Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
OBITUARY: Bob Kap (1923-2010)
by Paul Kennedy, March 19th, 2010 1:31AM

TAGS:  obituary


Bob Kap, who died on Sunday at the age of 87, is best known as the godfather of soccer-style kickers, but he was also an American soccer pioneer, who took the Dallas Tornado on the longest tour in the history of soccer -- six months with games in 19 countries on five continents, including two games in Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War.

The tour was supposed to prepare the Tornado for the inaugural NASL season, but it finished the '68 season with a 2-26-4 record and Kap resigned as coach.

Of the 18 players -- all but one foreigners decked out in cowboy hats -- only Englishman Mike Renshaw would go on to play with the Tornado when it grew in later years. But the team of no-names still drew crowds of upward of 100,000 a game at a time when few teams traveled the world.

The trip began in dramatic fashion when the players missed their flight from Athens to Cyprus, because they were sightseeing. The plane they were supposed to be on was blown up in mid-air in a terrorist attack.

Soccer-style placekickers were already in the NFL when Kap went to the Dallas Cowboys and introduced them to Austrian Toni Fritsch.

He would go on to bring eight other European soccer players to the NFL as a placekickers.

A decade after his involvement in the NASL, Kap made international headlines when he formed a syndicate and tried to acquire Argentina star Ricardo Villa. It wasn't like today when South Americans move frequently abroad.

Kap's bid failed, and Villa and Argentine teammate Ozzie Ardiles then headed to England to play for Tottenham.

In later years, Kap became an accomplished painter. His works hang in the NFL Hall of Fame.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Danny Williams scores after 11 seconds    
Danny Williams, who was called into the U.S. squad for the Concacaf Cup, needed only 11 ...
USL: Los Dos knock off Orange County    
Ariel Lassiter scored both goals to lead LA Galaxy II to a 2-0 win over the ...
MLS Weekend: Timbers drop crushing home defeat    
Three days after winning the U.S. Open Cup, Sporting Kansas City traveled to Portland, where it ...
U.S. roster for Concacaf Cup    
Jurgen Klinsmann named his roster for the next Saturday's USA-Mexico game for the Concacaf Cup at ...
Concacaf Olympic Qualifying: Day 3    
Canada remained alive in Olympic men's qualifying with a 3-1 win over Panama, which for the ...
What They're Saying: Cuba U-23 coach Raul Valentin    
"For me, what's important is the players who are here. The players who have gone, they've ...
What They're Saying: FIFA statement    
"On a joint decision it was agreed to postpone the UEFA-FIFA challenge 2015, which had been ...
FC Kansas City rains on Seattle's NWSL parade again    
The Seattle Reign FC ran away with the NWSL Shield in 2014 (by 13 points) and ...
Video Pick: A bizarre penalty-kick infraction     
The Asian Champions League brings us this extraordinary penalty-kick call, in which Salmeen Khamis of UAE ...
U.S. Abroad: Horvath helps Molde grab a point off Ajax    
U.S. U-23 keeper Ethan Horvath stayed behind with his Norwegian club, Molde, as his U.S. teammates ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives