By Michael Lewis
Jack Daley, one of the pioneering front office personnel of modern American soccer, has passed away.
Daley died in San Diego Thursday, according to his son, most likely of a heart attack. He was 83.
He was general manager of the Toronto Metros from 1971-73 in the original incarnation of the North American Soccer League before taking on similar responsibilities with the expansion Seattle Sounders in 1974 before leaving in 1981 to join the San Diego Sockers.
“Sad to hear Jack Daley has passed away,” former Sounders head coach Alan Hinton wrote on Twitter. “Jack was GM of Sounders from the start 1974 thru 1981. Jack got so excited when we won and we won many. Jack hired me late 1979 and I will always be thankful to him. He was great at getting me funds to sign top players.”
Daley helped build two Sounders teams that lost to the Cosmos in the Soccer Bowl in 1977 and 1982.
In 1976, the Sounders attracted a crowd of 58,000 for a Sounders game against the Cosmos and Pele at the then new Kingdome.
“If someone said 10 years ago you’d get 58,000 in the United States to watch a soccer game, they’d say you were loco,” Daley said at the time. “Three years ago, they would’ve put me in a strait jacket. Only three weeks ago, if I mentioned a figure around 40,000 my owners would have called me crazy and I would have wound up taking of them to dinner.”
Daley is survived by his wife, Chris, and four sons, John, Andy, Michael and Brendan. According to the Seattle Times, a funeral is to be held at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego. Arrangements are still pending.