Aztecs Rip Dallas, 3-0

Glenn Parsons
Date Published: 

Sporting a hard-working offense, a very adequate defense and a new kind of fan spirit, the Los Angeles Aztecs sprinted to a 3-0 defeat of the Dallas Tornado in the first professional soccer game played in Torrance's El Camino Stadium.

The victory closed out the North American Soccer League's 1975 exhibition schedule for both clubs. The Aztecs will meet the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday in the NASL regular season opener at San Jose.

A crowd of 5,226, the largest to take in a NASL contest in Southern California, looked on as the league's defending champions took control of the game from the outset and took a 1-0 lead into the halftime locker room.

"We played pretty well together tonight," Aztec first-year coach Terry Fisher commented following the game. "Our offense moved well."

The Aztec forward line, consisting of striker Uri Banhoffer and wings Julie Veee and Sergio Velasquez, along with offensive midfielder Tony Douglas, produced numerous scoring opportunities throughout the game.

"We had a lot of scoring opportunities, but we didn't follow through quick enough in most instances," Fisher said. "We'll have to learn to go after the goals quicker. The guys are doing a good job of setting up. We just have to finish it off."

Los Angeles didn't find the back of the Dallas nets until 40 minutes into the game when Tornado defender Bob Moffat pulled Veee down inside the penalty area in front of Dallas goalkeeper Ken Cooper.

Banhoffer, shooting the penalty kick for the Aztecs, put the ball in the lower left corner of the Toronto
goal as Cooper dove in the opposite direction.

The Aztecs' best scoring opportunity of the first half came 30 minutes into the game. Midfielder John
Mason, the First American Youth Soccer Organization product to play in the NASL, passed the ball down the left touchline to Veee, who dribbled the ball along the goal line and passed across the mouth of the goal where Banhoffer was waiting in front of the Dallas goal.

Banhoffer's hard shot went off the hands of Cooper and up over the crossbar.

The Aztecs started earlier in the second half against a very flat looking Tornado 11. Tony Douglas, who earned the reputation of having one of the hardest shots in the NASL last year with the Aztecs, boomed one in from 20 yards out on a first-touch off a pass from Banhoffer just 10 minutes into the second half. Tornado substitute goalie Matt Weiss dove to his left, but the ball went under his hands and into the net.

The final goal came with just five minutes remaining in the 90-minute contest.

Fisher dribbled the ball around a Dallas defender and shot from 10 yards out. Weiss blocked the ball, but Banhoffer was waiting to the right of the goal from where he drove the goal home.

"We missed too many opportunities, especially in the second half, but I am pleased with the effort," Fisher said. "I am especially happy with our work rate as a team.

"We're getting good efforts from everyone, both on offense and defense," he continued. "Ramon Moraldo played very well. Four out of five of our defenders are Americans and it's tough to ask for more than a shutout out of any team."

Aztec goalie Gary Allison, obtained in an off-season trade from Dallas, didn't have much of an opportunity to show what he can do as Dallas took just five shots on the Los Angeles goal. Allison was required to save only two of the shots. The Aztec offensive, on the other hand, took 19 shots.

Dallas 0 0—0
Los Angeles 1 2—3

L.A. scoring: Banhoffer 2 (unassisted. Fisher assist), Douglas (Banhoffer assist). Shots on goal: Dallas 5, Los Angeles 15. Goalie saves: Cooper (L.A.) 2, Weiss (Dallas) 4, Allison (Dallas) 5.