank or who was like cop stationed at O'hare airport You know he was at the game with me. You know like Security Guy Bench and stuff like that and He said you know what we got to the Toronto Airport. We're going to have to do eat later flight for a couple hours. Because there are thousands of people storming to O'hare that are going to or here and We have to get more security In you know the thing Blah Blah Blah Blah so eventually you know we took off landed and frank told us doing in the single line. Don't stop sign autographs. Just keep going to you. Know your baggage claim area Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. So you know we come out. I'll tell you what Jeannie Morris Johnny Morris by what student interview with me down at the biggest thing I had people Grabbing my Tie and I felt like I was getting choked and stuff like that and I told my wife and the kids student playing for next thirty minutes forty minutes till everything cleans out and then come out you know. Be The Because you know I didn't want anybody to get hurt so eventually we come home. I get a phone call from my mother. What kind of Sun are you in? I said what are you talking about? What kind of Sun Are you? I was spending in line. You walked right by me and say hello. You didn't give me a hug. She was she was part of that group of people so I had to explain to her. And then you know she got other than you know but it was I mean those unbelievable times and then the parade that we had on the South Street you know I'm just phenomenal everything. And you know that's when we really became part of Chicago just like you know I don't mind that one Understated the debase or the cups. Divide sex stop but we became a big part of Chicago. Well Yeah and also was the first time that Chicago had won any Major Sports Championship since the bears had done so in sixty three right. So it's a long drought and arguably that the city grafted it's Desire for a winner in this now very popular albeit not necessarily uniform so North American Soccer League. You guys had the effectively the keys to the city right. I mean tickertape parade bit now. Let me ask you this though. Did you It seemed like for at least a period of time and and rightly so that that was a crest that you wrote for a bit of time including by the way getting involved as the NSL did in the indoor game and and maybe a little bit about that too because the games that you guys played at Chicago the old Chicago Stadium Indoor's was just as successful and arguably some of the seeds of where the team was gonNA wind up going over time this indoor thing. How did you adjust to that having dominated and winning everything on the outdoor side? Well how did you approach this indoor curiosity but you have good players it? It isn't hard to coach him. You know Good players will make good moves and stuff like that Callahan it's a part of my head. I know Steph didn't WanNa play indoors at all you know he didn't WanNa have been part of it you need to use with technical ability. Charlie Fico when my American players stood out playing indoors playing this month touch to England. Peter Guy with this You know it's GonNa mend shot you know and you need to have a quick goalkeeper obviously and stuff like that so we have to. We have to play a personnel but then one thing that happened and that started the destroyer snap in eighty one or eighty two but we went down down to two but at least Jordan Said you know we got to let this guy go. We gotta let that Guy Go. It's costing too much money You know and you know and we Kinda let good. Players like their spalding. Who was a good defender for us and the championship team? You know we let him go because they're five thousand dollars and you know it got to a point. I think maybe lead thought that I could find players like flights and flight paper. You know you know. All Lifelong and Sometimes when you have a good thing going you're the keep it together. You know to have some work anymore and I know and I don't know but the you noticed we set the initial record attendance record at the Chicago Stadium of nineteen thousand six hundred or seven hundred people bigoted under bullets and bigger than the blackhawks you know and it seems like man this thing is. GonNa and then. We screwed up big time. We left the stadium and we went to Rosemont. That is like going from From an Opera House to Outhouse. That's a dramatic statement but but arguably very true it almost so. It almost sounds like an eighty one with the championship. It almost feels like you. And this team peaked. Almost at the exact time that the league itself frankly peaked and maybe even just a tad bit after it was starting to peak right and you know I think some of those. You're talking about sort of the the decline of the outdoor game some of the some of the players and the real the the money issues and all that kind of stuff some of those are I guess Chicago centric but I think a lot of frankly was really the the league structure that you were part of an end the decline of that various reasons for that but I guess how much would you describe. Sort of the the daily monitor the the sort of the slide down from the peak if you will on the team and the city and the situation of Chicago versus that of the League and pro soccer itself. It sounds to me like you may be being a little overly harsh on your own the circumstances then or was it equal. Frankly you know what I think Just like in politics. I think you have to show that you're willing to improve the moment you start cutting back on players and stuff fans will pick up on it and they you know they will send you will see and then pretty soon you just a little bit more negatively then you month and that's that's You know go out to whole league then you have teams