Perolli, Aztecs Test Rochester

Glenn Parsons
Date Published: 

Alex Perolli, recognized as one of the most successful soccer coaches of the world, was signed as the head coach of the North American Soccer League's Rochester Lancers for the 1970 season.

Approximately three months later, Rochester had set a new league record for consecutive victories (7) and romped to the NASL championship.

Perolli, now head coach of the Los Angeles Aztecs, will return to Rochester today for an afternoon contest to be televised back to the Southland in English by channel 22 beginning at noon.

Not only is Perolli in a strong position to repeat his first-year title feat of 1970, but his Aztecs own a 7-0 record and can, ironically enough, set a new league standard for consecutive victories with a victory over the Lancers.

"There is no way to compare the Lancers of 1970 and this team (the Aztecs)," Perolli commented before embarking on the current road trip which began Wednesday night with a 2-1 tiebreaker victory in Boston.

"These players I have now are much finer athletes," he continued. "There is a greater degree of professionalism and fitness on this team."

While the Aztecs have been rolling past their opposition thus far, Rochester has come up with a rather dismal 2-4 record. The Lancers, however, are coming off a 1-0 victory over defending NASL champion Philadelphia.

Nevertheless, even a victory over a tough Philadelphia team won't overly impress the Aztecs.

Three of the top scorers in the league, including scoring leader Douglas McMillan, wear Los Angeles jerseys. McMillan, who reached the top of the pile with a goal against Boston, is joined in the top ten by teammates Tony Douglas and Peter Filotis, who have nine points apiece to McMillan's 15.

All told, the Aztecs are the highest scoring team in the NASL, with 17 goals and hold the only undefeated league record.

Following today's contest, the Aztecs will return to East Los Angeles Stadium where they will meet the San Jose Earthquakes, currently the number two team in the Western Division behind L.A., in a 3 p.m. encounter next Sunday.