American soccer writing, history & data.
By the time of the 1989-90 indoor season the Southwest Indoor Soccer League was affiliated with the U.S. Soccer Federation as a regional indoor league for Region III. During that indoor season, the SISL also acquired affiliation with the USSF as a Division III regional amateur/semi-pro outdoor league for its inaugural Southwest Outdoor Soccer League 1989 season.
Prior to the season, the Albuquerque Gunners took part in the USSF's National Challenge Cup Region IV tournament. The tournament was hosted by the New Mexico State Soccer Association and played on the University of New Mexico South soccer fields. On May 11, the Gunners beat SLC Academia of Utah 4-1 in the Region IV preliminary round. Two days later, the Gunners were blanked 2-0 by Island Heat Exiles in the Region IV semifinals.
Seven of the nine SISL clubs joined the outdoor season with Amarillo Challengers and Houston Express not taking part. Two expansion teams were added staring with the 1989 outdoor season: Colorado Comets of Lakewood; and Tulsa Renegades. The Austin Sockadillos' new outdoor team was made up of players from the indoor team and former Capital Soccer Club under-19 players. The team was named the Capital Sockadillos for the 1989 SOSL season.
The nine-team SOSL would play a 12-game schedule and, like the indoor season, was a developmental not professional league so players were not paid. The season began in late May and ran through July. Like the indoor season the league was split into three divisions (North, West and South) of three teams each. But, after a few postponements, the Wichita Tornado dropped out of the SOSL and the league was restructured into a single table.
Teams would receive six points for a win, four for a shootout win, two for a shootout loss, plus a bonus point for each goal scored per game up to a maximum of three. Games tied at the end of regulation would go to a shootout.
In the semifinals, the third-place Addison Arrows upset second-place Tulsa Renegades winning two of the three-game series by penalty kick shootouts. In addition, the fourth-place Capital Sockadillos had earned the right to face the first-place Colorado Comets in the other semifinal series to be played in Colorado, but could not afford the trip. Colorado beat Addison in the final to win the first outdoor league title.
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