'Archy' gives 100 per cent

Sam Pollack
Date Published: 
Miami News

On a blackboard in a corner of the Miami Toros' Orange Bowl dressing room Saturday night, coach John Young wrote, "100 per cent is not enough." When Young wasn't looking, however, someone erased the last three words.

The culprit made a clean getaway, but the prime suspect is star forward Warren Archibald.

"I just want to give 100 per cent," said Archibald after scoring both Miami goals in the Toros' 2-1 victory over first place Philadelphia. Not only did the 5-foot-six Trinidadian prove 100 per cent was indeed enough, he captured the North American Soccer League scoring lead.

Obviously the star of the team, perhaps the league, Archibald shuns the role.

"I don't want to be no star," he said with his heavy accent. "I want to be plain Warren Archibald. I don't mind if people don't recognize me on the street . . . just so long as they know the name."

Archie, as he is known to teammates, is making quite a name for himself around the league, especially with officials. Were he not the most prolific scorer in the league, he might be regarded as a "hot dog."

Given to histrionics when he believes an official missed a call, Archibald often emphasizes his argument by writhing on the ground, seemingly in horrible pain from a foul a referee or linesman overlooked.

Officials have been lynched for less by fans in countries which take their soccer more seriously than Americans.

In one respect, Archibald, even at a mere 140 pounds, is reminiscent of former Cleveland Browns football player Jimmy Brown. Brown, after being tackled, would get to his feet oh-so-slowly, limp back to the huddle, laboriously take his stance, then tear off at full speed before repeating the routine.

Archibald, on four occasions Saturday night, after evoking sufficient sympathy from the crowd of 4,684, struggled to his feet then effortlessly streaked down the field. Finally, though, he really hurt himself.

Archibald came off the field with about a minute left in the game, complaining he had separated his shoulder. He received solacing applause as trainer Chuck Gross helped him into the dressing room. Team doctor George Richards, however, said, it was only a sprain, and Archy looked almost disappointed. He resents insinuations the he fakes injuries.

"Any time I'm down on the ground," he asserted, "I'm hurt. If I was faking, I could get a penalty."

Trainer Gross, however, doubts Archibald's veracity. "When Archy goes down, he's usually trying to draw a foul, except for that last time. He was really hurt."

"Archy is very resilient," said Young, who is pretty resilient himself, making it to the game with a viral infection. "Archy takes a lot of abuse because he gets double-teamed all the time. He should be ready for our game next Saturday with Atlanta. He'll be all right. That's the way he is."

In all probability, Warren Archibald will be in the lineup next Saturday night in the Orange Bowl, and will contribute his customary 100 per cent. Nobody, with the possible exception of John Young could ask for anything more.