folding in the League. Then you have The media thing but when you're gonNA play indoors and you have outdoor fans that don't want to go indoors then you make your move to an indoor facility on the second floor. Didn't have any bathrooms and then you have to walk all the way down to the bottom to To go to a bathroom and stuff like that. You don't have to act that you had at the Chicago Stadium I remember Arthur words original owner of the Blackhawks they would. We'll him in in this wheelchair. And he wants he would watch our games and I'm thinking you know I didn't know what the time he you know his size side as we get older you know and everything starts to feel a little bit. He couldn't see the puck anymore. Put the soccer balls so much bigger so if for him. It was ice hockey but a soccer ball and I said if we can convince people that come and watch you know we can convince anybody to come and watch described to me. Then I wanNA bring this up because we could go on for hours but I I wanna get a sense of so if you could maybe juxtaposes the nineteen eighty-four championship season outdoors from that of of eighty-one just three years earlier. Because I I'm sure people remember not. Maybe people remember Chicago sting with the last official champions of the North American Soccer League three years afterwards in one thousand nine hundred but the circumstances and the feeling I'm guessing was very very different and while while the the rumors about the league sort of making it and the idea of going fulltime indoors as that was gaining ascension was certainly in the air. I don't think I don't think. Did you recognize frankly? Did you know that kind of that? At the end of the eighty four season that it was basically going to be done despite winning or losing. Yeah I know a again of toys by the quality of players you know. Everything was shrinking. Everything was you know you didn't have the big names. And the media media the first ones that pickup you know so and so's playing and that guy's playing and discuss not playing you know for me. That was the hardest. You're actually to coach the Chicago team. I had to make a trade by trading Ricardo alarm. So my big Argentinian. Backup for Callahan's commits and Charlie Baker's the by far the most popular American player I we were the five hundred team when I traded them to San Jose and I got many robots who I liked ready to use before when he played in Tampa Bay and you know just a quality player and the defender Hayden Night Basically both of them were sitting basically on the Pension San Jose. Not playing at all. And now here. I'm trading a starter Charlie Baker's and Played at play quite a bit off the bench because Alonzo for these players. The booze that I got The next few games even though we kept winning and winning you know and you know made it to the championship game and winning the champions and then I was a good coach again. You know but I knew the emphasis Pretty much coming. So I mean to your credit your over achieving with with decline with situations maybe beyond your control in terms of payroll and and and and the talent that you were you had to kind of you know it. Sounds like you were not only making do but but Over achieving with what you had left and to your credit you know sticking around and making it happened in that three game series against Toronto to win the championship again. What to me? If I look back now that was probably the hardest coaching job And Maybe the best coaching job That I had to do you know getting relying more on the American players then of the older European Playoffs the Mug Simon Tins from University of Indiana. The team Who you know who came in and scored Off The bench Ghetto if you really important goals for us and I think the human team that would you know? I did put a good team together but I didn't have to adjust the players a lot if you understand what I'm saying To make them click trying to fit in. But the eighty four team They have to be a lot of adjustments. So you know a lot more. Coaching a lot. More you know. And Luckily everything out had a feel beating Toronto who is being managed and overseen by Clive Toy. Ironically I knew what kind of person he was. He I have no respect for people like that. He only birth himself You know it was all about him even when we went that trip backtracking a little bit when we went to Europe played three games in Stockholm And Mammal Sweden in Holland in Germany. I I got a phone call from him even though he was not the president anymore And Alaskan butts in behind the Middle East and my assistant coach and I had to play because we had injuries that we couldn't even feel the full teams so both of us played then play against the national team from I get a phone call from him and these You know I got another game scheduled and I said we're not playing anymore games. What do you mean? What do you mean you know? Start screaming on the phone. I said you can scream. All you would not paying any more games. You know. I'M GONNA call Easter. I see you can call can call whoever you mccaw. We're not painted anymore games. You know and basically I get a phone call five minutes later from these storing. I you know. Are you sure you know we're going to get you know ten thousand? I don't know but the number was ten thousand like fifteen thousand dollars. It was peanuts and I said no he would not play any more games. The team is in kidding. We have enough injury so Eddie and You know I'm not looking for a position and the team is player. So we're not gonNA play anymore. Game he said. Okay kid if that's how you feel you know then it's okay. And that's respect for Clive Tori. He didn't goodbye. Anybody getting me back. So Cuban cigars. I'm fine you know Do this or do that I just wonder how much money that guy