Sunday, July 15, 2018

Gail Rongen Looking For Kidney Donor!

Gail Rongen, wife of Dips alum Thomas Rongen, is in need of a kidney. Please help spread the word. Thank you.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Diplomats & The 1978 World Cup

Forty years ago, as Argentina was celebrating their first World Cup
title, the Dips were still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship with the Madison Square Garden Corporation (MSG), their new owners. The money that MSG was willing to spend to make the Diplomats a contender was far more than the franchise had ever had in their operating budget.

"Since the new owners took over, we've been looking at a different class of player," Coach Gordon Bradley stated to the Washington Post on November 8, 1978.  "At this point, there is no reason for us to sign a player unless he's going to be 50 or 60 or 70 times percent better than the player we have at that position now. I know if I go to the Madison Square Garden people and tell them I want a player and he's going to make a big difference to our team, they'll give me the money I need."

In a January 23, 1979, article titled "Diplomats, Keegan Reach Agreement," the Post reported that the club had reached a verbal agreement with 1978 European Player of the Year Kevin Keegan for the upcoming season (unfortunately, this never came to be http://washingtondiplomats.blogspot.com/2010/07/kevin-keegan-diplomat.html). The final two paragraphs of the article publicly confirmed for the first time that the Diplomats were also in negotiations with Argentine World Cup Team Captain Daniel Passarella. An undisclosed source was quoted as stating the Dips were, "90 percent of the way" to finalizing a deal.

About a week later, a small byline in The Washington Star read "Dips Reach Financial Impasse on Passarella." Little information was provided except for a quote from a team spokesman stating, "At this point it is doubtful we will sign him this year. Negotiations have not terminated but they have reached an impasse."

On February 8, The Post reported the disappointing news that the two parties had broken off negotiations. Reports from Argentine news sources stated that the Dips had offered a multi-year $1.8 million deal. General Manager John Carbray told the Post that the deal broke down when the Diplomats and River Plate, Passarella's club in Argentina, could not agree on exhibition games in America, "and other secondary parts of the agreement."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

38th Observance of Black Sunday

This Friday, June 1, marks the 38th anniversary of Black Sunday, when Referee Toros Kibritjian colluded with Linesman Gordon Arrowsmith to rob the Diplomats of a nationally televised win over the Cosmos. As FDR put it, "June 1, 1980, a date which will live in NASL infamy ."

I sat in Section 520, Row 15, Seat 17 that day, which is roughly somewhere inside the yellow circle.

According to one NASL groupie, Giorgio Chinaglia called out his own name during the throws of passion.

Bill Irwin did all he could. But, ya know, the collusion kept him from a rightful victory.

Don Droege puts the clamp on Johan Neeskens.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Birthday, Eric Martin

Happy Birthday, Eric! Born March 31.
The Dips Fan Club celebrated Eric's birthday along with Club President Paula Sabo's in 1979.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Adidas Replica Jersey

Came across an ad for soccer gear in the July, 1981, issue of Mondial. Unlike the Sears replica, which only had two stripes across the chest so it would not infringe on a corporate trademark, these had three stripes since they were made by Adidas. This style occasionally shows up on ebay and other websites selling match used jerseys as player worn. If the shirt has long sleeves, as the model pictured does, it is not a real jersey. The Dips did not wear long sleeves between 1977-1980.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tommy O'Hara vs Chicago Sting, June 7, 1980

The Dips and Sting played a game at Wrigley Field that turned the playing surface, particularly the baseball portion, into a quagmire. More photos from this game can be found at the following link: