SUMMER OF ’67
Real Madrid, Juventus and Internazionale will spend their 2013 close seasons battling for the inaugural International Champions Cup, though summer competitions in North America showcasing clubs from around the globe are nothing new.
The United Soccer Association tournament of 1967 featured 10 European teams and two from South America jetting across the continent from the end of May to mid-July. Aberdeen, Dundee United and Hibernian arrived from Scotland. Stoke City, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers represented England. Top Serie A side Cagliari came from Italy boasting Italian national team forwards Roberto Boninsegna and Luigi Riva. ADO Den Haag traveled from the Netherlands, Rio state champions Bangu from Brazil and Cerro from Uruguay. Glentoran and Shamrock Rovers, two semi-professional clubs from north and south of the Irish border, completed the line-up.
Legendary Northern Irish striker Derek Dougan led Wolves to the Western Division crown under the guise of the Los Angeles Wolves. Aberdeen, representing the Washington Whips and boasting President Lyndon B. Johnson as a season ticket holder, won the Eastern Division with a young team including future Manchester United captain Martin Buchan and U.S. college soccer coaching guru Bobby Clark.
The Wolves and the Whips produced an epic encounter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 14, 1967 to determine who would become the first, and ultimately only, United Soccer Association champions. It was the greatest soccer final played on American soil.
“Summer Of ’67” charts the story of the tournament’s creation and demise, and recalls the experiences of its participants including Buchan, Clark, ex-Wolves’ winger Terry Wharton, Stoke legend Terry Conroy and former Hibernian and Liverpool midfielder Peter Cormack. Players from eight clubs share their memories of the capers, the gimmicks, the celebrity brushes and the games that combined to provide them with the trip of a lifetime.
Sept. 23, 2013 — “11 Goals, Two Hat-Tricks, Three Pens, One Red And Several Punch-Ups…It Was The Greatest Final Ever Played On American Soil” (Sporting Intelligence)
Sept. 7, 2013 — Blether With Brown: Dundonian Hit Three In Senior Cup Final Against English Side (Evening Telegraph, Dundee)
Aug. 13, 2013 — When Hibernian Were Toronto City (Hibernian Football Club website)
Aug. 11, 2013 — Keeper Notes Soccer Show (Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560AM, Houston)
Aug. 8, 2013 — The Greatest Soccer Final Ever Played on American Soil (First Touch, New York City)
July 24, 2013 — The Story Of The Greatest Game Ever Played In America That You Have Probably Never Heard Of (Forbes)
July 14, 2013 — California Dreaming: Happy Memories Of Wolves In Los Angeles (WolvesHeroes.com website)
July 12, 2013 — Glentoran Take On Some Of The World’s Best In North America (Glentoran Football Club website)
June 3, 2013 — The Summer When Aberdeen F.C. Became the Washington Whips (Scottish Television)
May 31, 2013 — Former U.S. President was an Aberdeen F.C. Season Ticket Holder (Evening Express, Aberdeen)