Darts End 'Foreign' Losses

Don Dunn
Date Published: 
Cumberland Evening Times

WASHINGTON—The Washington Darts did a convincing job of eliminating their loss string in the North American Soccer League competition against teams from out of the U. S., smashing Hapoel Petah Tikva of Israel 5-0 yesterday at Catholic University. The match was played before 6,215 followers, the largest crowd the Darts have drawn this season.

Hapoel came to this country to meet the NASL teams with three players who were with the Israel team in the World Cup finals in Mexico, won by Brazil last week. The trio of 'Cup players were goalkeeper Yitschak Vissoker, halfback Shmuel Rosenthall and Itzhak Druker. However impressive it was to meet the backbone of the defense of Israel's national team, the Darts had little difficulty once the action got underway.

Playing without forward John Kerr, who was suspended by general manager Norman Sutherland for failing to practice with the team when weather conditions did not suit hi, the home team displayed its most effective offense of the season. The strength of the affair was carried by former New York Generals center-forward Leroy DeLeon, who opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of play hitting the nets with an assist from former Generals teammate Warren Archibald, the Darts' outside left.

DeLeon played most of the contest leading a charge on goalie Vissoker, with the Israeli netman coming out with seven saves of an outlandish total of 27 shots from the winners. If the shot count brings on the appearance of nothing but offense for the Darts, Hapoel could get through Washington's defenders for but seven shots, only two of which were close enough to be handled by goal-keeper-coach Lincoln Phillips, who recorded his fifth consecutive shutout of the season.

At halftime, the American team was in front 2-0, with Billy Fraser hitting in the 44th minute on a fine pass from Joseph (Nana) Gyau, with the shot coming from less than tem yards from the goalmouth. Eleven minutes into the second half of action, D.C. darling Victorio Casa made it 3-0 on a second assist by Archibald, with the one-armed Argentine footer putting on a fancy display of footwork on the way to his score.

On a warm, sunny Washington afternoon, the foreign team looked less and less comfortable, and each goal brought on a less relaxed appearance. In the 63rd minute of the game Casa made an even more impressive showing of his dribbling and passing talents, hitting DeLeon for the Trinidadian's second goal of the afternoon, turning the match into something of a laughing matter for the home fans.

In the 85th minute, DeLeon added the proverbial insult to injury, kicking on off defender Shimon Cohen to credit the Israeli player with an own goal and make the Darts victory the 5-0 closing count. With the runaway, the NASL frontrunners picked up the maximum nine points in the standings, giving them a 19-point lead over the Atlanta Chiefs in the Southern Section, 70-51.

Next on tap for the Darts is their third meeting with the St. Louis Stars next Sunday at 4 p. m. in Catholic
University's park. In the first encounter with St. Louis at home, the Darts took a 4-0 win May 10, and whipped the Stars 2-0 in St. Louis June 7.

With the victory over Hapoel of Israel, the Darts remain the only team in the NASL with a winning record, bringing their won-lost-tied showing up to 7-3-3 for their first season in the Unites States' major league soccer setup. The trio of losses includes a 2-0 defeat from Hertha of Berlin and a 4-2 setback by Coventry City of England, the other foreign teams encountered thus far.