1. Name the official who presided over the National Council, following in the footsteps of his famous Concacaf partner in crime.
The late Chuck Blazer, the Concacaf general secretary, presided over the meeting. In 1990, Trinidadian Jack Warner was in charge of the election. In 2013, Blazer pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering and served as an FBI informant, helping build the case that in 2015 led to charges being filed by U.S. authorities against Warner and others.
At the 1990 National Council, election rules weren't codified. Blazer ordered the second ballot to commence immediately after the results of the first ballot were announced. (In Saturday's election, there will be a 10-minute break between rounds.)
2. How many times did FIFA president Joao Havelange evoke Rothenberg's name, praising him at a dinner held on the eve of the election?
Seventeen times, Havelange, speaking with his deep voice in Spanish, finished off each American soccer accomplishment with the name of the person responsible: "Y su nombre es -- Alan Rothenberg." When you added Ric Fonseca's translation, that made 34 times Rothenberg's name was mentioned. As Soccer America's Duncan Irving wrote, "Subliminal advertising is not Havelange's strength."
Why invite Havelange? "He insisted he came, so he did," said Rothenberg. And what was Rothenberg's reaction to the speech? "It was a little heavier handed than I'd have written it. I was cringing."
3. What was the name of Rothenberg's campaign slogan and what was the shape of buttons handed out?
Hundreds of buttons were passed out with the slogan "Keep Alan. He wins, we win." They were shaped in the form of a kid's sheriff badge. At the pre-dinner reception, buttons were pinned on the lapels of Mexican soccer supremo Guillermo Canedo and Havelange. Bora Milutinovic, the U.S. national team coach who came to lobby for Rothenberg, wore his Alan button upside down.
4. What happened to Milutinovic?
"I have been here on holiday," Bora said upon arriving in San Diego. "But I have come to support my president. If he goes, I go." Well, Rothenberg stayed, and Milutinovic was out as national team coach by the next March.
5. What politicians endorsed Rothenberg?
After the AGM dinner on the eve of the election, "Vote for Rothenberg" pamphlets were distributed with endorsements from former U.S. president George H. W. Bush and current vice president Al Gore.
The four-page pamphlets also included endorsements from the heads of various state associations. As SA's Irving noted, there was also a grim picture of life without Rothenberg if he didn't win. "No Hank, no Bora, no league."
6. In 1990, the pro vote -- the indoor Major Soccer League -- swung the election for Rothenberg. How did the pro vote go in 1994?
Major Soccer League ceased to exist, but there were now four pro leagues: the summer indoor Continental Indoor Soccer League, the winter indoor National Professional Soccer League, the United States Interregional Soccer League, which started out as an indoor league before moving outdoors, and the outdoor American Professional Soccer League.
The CISL and NPSL opposed Rothenberg because of their fears about what impending MLS would do to the indoor game, and the APSL, which was feuding with MLS over Division I sanctioning, also opposed Rothenberg. (Sound familiar?)
The USISL -- we called it "You-sizzle" -- was the brainchild of Francisco Marcos, whose support for Rothenberg swung the election.
All these years later, the USL, the USISL's successor league, might swing Saturday's presidential election.
7. How did Louis-Dreyfus' bid to oust Rothenberg work out?
One of the sponsorship deals adidas signed was with the Amateur Division (now known as the U.S. Adult Soccer Association). Insider estimates were that 70 percent of the amateurs -- one-third of electorate -- voted for Rothenberg.