American soccer writing, history & data.
The 1993-94 U.S. Interregional Soccer League season was a 14-team league split into three divisions. It also included a Challenge Division of teams that played a limited schedule of away games. Those games counted in the standings for the other teams in the league but the Challenge Division teams were not eligible for the playoffs.
The Tyler Lightning moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Texas Lightning. The Oklahoma City Slickers organization went by their old Warriors nickname for the indoor season. The Chattanooga Railroaders became the Chattanooga Express. Five new USISL franchise were added. The Texas Arsenal from Dallas/Fort Worth, Cocoa Expos, and Toledo Twisters competed in the regular season.
The Hampton Roads Hurricanes from Virginia Beach, Va. and Jersey Dragons headquartered in the Ironbound section of Newark, N.J. were new franchises that were part of the Challenge Division. Other Challenge Division teams included the Birmingham Grasshoppers, Connecticut Wolves, Delaware Wizards, and Jacksonville Fury.
The Atlanta Magic continued their dominance going unbeaten for a second straight season. The club was now the sole Atlanta franchise in the USISL. Following the 1993 season, it had acquired the Datagraphic Lasers outdoor franchise after the death of owner George D. Baker. The Magic was playing its first season as an indoor professional team after two seasons as an amateur club.
The Baltimore Bays also went through an unbeaten regular season. The Bays won the Northern Division over second-place Richmond Kickers. But, in the division, new franchise Toledo Twisters disbanded after losing their first eight games. In addition, the Greensboro Dynamo only played three games out of a planned 12-game schedule.
The Sizzlin' Four playoff group included division winners Atlanta Magic, Baltimore Bays, and Tulsa Roughneck along with wild card Chattanooga Express. The playoffs were hosted by the Baltimore Bays at the Du Burns Arena in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, Md.
The Express pulled off a major upset beating the Bays 8-6 in the first group match. Atlanta beat Tulsa and Chattanooga in their two matches. Baltimore beat Tulsa 15-10 in their second match, but Chattanooga made it to the final because the Express had beaten the Bays. Atlanta won the final 8-3 over Chattanooga to cap their second straight undefeated season and defend their USISL indoor title.
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