As we mourn the passing of former Seattle Sounders and Toronto Metros general manager Jack Daley, let’s take a look at a war of words between him and former Lancers GM Charlie Schiano that helped ignite one of the great rivalries in modern American soccer and the North American Soccer League in 1971.
By Michael Lewis
There is no book written on how to ignite a rivalry, but the Rochester Lancers and Toronto Metros in many ways wrote the proverbial book on how to move it up to another level.
In fact, in 1971, the general managers of the respective clubs wrote letters to get the blood boiling on both sides.
Lancers general manager Charlie Schiano wrote a piercing letter to his Toronto counterpart, Jack Daley, protesting when Metros player-coach Graham Leggat kicked Lancers goalkeeper Claude Campos in the jaw during play, breaking it in five places.
Not surprisingly, a war of words and letters erupted between the general managers of both clubs.
Dated July 12, 1971, Schiano wrote a scathing letter to Metros GM Jack Daley that fanned the flames.
“In light of our forthcoming game against the Toronto Metros on July 17, 1971 in Toronto Canada, I suggest that you instruct your coach, Graham “Leggati” Leggat to train the Metros to kick the ball and not the jaw of Claude Campos.
“I realize that with Leggat’s background this may be somewhat difficult. The soccer ball, as you know, is round with black and white markings on it and it is not at all similar to Campos’ jaw, which is rather scraggly and now has been fractured in six places due to Graham “Leggati” Leggat’s kick. At our last very pleasant visit to Toronto, Campos again had the pleasure of having his jaw kicked again. At this time, however, Graham “Leggati” Leggat was on the bench and did not participate in this occurrence. As a result, the jaw was not broken.
“We hope to resolve the Mayor’s Cup situation on Saturday, July 17, 1971, so there will be no question as to where the Mayor’s Cup should reside. If you have any questions about this matter, please call me and I will explain how we are going to resolve that matter.
“In addition, I read with interest with Graham “Leggati” Leggat’s quotes concerning the game played by Iris DeBrito. As I recall, the statement made by your coach, thank heavens he’s your coach, Leggat inquired, “What did DBrito do anyway?” DeBrito merely scored one goal and assisted on another. Perhaps Graham “Leggati” Leggat was not watching the ball when DeBrito scored or when DeBrito assisted on the third goal, the goal which incidentally beat Toronto.
“We will be in Toronto on July 17, 1971, to play your Metros again. We are attempting to have Campos fitted with an iron mask.”
“Yours very truly,
Two days later, Daley responded to Schiano. He cited an incident when Lancers coach Sal DeRosa charged onto the field after a Toronto player kicked Campos in a 3-2 Rochester win later that season.
“I received your letter of July 12 this morning and I can see that you, as well as your team, insist on avoiding the two facts while living in the dream world of Rochester — a rather eastern suburb of Buffalo, New York.
“To begin with, Mr. Leggat’s background is one that is achieved from several successful games with both Aberdeen and Fulham in Britain. Realizing, of course your scope of soccer is rather limited to the sterile, boring defensive tactics of southern Europe, you may be rather interested to know that Graham has, as a player, put 270 balls in the net during 520 games. While we must congratulate Mr. Campos’ bravery for defending against a shot by Graham, we also question his sanity for pulling such a grandstand play.
“So much for our comments on your letter.
“In the meantime, please be advised that we are asking Varsity Stadium to provide us with a restraining jacket for your coach Sal DeRosa, and if that fails, we plan to have two members of the Ontario Provincial Police restrain him further with leg irons. Should he still persist in hopping around the field where he has no place being — then we finally would suggest utilizing a steel cage. Although in retrospect, I can understand why your coach has to come on the field — he has to do something to brighten up a rather uninspiring, dull attack.
“Charlie, we look forward to seeing you and your team of impresarios this Saturday night. You have not won the Mayor’s Cup yet, and may have to wait until next year.