actually made outside of soccer. But I've read is that it didn't seem like he was a gracious loser when the eighty four championship was determined. Either no We had talked report by going into the locker room. The Canadian Mounted Police. They basically have to protect us. Getting at the time and You know what I think. Knowledgeable all ways prevail in in instead of and. I don't know the you probably know better than I do too He didn't have a happy ending in Toronto. Either when he was hired as a president. That didn't last too long either. Well there's an article I think was the Ottawa Citizen newspaper at the time. Basically call the sting unworthy champions And cheats and that kind of stuff. So it's clear that the animosity was was there Perhaps from some of the things you were talking about earlier but during the sting days and stuff but I think too is also acrimonious for just just everybody involved in the League time because survival was absolutely questioned and and obviously it. It wound up being the last year and last championship of the League and it seems like the world was kind of moving or becoming accustomed to the idea that the only future that this sport had in early to mid nineteen eighties. Actually mid-nineteen eighties was indoor. And and you guys were doing you. Guys are more than holding your own indoors. But how do you feel about that? Sort of transition obviously a crushing enough that the outdoor game essentially dies as does and for a long period of time thereafter sadly. But this indoor. I mean you know you were talking about how great players make graydon good attendance and stuff. How much conviction did you have that that that was going to be the future of this game? And and did you think indoor was as good a pursuit as the outdoor game. I what was your feelings about all that. You know. You really didn't have choice. I mean you know if I would have said I mean I coach both indoors and outdoors In New York professor Let's say he only coach outdoor. They had an indoor coach. You know the pressure I mean I mean Sunday. You are coaching twofold seasons in one season and Also the pressure of the players the injury factor. We lost the indoor championship if you remember Admit and beat us in admitting find we come back even the regular game in Chicago. You wait a half an hour. Then they play a thirty minute mini game now and we have nineteen thousand people at the stadium. You know what find that played a week and you know having played next Saturday. You know and we would have fun. I'm totally You know a totally sure because someone singer powder was injured. And you know you go out with the true Only to justify that We don't want them to say no hotel another four or five days. But you know what's cool We've undo all leak Title you know my Wait a week. Let the fans get all excited about the upcoming game a week from then and you know we would have had nineteen thousand at the stadium again. Yeah and this and this is and I don't want to sort of Belabor it but this is the very interesting sort of period of time when the. Nfl had woken up to the idea. This is circa one thousand nine hundred eighty one or so that the game actually could be thing. This is the arrival of the major indoor soccer league. We've talked about this with temper on a previous episode you know and the NFL. Having kind of started the indoor thing even back in the early seventies right but not really doing much with it. You're describing. I think maybe the first time we've actually really heard this from a first person the NSL essentially was kind of sort of figuring out that maybe they wanted to be a full year league with indoor and outdoor play but you know the overlap of the seasons and the toll on the players and frankly right the the the demands of each game which are really different. Right in the indoor game has a different skill set in a different mindset in a different sort of approach than the outdoor game does and yeah some of those some of those skills translate but a whole lot of them don't actually again but Good players I will go back to that on good playoffs village US good. I mean I play to in my in my day. Sweep play that the amphitheater indoor game some we played the you know the regular league Get Him because the weather condition in Chicago. Obviously you know like everybody else that lives here. Yeah you can't play soccer in these. You know January February You know and things like that but having said that you would have had almost don't have to complete different rosters eventually right or two different coaching staffs eventually. Because you know what? The pressure is just so enormous. And once you have that up your tation. Tim that you know you've been winning coach you when you have this and then suddenly things school bat. It's like you're being punished for something that you are being over worked on well all right. Let's let me round this APP because I you know this has been fantastic. I mean we. We love getting a first person conversations around around all of this kind of stuff and the sting in this plenty more that we'd love to dig into at some point and maybe another conversation with you. If you're ever interested maybe in person got at some point when the the craziness of the world maybe maybe recalibrate but you you kind of hinted at before but maybe you can sort of I mean the sting and your role in it. Right vary essential very crucial and quite successful. Put It in perspective right because obviously you've gone onto a very successful collegiate coaching career. And and there's the the Willy Roy Soccer Dome in the Western burbs and you know and a life in soccer right national soccer hall of fame. I mean obviously you're contributions to the game you know are Gargantuan and Significsan