Thursday, February 25, 2010


I ran across this press photo on Ebay. It shows Trevor Francis playing in the Pontiac Silverdome, the Detroit Express' home field. The striped jersey that Trevor is wearing does not look like any Express uniform I have seen. Also, the ball in the photo is not the NASL "star" ball. Could this have been a pre-season game? Does anyone know who the opposing team might be? If anyone has any info on this photo, PLEASE leave a comment.
After the original Detroit Express moved to Washington, DC to become the new Washington Diplomats, the city of Detroit had no team. The Express was reformed and played a season in the American Soccer League (ASL). This photo shows Trevor Francis "guesting" for the ASL version of the Detroit Express.
UPDATE 2: I received an e-mail from Mark who attended this game. It was the 1981 ASL All-Star game which pitted the Detroit Express with Trevor Francis against a team of ASL All-Stars. The All-Stars defeated the Express 2-0 at the Pontiac Silverdome. Thanks Mark!

1 comment:

  1. You can see the "EX" in what appears to be the express wordmark on what you rightly describe as an unconventional jersey.

    I can't tell who the opponent is, but Francis only played for the Express in 1978 and 1979 (joining the club after the season had begun each time). He played in 19 regular season and four playoff games in '78 and 14 regular season games in '79.

    Teams he would have played against at the Silverdome in '78:
    Memphis - You would know
    Philadelphia - Don't think so
    Dallas - Possible
    Oakland - Don't think so
    Colorado - No fringe
    San Jose - Don't think so
    Houston - Don't think so
    Ft. Lauderdale - Doubt it

    And in 1979:
    Seattle - I don't think that's Seattle
    Ft. Lauderdale - Don't think so
    Tulsa - possible, I guess
    Chicago - Don't think so
    California - Don't think so
    Houston - Don't think so
    Tampa Bay - Nope

    Only one those teams who would have had a goalkeeper wearing #18: Ft. Lauderdale in 1978 had a goalkeeper #18 named Marine Cano, but did not play in Detroit.

    The Express themselves didn't have a goalkeeper who wore #18 in either of those years. And Detroit only played in one of the NASL "strike games" in 1979, and it was well before Francis showed up that season.

    Either it's not the Silverdome (possible, but the railing at least looks like it), or it was an exhibition game.

    The NASL also listed no international exhibition games played by the Express in either summer, 1978 or 1979.

    So I can't help you. Sorry.