Houston’s Force That Wasn’t

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Storyline: The Houston Force was done immediately after it began. One can only wonder what might have been.


Courtesy: Wikipedia

The city of Houston has had many professional sports teams. Everyone knows about the Texans, Astros, and Rockets. But did you know that Houston has had numerous minor league teams in a variety of sports? Take the Sugar Land Skeeters (baseball) or the Houston Hotshots (soccer).

Many teams have come through Houston over the years, but have folded for financial reasons. And one of those teams sticks out. Why? Because it played only one game.

That team was the Houston Force (soccer), originally called the Puerto Rico Islanders. On June 1, 1994 the Islanders became the Force and played one game–against the Los Angeles Salsa. A week later the league (American Professional Soccer League) revoked the team’s franchise.

Courtesy: NASL Jerseys

The Force had only three players with professional soccer experience: David Vaudreull, Chris Charles, and Eloy Salgado. The team also had Hernan “Chico” Borja, who had a wide range of playing and coaching experience. Borja, who began his professional career 13 years earlier as a midfield winger with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, also competed on the U.S. Men’s Soccer team in the 1984 Summer Olympic games. After retiring from play Borja began coaching, beginning with the Houston Hotshots and, later, joining with the Houston Force.

Seriously undermanned, the Force didn’t score in that game against the Salsa. They lost, 3-0, in a game played before of 1400 fans.

It was The Force that wasn’t; a team that was done almost immediately after it began. One can only wonder what might have been.

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About Matthew Paris

I grew up an avid Houston sports fan. After graduating from Texas Tech University in Theater and English Literature I worked as a marketing rep and coach for I9 Sports, coaching baseball, flag football, soccer, and basketball. I’m currently with Austin Sports Academy as a marketing coordinator, baseball and football coach, and coordinator of middle school and high school open play nights. I’ve written three short films for Looknow Productions and have also written articles on film marketing, producing, and directing. I really enjoy writing about sports and being an active contributor to The Sports Column.



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