and and celebrated for sure and rightly so but they put all that in context because it seems to me that the sting in particular right a very I can best describe it a special moment in time when you juxtapose that against a a life and a career in soccer for you. I'm guessing it was a special time and you mentioned it before people haven't forgotten about this team years afterwards. Having no which I kind of feel Kim I'm probably At one point the most blessed person in life and then six years ago I lost my wife and I felt that I'm the most cheated person in life. The wonderful person that also helped me stabilize at times. One pressure really got Really you know Kinda tough and if you look at things I live in a nice home Next to a force please or I can see nature animals everything and you know I look at my career as a player You know I was never really heard. Phil. I poked my lake After playing when you're finished for this thing and I'm sitting there saying wow what am I gonNA do for the rest of my life now and then. Suddenly the phone call comes from Bill folks He wants me to be an assistant but he had a German this system by the name of Toby and he used to make tea for bill folks so I'm bill Called me and told him off to bed. I don't know how to make tea. I don't know how to make coffee. I don't know how to make all that crap But if you Monday and honest opinion as far as players are concerned and stuff like that then I can be your you know your system and till this day even though he had fired And I even tell Lee you know. We talked two months ago. I get I have nothing practically suspect. He bought some good quality young players. Nothing that Clive Tori and Malcolm Moscow which deploys word joke You know so. Sometimes you fight song person or for whatever reason You know obviously we looked at You know Winston lost Games and The difference is but the other guy puts with clive To me were both phony. I mean just could sleep till you. Eleven o'clock in the morning after losing seven straight and I'm saying to myself man. I'm I'm helping him and I can't sleep and I'm not the one that's getting blamed for this but I couldn't sleep well. I think it's testament to your knowledge and your care for it right. And and we've talked to a number of other former players and coaches and administrators and it also speaks to giving a damn right and and and what that translated to. I mean little kids in the stands like myself back in the day right. I mean it mattered. People paid attention and and the fact that not only the sting in Chicago sports history but also among soccer aficionados and people remember in the quality of play and all that stuff. And then you know you're an orchestrator of of quite a bit of that. That's got to be that has to be part of not only your legacy but also part of a source of pride for you in what arguably became a very significant contribution to the pro game in this country. Obviously it makes it feel good and I'm sure most of the people that work in the end. Esl I think but honest and died But we had a union. I mean devas a Lotta shady stuff going on to the former Owner of the Tulsa roughnecks. He was in Kansas City. To when there's sunroofs being inducted into the soccer hall of fame and we stayed in the same hotel and afterwards Carson One of my twins not not marcus. Aspera you know. We're in the bar having a beer and and I asked him I. You know I'd tell them. Why would you name the The Tulsa team left Knicks and this cat was sunny a cell. He said when you have a bunch of trump is h meant but else to name. But you know you gotta be kidding me. He said he gave his general manager at the time. Who came to miss that I need fifty thousand dollars in cash to buy this player in England so he flew with a thousand dollars in cash To London and he said that he wanted to get a cup of coffee left Hispanic under a chair and when he came back to back. What's gone can you believe that you know knowing what? I've learned the NFL and mortar com. I'm sure No not not too surprising but but certainly that that stands out thousands of dollars in cash under. I would've put handcuffs on both of my legs. And and obviously you know we didn't deal way to begin with but I mean as some of the stuff that came out You know just unreal. You know I let me. Let me preface this last question with a request. I would you come back at some point and and because I'd love to go into some of the intricacies of the seasons and some of the play and some of the Games that you might remember because frankly this has been tremendous in and of itself but I think there's a bunch of other sting memories in there that we could probably suss out If you're willing but I'll let you absolutely absolutely I can let you sleep on it too. That's okay You have to give the spot but so let me ask you. This adds wrap up question because I think it's really. You're in a unique position. Maybe to answer it is is what is your sense of the state of and again. I'm I'm taking our current. We're recording this in the middle of the pandemic the corner Corona. She's there's a lot of the big. You know a big shock to the sports system but assuming all this sort of plays out in the months to come and get back to some level of normalcy. What do you feel the state of soccer in this country is at the pro level with MLS? How many franchises can be and as well as our ability to play or not play or compete on the international level. A good bad neutral worrisome. What are your feelings? I have mixed emotions. I think The onus of Of the teams Dave mccaig trap as far as building. Soccer Related Stadiums. I know if we would have had a stadium even though it was in Bridgeview or whatever you WANNA call that Suburb You wouldn't be able to get Seat because the team was so exciting