American soccer writing, history & data.
The Western Soccer Alliance returned for the 1987 season with a number of changes from the prior year. The Edmonton Brick Men did to return as the team joined the newly-formed Canadian Soccer League. For the first time the league implemented a playoffs. The second and third place teams would face off in a semifinal with the winner playing the first-place team for the league championship. The regular season would also do away with draws going to a sudden-death overtime period then penalty kicks to decide the winner of each game.
The Hollywood Kickers, which played in Van Nuys, Cali. the prior season, moved to Los Angeles, and were renamed the California Kickers under new president Donald Burris. The team lost more than $50,000 in 1986 with a professional squad. The team stopped paying full salaries this season with the official reason given that it allowed players to keep their amateur status.
For the 1987 season, Los Angeles Heat squad was composed basically of young amateurs from the South Bay. After spending much of the season averaging only 500 attendance at El Camino College's Murdock Stadium in Torrance, the team played its final two games across town at Bishop Montgomery High School. In the fall of 1986, Seattle Storm head coach, Jimmy Gabriel, resigned to return to Great Britain. Assistant coach Tom Jenkins was named head coach of the now-amateur team.
The season ended with three clubs tied at the top of the table with 31 points. The San Diego Nomads took first place via tiebreakers. The Nomads were again made up almost entirely of U.S. amateur players between the ages of 17 and 23.
The San Jose Earthquakes beat F.C. Seattle Storm 3-0 in the semifinal on June 7, 1987. On June 14, before 2000 at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Cali., the San Diego Nomad beat San Jose 3-1 to win the WSA season championship.
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