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Hey Now, You’re An All-Star

Admit it – you didn’t watch the Pro Bowl yesterday, did you?

Yesterday was the anniversary of another all-star game, the only one of its kind. On Wednesday, February 8, 1984, the North American Soccer League held the only All-Star Game in its history – and, oddly enough, it was an indoor game.

The NASL played 17 outdoor seasons from 1968-1984, but also dabbled in indoor for a few years. In the final year of indoor play, 1983-84, the NASL only had seven teams. So, the Chicago Sting hosted the NASL All-Stars at the old Chicago Stadium in a game to benefit Chicago Tribune Charities.

The All-Stars won, 9-8 in a game with a little bit of everything – four goals by Karl-Heinz Granitza, five assists by Charlie Fajkus, a bench-clearing brawl and the immortal Gert Wieczorkowski scoring the game-winner on the power play with 2:44 left.

In contrast to most lassez-faire all-star get-togethers, this one was feisty, with Granitza picking up two penalties and a yellow card for a near-brawl in the third and Julie Veee punching Rudy Glenn of the Sting in the melee in the fourth, resulting in Veee’s ejection. The fight came with the Sting leading 8-7, but the All-Stars scored twice in the final six minutes, with Wieczorkowski’s power-play tally the difference.

“That was absolutely marvelous,” All-Stars coach Ron Newman of San Diego told the Chicago Tribune afterwards. “I would have paid to see this one.”

More than 14,000 did, not realizing they were seeing a one-of-a-kind game. The Sting, which flirted with sitting out the upcoming NASL outdoor season, relented and won the league’s final title that October. When the NASL went under, Chicago (along with the Minnesota Strikers, San Diego Sockers and New York Cosmos) joined the Major Indoor Soccer League. In 1988, the Sting finally folded.

NASL All-Stars 3 3 1 2 9
Chicago Sting 2 2 2 2 8
Tm Time Goal Assist Score
1st Period
NASL :48 Steve Zungul Fernando Clavijo 1-0
NASL 3:23 Zequinha Peter Ward 2-0
CHIC 4:32 Pato Margetic Charlie Fajkus 2-1
NASL 7:00 Peter Ward Carl Valentine 3-1
CH 12:27 Karl-Heinz Granitza Charlie Fajkus 3-2
Penalties: None
2nd Period
CHIC 2:47 Hans Weiner Mark Simanton 3-3
CHIC 4:38 Karl-Heinz Granitza Charlie Fajkus 3-4
NASL 8:27 Peter Ward (pp) Jean Willrich 4-4
NASL 12:32 Carl Valentine Franz Mathieu 5-4
NASL 14:19 Steve Zungul Gert Wieczorkowski 6-4
CHIC-Chris Kenny (boarding) 7:50
CHI-Tim Twellman (tripping) 9:09
3rd Period
NASL 7:04 Karl-Heinz Granitza (penalty kick) 6-5
NASL 7:50 Julie Veee Steve Zungul 7-5
NASL 11:33 Karl-Heinz Granitza Pato Margetic 7-6
CHIC-Karl-Heinz Granitza (unsportsmanlike conduct) 1:58
CHIC-Karl-Heinz Granitza (dissent) 1:58CHIC-Karl-Heinz Granitza (yellow card) 1:58

NASL-Jean Willrich (kicking) 2:29

NASL-Fernando Clavijo (handball) 7:03

4th Period
CHIC :32 Pato Margetic Charlie Fajkus 7-7
CHIC 5:10 Pato Margetic Charlie Fajkus 7-8
NASL 9:08 Kaz Deyna Steve Zungul 8-8
NASL 12:16 Gert Wieczorkowski (pp) Jean Willrich 9-8
NASL-Julie Veee (violent conduct-ejection) 7:07
CHIC-Rudy Glenn (unsportsmanlike conduct) 7:07

CHIC-Pato Margetic (unsportsmanlike conduct) 7:07

CHIC-Hans Weiner (boarding) 10:41

CHIC-Rudy Glenn (tripping) 14:18

NASL-Tino Lettieri (unsportsmanlike conduct) 14:18

Shots By Period
NASL All-Stars 7 6 6 12 31
Chicago Sting 6 4 5 6 21

SAVES:NASL 11 (Tino Lettieri 7, David Brcic 4), CHI 17 (Victor Noguiera 17)
COACHES: Ron Newman (NASL), Willy Roy (CHIC)
REFEREES: Feliks Fuksman, Julio Salas

2 Responses to Hey Now, You’re An All-Star

  1. I was at this game! Thanks for reminding me. It was an incredible match. For the Sting is was bascially the K-H Granitza show.

    And look at those All Stars: the late, great Kazimierz Deyna, Steve Zungul, Tino Lettieri, Julie Veee and Fernando Clavijo.

    And the Stadium was deafening when all those fans yelling!

    Heck, the Sting was drawing more than the Bulls in those days. Too bad today’s indoor owners can’t recreate that magic again.

  2. I was there as well. The Sting hosted the MISL all star game a couple of seasons later but it was not as good as this one.


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