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
Video Pick: Brazilian mascot loses his head     
O Vovo ("Grandpa"), the mascot of Brazilian second division club Ceara, apparently doesn't get that his ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"Jurgen said many times he wants our players to feel pressure. ... Well, the same holds ...
What They're Saying: Roy Keane     
"Yes, why wouldn't he be? He didn’t have the baby. Unless he's breastfeeding he should be ...
MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls stay on top    
Three weeks to go in the MLS season and only four teams have clinched playoff spots. ...
What They're Saying: Chung Mong Joon    
"The true danger is that they are not only sabotaging my candidacy. They are sabotaging FIFA's ...
Thorns confirm Parsons as coach for 2016 NWSL season    
The Portland Timbers have hired 29-year-old Mark Parsons as their new head coach less than a ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"Just personal issues, and when things aren't right there, it makes it tough to go to ...
NASL: Ottawa accomplishes Mission 1    
Ottawa Fury FC clinched its first-ever NASL postseason berth with a 2-0 win over FC Edmonton ...
TV Report: MLS expands into Latin America    
MLS has reached an agreement with Fox Sports Latin America to televise live league matches in ...
U.S. national team succession will begin sooner than you might think    
As Jurgen Klinsmann stated in his pre-Concacaf Cup camp interview with U.S. Soccer, Saturday's USA-Mexico game ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives