Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gary Darrell 1978 Game Used Jersey

Photos courtesy of  Joan D  :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1980 Poster

Grateful thanks to Cindy & Chuck for sharing this beautiful poster featuring Sonny Askew, Lozano, Johan Cruyff and Wim Jansen. You both are the best!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Living on Nickels & Dimes

Soon after Pele signed with the Cosmos in 1975, the Washington Post's Donald Huff wrote about several of the Diplomats trying to live on an NASL salary if you were not an international superstar.

It's Hard To Live On Soccer Pay

Donald Huff
The Washington Post
July 27, 1975

WASHINGTON — Brazilian soccer superstar Pele recently signed a $7 million contract to play for the New York Cosmos for three years. Washington Diplomats reserve goalkeeper George Taratsides recently received a $300 raise and now makes $2,000 a season.
Like many North American Soccer League players, Taratsides finds it impossible to live on his soccer salary. Consequently, he has another job.
"I help my father run a lunch wagon in Baltimore," said Taratsides, a former soccer All-America at the University of Maryland. "But I don't worry about the money so much, I would play for nothing."
There is little jealousy of Pele among his NASL teammates. Pele's presence this year pushed the league into the American sports limelight for the first time.
Nevertheless, while Pele's bank account skyrockets, the average professional soccer player in this country must moonlight just to get by.
Diplomats' president Jim Karvellas says the Washington club payroll is one of the highest in the league. But the players realize playing soccer isn't their main job. It's sort of a bonus for them," Karvellas added.
Most Diplomat salaries range between $2,000 and $5,000 for the season.
"It helps," said Leroy DeLeon of his soccer pay. DeLeon works as an engineer eight hours a day for the Savoy Construction Co. before reporting to practice,
"But I wish it could be full time," he continued. "If I made say $15,000, or $20,000, I wouldn't need another job." He makes a little over $4,200 with the Diplomats.
Unlike DeLeon, some of the Washington players play full time in Europe and compete here when that season ends.
"It (the NASL) just fills the gap for us," said Mick Barry, who plays in England.
According to Barry, many of the foreign players earn between $300-$500 a week in Europe, depending on where the team finishes in the standings.
Karvellas said the league is in the process of working ways to keep the players here year-round.
"Most of them would like to stay here all year, but we have to provide some sort of income for them," said Karvellas, "Winter and summer camps, sporting goods stores with the Diplomats as employees are ideas we're tossing around."
Karl Minor and Brian Pillinger, both salesmen, Bert Grell, a government employee, and Roy Willner, Maryland school system employee, are other players who work to supplement their soccer salaries.
Alan Ross and Mark Lowenstein are still amateurs and are paid $50 weekly by the club.
Diplomats coach Dennis Viollet says most players make adjustments, and are looking forward to higher salaries in the future.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's With All the Yelling?

Today, there are plenty of places to get advice about dealing with an irritating co-worker. Most of us have had to attend a group discussion/workshop on proper behavior in the workplace. This was not the case in decades past. What if the person creating a "hostile work environment," as it is called today, was one of the most recognized persons in the world in your particular field?

This seems to have been the case with some of Johan Cruyff's NASL teammates. Ian Plenderleith, in his book, Rock 'N' Roll Soccer, The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League, noted that, "wherever Cruyff went...dressing-room discontent was sure to follow." Gordon Bradley's son once rhetorically asked, "He was never wrong, was he?"

Ken Mokgojoa in action against the Sting, 1980.
One of the first articles to address this scenario during JC's 1980 stint with the Dips was printed in The Washington Post on April 17, 1980, just three games into the season. Under the headline "Mokgojoa Confused Dip, Unnerved by 'Yelling'," writer Donald Huff explained the new atmosphere some veteran Dips observed.

"I don't like people telling me what to do, yelling at me," said Ken Mokgojoa, who was in his third year with the club. Nicknamed "The Horse" because of his imposing stature, he was by nature a "shy, quiet, unassuming type" who only wanted to "fit in and be a part of the team."

He admitted to feeling confused and nervous since some of the new personnel had joined the team for the 1980 season. Don Droege remembers that Cruyff "pissed a lot of players off."

No one seemed exempt from JC's abrasive tongue. Three days after the a fore mentioned article the Dips played the Dallas Tornado at RFK Stadium. During the match, John Feinstein focused on Cruyff's demeanor.

Annoyed, yet again.

"On the field, Cruyff talks to everyone. He talks to teammates. He talks to opponents. He talks to his bench. He talks to the officials."

"At one point, his teammates did not rotate as he wanted and he let them know he was not pleased. Once when defender Nick Mijatovic passed elsewhere than to Cruyff when he thought he was open, Cruyff stopped, threw his arms up in the air and yelled, "For God's sake, Nick."

"Moments later, when another play failed to develop, Cruyff stopped dead in his tracks. 'Come on, people,' he implored. 'Somebody please move.' "

"Throughout the second half he kept looking at Coach Gordon Bradley as if to say, 'Do something.' Bradley only smiled each time Cruyff waved his arms in disgust."

"That's Johan's way," Bradley said. "If he ever stopped waving his arms and yelling I would wonder what was wrong with him."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015