Tony Bellinger

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Tony Bellinger
Personal information
Full nameArthur A. Bellinger
Date of birth (1957-12-08) December 8, 1957 (age 63)
Place of birth Willingboro Township, New Jersey, United States
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Position(s) Midfielder / Defender
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1977–1981 Dallas Tornado 114 (0)
1980–1987 St. Louis Steamers (indoor) 265 (48)
1983 Team America 11 (0)
Total390(48)
National team
1977–1980 United States 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Arthur "Tony" Bellinger (born December 8, 1957) is a retired American soccer defender who played both in the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League. He also played seven games with the United States men's national soccer team.

Contents

Playing career

Bellinger, who grew up in the Southern New Jersey community of Willingboro Township, graduated from JF Kennedy High School in 1977. [1] He immediately turned professional with the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League. Bellinger established himself as one of the top defenders and best American players in the league. In 1980, he signed with the expansion St. Louis Steamers of Major Indoor Soccer League for the 1980-1981 indoor season, returning to the Tornados for the 1981 NASL outdoor season. He forwent the 1982 NASL season, but returned in 1983 with Team America. Team America was an attempt by the U.S. Soccer Federation to create a more stable national team program by entering the national team into the NASL as a franchise. However, the concept failed when Team America stumbled to a 10–20 record and the bottom of the league standings. USSF pulled the national team from the NASL at the end of the season. Bellinger returned to the Steamers and played with them through the end of the 1986–1987 season. In 1987, Bellinger signed a guaranteed contract with the Steamers, but broke his foot and missed the 1987–1988 season. The Steamers folded in 1988 and Bellinger retired from playing professionally to devote himself to coaching.

National team

Bellinger earned seven caps with the U.S. national team from 1977 to 1980. He scored one goal in a 3–1 loss to Guatemala on September 18, 1977, his second game with the national team. [2] Bellinger was a member of the 1980 Olympic team but did not play in Moscow due to the U.S. boycott of the event.

Coaching

Bellinger was the head coach for the Bishop Guertin High School (New Hampshire) boys varsity team until 2010, a position he held for over 15 seasons. He also coaches the NWC (Nashua World Cup) Boys U15 Premier team.

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References

  1. Yannis, Alex. "Tornado Tops Cosmos by 2-1 In a Shootout; Cosmos Are Shot Down, 2-1, By Tornado in a Shootout", The New York Times , April 25, 1977. Accessed December 2, 2013. "That n as primarily the result of a good performance by Tony Bellinger, whom Miller signed out of high school in Willingboro, N.J., south of Trenton."
  2. USA - Details of International Matches 1970-1979