American soccer writing, history & data.
After the 1990 outdoor season the Southwest Independent Soccer League expanded to 18 teams before the 1990-91 indoor soccer season. With additions in the southern U.S., the organization again renamed itself becoming the Sunbelt Independent Soccer League.
A number of franchise changes happened between the outdoor and indoor seasons. North Texas United of Duncanville dropped out. The Albuquerque Gunners were bought by Joe Shealy in August and renamed the New Mexico Roadrunners. In light of the success of the New Mexico Chiles of the American Professional Soccer League, Shealy wanted to move the SISL franchise to Santa Fe for the upcoming 1991 outdoor season.
In September, the SISL granted permission for the Waco franchise (formerly the Waco Kickers) to move to Tarrant County. An agreement was reached by the franchise to play at the Arlington Soccer Center for the indoor season with the 1991 outdoor season to be held at a site to be determined in Fort Worth. Soon after, the defending indoor champion Addison Arrows merged with the Waco franchise to be come the Fort Worth Kickers.
Five expansion franchises were also added for the 1990-91 indoor season: Atlanta Express; El Paso Spurs; Georgia Steamers of Lilburn; Memphis Rogues; and Nashville Metros. The Express served as a developmental squad for the Atlanta Attack of the National Professional Soccer League (formerly the American Indoor Soccer Association). The Express turned a profit of $120 for the season and turned down a playoff berth to protect its margin and to avert an additional $4000 in travel expenses to Texas for the event.
The Memphis Rogues of the AISA had disbanded following that league's 1989-90 season. Rob Gunter founded a nonprofit called Youth Educational Services to run a new soccer team in Memphis. In July YES purchased the rights to the name Memphis Rogues and joined the SISL as a new franchise.
The Nashville Metros were under the direction of Devinder Sandhu, team manger and player for the Nashville Blues outdoor soccer club. Originally scheduled for a full 20-game season, the Metros' home venue was not ready in time for the season. As such, the Steamers played 10 of the games originally scheduled for the Metros. At the end of the season the league combined the records of the two teams. If they combined record was good enough to make the Southeast Conference playoffs, the league would have taken the one with the best record. While the Steamers had a respectable 5-5 record the Metros lost all 10 of their games and their combined record was near the bottom of the standing.
The New Mexico Roadrunners and El Paso Spurs also had a similar arrangement in the Southwest Conference. Both teams struggled to find home venues and each played 10-game schedules. In addition, the San Antonio Generals could not acquire their own home venue and played at Tatu's Indoor Soccer Place, the home field of the Austin Sockadillos.
The Richardson Rockets ended the season as the clear favorites losing only two of their twenty matches. But, the Fort Worth Kickers pulled an upset and knocked the Rockets out in the quarterfinals. Similarly, the Phoenix Hearts knocked out the top-seed in the Southwest Conference beating Tucson Amigos in two straight games.
The Colorado Comets beat the Oklahoma City Warriors three games to none in the best-of-five-game series to win the 1990-91 SISL indoor title. The victory gave Colorado three out of four SISL titles and was the first team to win back-to-back titles having taken home the 1989 and 1990 outdoor seasons.
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