Rick Davis

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Rick Davis
Personal information
Full name Richard Dean Davis
Date of birth (1958-11-24) November 24, 1958 (age 59)
Place of birth Denver, Colorado, United States
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfield
Youth career
1977 Santa Clara Broncos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1984 New York Cosmos 129 (15)
1981–1982 New York Cosmos (indoor) 17 (3)
1983–1986 St. Louis Steamers (indoor) 123 (89)
1986–1987 New York Express (indoor) 23 (7)
1987–1990 Tacoma Stars (indoor) 98 (31)
1989 Seattle Storm
National team
1977–1988 United States 35 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Richard Dean (Rick or Ricky) Davis (born November 24, 1958 in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Claremont, California) is a retired American soccer midfielder, and former captain of the U.S. National Team for much of the 1980s. He is considered by many[who?] the best U.S.-born player of the North American Soccer League era and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Davis began playing soccer at the age of seven for an AYSO soccer team in Claremont, California,[1] he was an All-American high school player at Damien High School in La Verne, California. In 1977, he played a single season of college soccer at Santa Clara University[2] While at Santa Clara, he was a member of the Broncos team which took the U-19 National Open Championship (McGuire Cup).


Davis (first from left, lower row, #17) with the New York Cosmos in Argentina, March 1980

An American on a team of international superstars with the New York Cosmos, he helped the team to three NASL league titles in 1978, 1980 and 1982. He began playing with the team during the 1978 season and was selected as the 1979 North American Player of the Year in his second season,[3] he was selected as an NASL all-star Honorable Mention in the 1983 season.[4]

In 1983, the St. Louis Steamers of the Major Indoor Soccer League signed Davis away from the Cosmos. Davis moved just in time to avoid the collapse of the Cosmos, despite numerous nagging injuries, Davis led the Steamers in scoring and was an integral part of the team's run to the MISL championship series which the Steamers lost to the Baltimore Blast. He played one more season with the Steamers before moving to the New York Express, an MISL expansion team heavily staffed by former Cosmos players,[5] the team lasted until the 1986-1987 All-Star break, when it folded.[6]

In March 1987, Davis moved to the Tacoma Stars for the remainder of the 1986-1987 season;[7] in January 1989, Davis injured his knee, requiring multiple surgeries. He was on the roster for the 1989 Seattle Storm of the Western Soccer Alliance;[8] in 1990, he retired from playing professional soccer.

National team[edit]

Davis became an integral part of the U.S. national team in 1977, first with the U.S. Olympic team and U20 teams, then the senior national team. Between September 11 and October 4, 1976, the U.S. U-20 national team played the qualifying games for the 1977 FIFA World U-20 Championship. While the team went 5-2, it failed to qualify. Davis led the team scoring with eight goals. When he was 17 years old, he made his senior national team debut in a September 15, 1977 match against El Salvador. Even more, he scored his first international goal in that game, he became a regular on the team, playing in all eight U.S. matches in 1977.[9] Davis continued to play for the Olympic team, which qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics. However, President Carter's boycott of those games, held in Moscow, stopped the team from competing. Davis played for the U.S. in the 1984 Olympics, where he scored two goals in the U.S. victory over Costa Rica. In 1984, he was also named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, the first year of the award. He played again at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Davis' experience and leadership led him to being named captain of the U.S. national team. In this capacity, he led the team during 1988, and was looking forward to the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying games in 1989.[10] However, he suffered a serious knee injury in January 1989, although he tried to work himself back into shape in order to make the World Cup roster, U.S. coach Bob Gansler never called him back to the team, and Davis retired from playing. Overall, he earned 36 caps (a record at the time), scoring seven goals for the senior national team.

International Goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 September 15, 1977 San Salvador, El Salvador  El Salvador ? 2-1 Friendly
2 February 3, 1979 Seattle, Washington  Soviet Union ? 1-3 Friendly
3 October 5, 1980 Dudelange, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 2–0 2-0 Friendly
4 October 7, 1980 Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal 1–1 1-1 Friendly
5 November 9, 1980 Mexico City, Mexico  Mexico 1–5 1-5 1982 World Cup Qualifying
6 March 21, 1982 Port of Spain, Trinidad  Trinidad and Tobago ? 2-1 Friendly
7 July 29, 1984 Stanford, California  Costa Rica 1–0 3-0 1984 Summer Olympics
8 July 29, 1984 Stanford, California  Costa Rica 3–0 3-0 1984 Summer Olympics
9 October 9, 1984 Los Angeles, California  El Salvador 2–0 3-1 Friendly

Team management[edit]

After his retirement from playing, Davis became the head coach and general manager of the Los Angeles Salsa of the American Professional Soccer League. In 2004, he was named Director of Programs for AYSO, and in 2006, he was named its National Executive Director, on March 9, 2010, AYSO announced the resignation of Davis, effective May 11, 2010.


Davis has also had a long career in soccer broadcasting; in 1989, he and JP Dellacamera provided live commentary for the match pitting the champions of the Western Soccer Alliance and the American Soccer League. He would provide television commentary at both the 1990 and 1994 World Cups for ABC, he continues to work as a commentator for Los Angeles Galaxy games.

Davis was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001.[11]



Year Team GP G A PTS
1978 NY Cosmos 11 0 1 1
1979 NY Cosmos 29 6 13 25
1980 NY Cosmos 14 1 8 10
1981 NY Cosmos 17 1 1 3
1982 NY Cosmos 21 0 4 4
1983 NY Cosmos 29 5 12 22
1984 NY Cosmos 8 2 2 6
TOTAL NASL 129 15 41 71


Year Team GP G A PTS PIM
1983/84 St. Louis 43 36 21 57 16
1984/85 St. Louis 40 27 31 58 4
1985/86 St. Louis 40 26 29 55 12
1986/87 New York 23 7 6 13 2
Tacoma 20 5 5 10 2
1987/88 Tacoma 53 22 29 51 12
1989/90 Tacoma 25 4 3 7 6
TOTAL MISL 244 127 124 251 54


  1. ^ Hall of Fame Spotlight: Rick Davis
  2. ^ Santa Clara Broncos Media Guide
  3. ^ The Year in American Soccer - 1979
  4. ^ "1983 All-Stars". United Press International. September 18, 1983. Retrieved January 13, 2017 – via UPI Archives. 
  5. ^ MISL OPENS NEW SEASON WITH MORE PROMISE THAN PROBLEMS Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Thursday, November 13, 1986.
  6. ^ MISL's Express ceases operations Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Tuesday, February 17, 1987
  7. ^ STARS GET EX-COSMO RICKY DAVIS FROM RUINS OF NEW YORK EXPRESS Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Saturday, March 7, 1987
  8. ^ 1989 Seattle Storm
  9. ^ USA - Details of International Matches 1970-1979 Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989 Archived September 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Rick Davis - Class of 2001

External links[edit]