Aug. 12, 1973 – U.S. 1:0 Poland at Willowbrook Park (Att.: 10,000), New Britain, Conn.
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A 37th-minute goal by Al Trost, making his international debut, made the difference in the last of four matches between the U.S. and Poland (after Lodz, Chicago and San Francisco) in 1973. The U.S. had a 3W-9L-0D record (also defeating Bermuda and Canada) in ‘73.
The Poland team included several starters who would go on to play in a 1-1 draw with England, clinching a berth in the 1974 World Cup and eliminating the English, though most (including goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski) were replaced after halftime. This was Poland’s sixth game in a 12-day span. The Poles had defeated Canada (3-1) at Varsity Stadium in Toronto on Aug. 1; the U.S. (1-0) at Soldier Field in Chicago on Aug. 3; Mexico (1-0) at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Aug. 5 and again (2-1) at Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey on Aug. 8; and the U.S. (4-0) at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco on Aug. 10.
Trost’s goal would be the only U.S. score against Poland in six matches over a 17-year span – Poland had a 5-1-0 record (22-1 goal differential) against the U.S. from 1973-90. The U.S. has a 5W-1L-2D record against Poland from 1990-on, the only defeat in the 2002 World Cup. The series started with a 3-2 U.S. win, Brockton’s Herbert “Birdie” Wells and former Fall River FC star Andy Stradan converting, in Warsaw on June 10, 1924.
In a preliminary game, the New Britain Select team met a Hartford Select team that included future Hartford Bicentennial Larry Caldwell, father of New England Revolution midfielder Scott and former collegiate stars Keith (Brown) and Amy (Boston College).
This photo shows Poland’s Kaz Deyna chasing Neil Ellett of Canada in Toronto Aug. 1.
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