The team was the last of six expansion teams granted for the season and had about three months to sign players and sell tickets. Though the coach, Timo Liekoski, who had been an assistant with the Dallas Tornado, was capable, assembling a competitive team in so short a time would be daunting. In any case, the Hurricane placed last in its first season with 10 wins of 30 matches (there were no draws allowed in the NASL) and drew a miserable average attendance of 5,806, with only Chicago Sting and San Diego Sockers drawing worse in the 30-team league.
For 1979, the Hurricane did much better, winning the division with 22 wins in 30 matches, and Liekoski was awarded Coach of the Year honors. But the Hurricane could not do as well in the playoffs, losing to Philadelphia Fury in two straight losses. Attendance was better at 6,211 a match but still was next to last in the league – the worst, ironically, was Philadelphia. Considering that Kyle Rote, Jr. had joined the Hurricane that season, it would have to have to have been a disappointment. In any case, Rote left the Hurricane on a relief mission to Cambodia and later retired.
The Hurricane didn’t do as well in what turned out to be their final season, placing second in the division and again losing in the playoffs versus Edmonton Drillers. They won 14 and lost 18 in the expanded schedule (now 32 matches) and attendance fell to 5,818 a match, with only Atlanta Chiefs and again, Philadelphia being the only teams with worse gates. That was enough for the Hurricane’s owners (who were actually based in Denver, Colorado) and the team folded in late 1980.
The Hurricanes during the 90′s
In 1996, the Houston Hurricanes came back with owner Joseph (Joey) Seralta at the helm.
As the story was told, Joey invited a small group that he thought would help to get the Hurricanes back to playing the USISL Pro Division. Brendan Keyes was a part of that group. Now current owner of the new Hurricanes FC, Keyes fondly remembers the day. “Joey invited me over and I felt privileged to be part of the conversation with the others. We sat and talked about starting a new team and had a good time talking about football and bringing back the Hurricanes.”
Joey invited all four members of the group back but only Brendan Keyes showed up. The rest is history, as they say. “Joey Seralta talked the talk and walked the walk,” said Keyes. “I have tremendous respect for the man. I remember one day waking up and watching the news about the Houston Hurricanes making a comeback. I was very excited and an hour later got a call from Joey asking me to be one of the coaches that picks the players during tryouts. I couldn’t believe it! I was part of the Hurricanes and the man that said he would get this done, did. I have always respected him for that and I went on to play for the Hurricanes as a player. Now that I am the team owner and president of the Houston Hurricanes FC team, I know how hard Joey worked!”
The Hurricanes Today, TPSL
In early 2012 Brendan Keyes became owner of the Houston Hurricanes. The Houston Hurricanes played in 2012 in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in the South Central conference.
In 2013 the Houston Hurricanes FC will also play in the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL). The TPSL was formed in 1997 and was run for 10 years. In 2013 Owner and President Brendan Keyes brought back the TPSL. The TPSL is a regional semi-professional league in the south of the United States.
The TPSL is sanctioned by US CLUB Soccer as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the ruling body for soccer in the United States and FIFA the world’s ruling body for soccer. The TPSL operates and is managed as a team run league.