And I I think as far as the talent in the League. Obviously you know. There's a Lotta I you know somebody I don't Mitch team. They got veto. I think he's going to La. I think to the LA team. But you know what's he never made it. In Europe. He played with Labor costs Germany. He went to England and but he was never a regular starter. You know ninety percents starter in the whole thing and I think building the stadiums absolutely phenomenal. I wish we would have had him. you know That would have been a good thing. I think the leak the quality needs to improve or they have to say you know. I know garber he was against. When Clint's what's the national team coach and Klinsmann said let all the players the good ones when they're playing your let them play in Europe because they even have an atmosphere which I totally agree which is like football over. Here You know that they're going to be involved and get this tremendous. Feeli- you know that the sport is really number Monday in the world and Instead of trying to keep Players over here and they're playing at a B. minus level not like in Europe but he play at an eighty minus level or C. Plus level over here and That needs to be improved otherwise and Dan. I think you know what God bless You know the women's soccer program all the success that they're having you know because you know young girls They'RE GONNA go out and play soccer. That's GonNa promoted and you know the power of women does no ma'am strong enough to be a good woman at any game. Of course not you have to leave mode and I yes in two daughters as well so For Sure Oh man. I'm all about the girl power for sure. You know that did say that. I think no doubt and frankly the future of the women's pro game as had its fits and starts how about sort of on the international level. Then the last point of all this is you know so for and yes we can criticize sort of mls but their roots there there's infrastructure right now central control Dono. Right thirty franchises don't know right. The television thing is there are people really watching. Perhaps I mean the quality of play behind arguably. Yeah I mean you could argue ten twenty years from now it could be. It could be something more insubstantial and maybe more but but it certainly so for all the steps forward and maybe a few steps back on that front right. It's still around right. Twenty-five years is longer than the NSL lasted right. And all. It's what we're talking about two different things. You know who the hell would watch a game at soldier field for nicely than sixty seven. When they still had tracked they used to have conversations going down to you know it wasn't like soldiers field is now but the fence that close close close to the actual plain field. You know and Soldiers Field. I think the capacity at one point when we were there was a close to one hundred thousand. Cavernous I mean this is a joke. yeah yeah no absolutely and that's my point you have to be you know in the situation where you kind of feel comfortable you know and you can have the best chef in the world. Tim and you put them in a big banquet hall with Ten people that people are going to say. You know what's going on here bias. Nobody eating you. And and he you know he might make the best meal in the whole world but you put people into classes and you know three people biting outside then the man you know we'd better because surly otherwise we can't get into into this place so you know and I think that that infrastructure I mean does is no no small feat creating sort of these largely a soccer specific in in the more realistic kind of kind of but for all those positives. Right they're still that sort of lasting and maybe stinging now no pun challenge right which is it has not consistently or certainly certainly now translated into any level of of true international success. Aside from the women I'm putting them on side because there there are many different category but on the men's side. What's IT GONNA take to kind of get us in a row more can actually be successful but just competitive on on a regular basis internationally can Just going back to my days with the national team We're going to a training place in Bermuda. Hamilton Anybody IN BERMUDA. First Training Session seventy we have two coaches George Smith from the Midwest. Engage that handy from New York so George Meyer and I remember. This is he said. Oh we're going to start walking and gave. It looks at George Mindsets. No we're going to start tracking and you know here. I am a young player. The Federation didn't even tell who the heck coach was. They each thought you know I thought he was. The head. Coach gets any thought he was the head coach and it was just the atmosphere. What's absolutely horrible? You know nobody knew who was in charge you know and you know and stuff like that's so soccer has really. I think I look at the few games that we've played. Never prepared all the coaches. I'm in in my time. I can tell you. Got Five six coaches some nighttime this ability that you don't have a you know in Europe at least for four years unless you really fail to qualify for the European Championships for the World Cup. You know big countries like Germany England Italy Spain You know stuff like that. the instability in those days and. I don't know Because the men's team is not really I mean you really don't know when the next game is but look forward to the next game. Who was the the black kid that came out Do the member that name Shirt Freddy. Adu The supposed. Next Pele Right. Yeah he was going to be the next. Pele and everybody talked about getting the guy never panned out and whoever sent those wrong messages out. I mean you know he ended up. I think playing Norway for a couple of years and you know candidates appeared and I feel