The I.S.A. Collection

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Season to Remember: ROY LASSITER 1996

With all the talk about Chris Wondolowski having a great year, and the chance to break the single-season scoring record, its has been a mere mention about the accomplishments of Roy Lassiter in 1996.

Record setter - Roy Lassiter

ROY LASSITER (above) was the top goal scorer in the inaugural year of MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER. He led his TAMPA BAY MUTINY to the best league record in 1996. Although not yet established, the now defunct club was subsequently awarded the Supporter's Shield as regular season Champions.

And still, the magnificence of Lassiter's goal scoring may have been overshadowed by the fact that the USA was to finally have a top professional soccer circuit. Not present since the demise of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1984, the idea of riding on the successes of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 7 of their 9 venues was pure elation for the nation's soccer faithful.

The jersey from Roy Lassiter's record breaking 1996 season

Cought up in the euphoria of star designations assigned to the clubs were Roberto Donadoni to NY / NJ MetroStars, Jorge Campos to Los Angeles, Carlos Valderrama to Tampa and Hugo Sanchez to Dallas. 

There was a good deal of talent in a small pool. MLS had recalled most of their 1990's World Cup players and added the best of the existing talent from the American Professional Soccer League.

Lassiter's trademark "flying" celebration (above) was a hit for MLS fans.

Lassiter had scored 27 goals in 30 games while playing in a 32 game season. He added 6 more in 5 playoff games. However, the club would be eliminated by eventual MLS Cup winners, DC United.

The jersey of Roy Lassiter (above) in the Collection of the ISA.

In total, Roy netted 37 goals in 60 games for the Mutiny and a total of 88 regular season finishes in his MLS career. 

He set the high mark for goal scorers, of which only 7 players have surpassed the 20-goal mark.

We will know in the next few weeks if there is a new bar set for the future.

N.Y. Cosmos Championship Ring Sells at Auction

The 1977 Championship ring of New York Cosmos owner Steve Ross went on the auction block on October 4th and sold for $6,270.
Ross, who was a titan in the business world, was the CEO of Warner Communications when it purchased the NASL franchise for $1 from its original 10 owners in 1971. He went on to develop financial concepts for American Express, video game icon Atari, DC Comics and MTV, HBO and Nickleodeon television among others.

He eventually rolled his empire under the TIME-WARNER corporation label. However, for soccer fans, it was his visionary support of the world's game that brought Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Giorgio Chinaglia to play in America. 

The 10k gold ring with an emerald stone center was made by famed jewelers Jostein. The ring features the insignia of the NASL, the N.Y. Cosmos and a facsimile signature of Pele on the inner band. 

Pele, playing his final season in the NASL, was the catalyst for the club winning a Championship before the legend's retirement in 1977. 

The ring, as an artifact from a business tycoon, sports builder and pop culture icon, is paramount to the N.Y. Yankees' George Steinbrenner, the Chicago Bears' George Halas or  the Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie.