Atlanta Chiefs battle Dallas in soccer match

Date Published: 
Rome News-Tribune

The Atlanta Chiefs face their first 1969 test against North American Soccer League Competition today when they collide headon with the Dallas Tornados in an exhibition game at Barron Stadium at 2:30 p.m.

The Chiefs, defending champions of the NASL, will also be playing their first game under new coach and general manager Vic Crowe. Crowe replaced Phil Woosnam, who is now executive director of the league.

Also, the Dallas Tornados will be playing under a new head coach. He is the former Chief player Ron Newman, who proved to be a popular performer in Atlanta during the past two years.

Actually, Atlanta will not enter into league play until June 1 against the Baltimore Bays, but Crowe will have an excellent opportunity to view his troops under fire in the exhibition tilt at Barron Stadium.

The Rome Jaycees are sponsoring the game with tickets costing $2 for adults and $1 for students. All proceeds of the game go to the American Cancer Society.

This marks the second year the Chiefs have played in Rome after staging an exhibition tilt last year, but this year will be against a league foe.

In the first two years the Chiefs compiled a regular season record of 28 wins, 19 losses and 15 ties, and an overall record of 32-20-17.

Most of the members of last year's title club are back, including high scoring Kaizer (Boy-Boy) Motaung. He tallied 15 goals and had three assists to lead the 1968 club in scoring.

Another forward back is Graham Newton, who scored 11 goals and had three assists in 1968.

Other standouts of the Chiefs' roster are forwards Everald Cummings, Emment Kapengwe, Freddie Mwila and Nick Papadakis, halfbacks Mike Ash, Ray Bloomfield and Ken Bracewell, fullbacks John Cocking, Henry Largie and Delroy Scott and goalkeepers Manfred Kammerer and Vic Rouse.

Atlanta's professional soccer club was born on Aug 9, 1966, when the Atlanta Braves, Inc., was awarded one of the nine original franchises in the National Soccer League.

On Sept., 1966, former Welsh international player Phil Woosnam was named coach and general manager of the team.

The Chiefs played their first international game on May 27, 1968, against Manchester City, then champions of England and Atlanta won 3-2. The Chiefs later defeated the Manchester team, 2-1, on June 15.

The Chiefs went on to give Atlanta its first national title in 1968 by defeating the San Diego Toros 3-0 for the NASL championship.

Now, in just two years the Chiefs and soccer have accomplished many things. Not only are they the NASL champs nearly 300,000 fans saw the team play in Atlanta Stadium during the first two seasons.