bad for him because they made them out to be something that he never could achieve. Yeah frankly anybody. Frankly could achieve argue. That's a bit of sort of maybe the I wanNA call a desperation but the just sheer desire to have to break through to that sort of next level and You know aside from twenty two when the US did tremendously well in the men's World Cup. It's and again I'm up. I'm putting the Women's game completed. The sides a whole different. That's all different universe of success. Yeah but I still remain hopeful and I and I suspect that you do too. We do have a pro league that has been substantially there for twenty five years and then summoned seems to be fiscally sound that at least give some roots of infrastructure right. There's no shortage of the game on television. Now right I mean we're it's an embarrassment of riches so the development of players I mean I see it with my own kids right kids and their parents start to get really serious about stuff like like nine and ten now maybe over coached and all that stuff for sure. But but there's there's a there's something there right that didn't exist. Twenty thirty years ago about I guess roots and or aspirations A real pro career as possibilities. I mean at least those have to be significant moves forward. Then maybe we were twenty thirty forty years ago. Oh no without any question. I you know the I think defined defined Dacian is there. You know you or myself as a former player you know I would like to see code a little bit faster. I would like to see a little bit Less over coaching. You know you know when people talk to me. Oh Yeah my place on the traveling team and I said you know. I played on the traveling team to. I used to take a bus for an hour. And a half to go from the From Midway Airports Ninety Fifteen Kelly met you know that was my traveling teams but we didn't have over coaching. We developed by playing fields. Now you know the field disaster a little bit too high or again that type of thing. Well that's but the zillions mougins debts were day. Xl by playing on crappy fields by plane. I'm bumpy fields. So they learn to how how they're you know got the ball doesn't bounce perfectly. You know every time you know and and and and stuff like that Maybe I'm being a little selfish for the time that I have left on this earth that I would like to see a US team. Make it to the semi finals of the World Cup You know I you know my soccer's come such a long way that you can see champion. Sleek you if League games you see Bundesliga Soccer English soccer Italian soccer Spanish Soccer Bible Day. Shorewood over here. If there's isn't somebody that's the future is going to be in United States. All right our tremendous over the top thanks to our new Powell Willy. Roy and all of his various recollections both last week generally around the NPS l. The early days of the NSL formative moments of his stink career. And of course this is. We got more in depth with the Chicago sting and and is absolutely more stories. I believed to be had. And perhaps maybe we'll have willie back baby in person someday when we can all actually be impersonal no time. Let's hope that happens sooner. Rather than later before we all go stir crazy and maybe even bring in chief Chronicler that we had on our episode number one twenty eight Mike Conklin he ex of the Chicago Tribune. And Longtime Scribe and follower of the Chicago. Sting and God forbid we could get Into some more indepth recollections and stories at all kinds of stuff. Not only about the sting of course but The North American Soccer League in all its Wacky as we love the NSL. It's a tremendous topic and It is perview gift that keeps on giving for this show for store. We WanNA thank of course not only Willie but you for listening if you want to keep abreast of our little doings on this show by all means by bookmark. Our website at good seats still available dot com. That's the place to find out what's going on. It's also the place to find every single one of our stinking episodes date three years worth who already believe it if your friends don't already know about the show and they haven't already added it to their podcast catcher to subscribe to for every episode. No greater place to get people interested than to send them to the website and have them pick and choose. Maybe some of the episodes that that might intrigued them. Most of course on there you'll find links to all of our social media feeds. But you can do that directly at with These following little handles. If you WANNA find us. Instagram work. Good seats still available. GonNa find us on twitter. You'll find us at good seat. Still were on facebook as well as page devoted to us there. You can also on the website sign up for our weekly email newsletter. That gives you a little bit of tidbit of a tip off to what we're GONNA be talking about each coming week a little earlier than the The average Joe. And let's see what else you could also send us emails link on the website but you can also do that to us. Send that to us directly and we are at hello at good seats still available Dot Com inimitable. No our thanks to the inimitable. That's what he's trying to say. Jerry pain our producer and director and editor extraordinaire. Jerry pain audio excellence down in suburban Atlanta. Thank you so much Sir for soldiering on in your own way in your own home and as well as Everybody else listening out there. We are with you. We hope you're making the best of challenging situations out there. We will do our best best to keep going and giving you a little bit of a breather from the the worlds troubles and we appreciate your support of course as always so until next week knock on wood. We'll see and we again greatly appreciate your listening until then take care buddy true take.