Bob Rigby

Infobox Football biography
playername= Bob Rigby
fullname = Bob Rigby
nickname =

dateofbirth = birth date and age|1951|7|3
cityofbirth = Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
countryofbirth = United States
height = height|ft=6|in=0
currentclub = Retired
clubnumber =
position = Goalkeeper
youthyears = -1972
youthclubs = East Stroudsburg University
years = 1973-1975
clubs = Philadelphia Atoms
New York Cosmos
Los Angeles Aztecs
Philadelphia Fury
Philadelphia Fever"(loan)"
Montreal Manic
Golden Bay Earthquakes "(indoor)" Golden Bay Earthquakes
Tacoma Stars "(indoor)"
San Jose Earthquakes
caps(goals) = 54 (0)
13 (0)
62 (0)
37 (0)
47 (0)
04 (0)
nationalyears = 1973-1975
nationalteam = United States
nationalcaps(goals) = 06 (0)
manageryears =
managerclubs =
pcupdate =
ntupdate =

Bob Rigby (born July 3, 1951, in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania) is a retired U.S. soccer goalkeeper. Among the most talented soccer goalkeepers born in the United States, Rigby played twelve seasons in the North American Soccer League (NASL), a professional league that existed in two forms, outdoor and indoor, for sixteen years between 1968 to 1984.

Rigby played collegiate soccer at East Stroudsburg (PA) State University and was named a first team All-American in 1972.

In 1973, Philadelphia Atoms coach Al Miller, an alumnus of East Stroudsburg University, took Rigby as the first pick in the 1973 NASL college draft. Miller was building his team for the Atoms, which were an expansion franchise that year. Miller had watched Rigby play and was familiar with his excellent athleticism and technical ability. Rigby did not disappoint Miller. He set a league record of 0.62 goals allowed as a rookie that stood until the end of the league. That year, Philadelphia became the first U.S. professional team in any sport to win a championship their first year in existence. [] Rigby became a local and league hero and found himself on the cover of the September 3, 1973 Sports Illustrated. Rigby continued to provide positive exposure to the young NASL when he took fourth place in ABC's 1974 Superstars, a televised athletic competition pitting athletes from various sports. February 1974 saw Rigby involved in another significant first. The NASL was toying with the idea of indoor soccer and the Atoms hosted the Red Army of Moscow team in Philadelphia's Spectrum. This was one of the first indoor games to use the configuration familiar to future indoor leagues, an astroturf covered ice rink with small goals set into the far walls. While the Red Army team won, 6-3, its coach had high praise for Rigby who had stopped 33 of the Soviets' 39 shots. []

The mid-1970s also saw Rigby play for both the U.S. Olympic and U.S. national teams. While Rigby travelled with the U.S. team to the 1972 Summer Olympics, he did not play. Mike Ivanow played the first two games and Shep Messing the third. On November 3, 1973, Rigby earned his first cap with the national team in a 1-0 loss to Haiti. He played a total of six games, his last coming in a loss to Mexico on August 24, 1975.

The New York Cosmos acquired Rigby for the 1976 season, only for him to get injured. The Cosmos then brought in Shep Messing to replace him in goal and shipped Rigby to the Los Angeles Aztecs at the end of the season. After three season in Los Angeles, Rigby returned to Philadelphia to play for the Fury. The Fury actually acquired Rigby from the Tulsa Roughnecks who got Rigby from the Aztecs the day prior. The Fury attempted to build on the Atoms' popularity by bringing back several fan favorites, but the team only lasted two seasons due to incompetent management. As Rigby was moving back to Philadelphia, the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) was beginning its first season. The next year, the local MISL club, Philadelphia Fever, which had used a largely amateur team its first season, negotiated an associate relationship with the Fury to use several Fury players in its second season. [] As a result, the Fury loaned Rigby to the Philadelphia Fever for the 1979-1980 Major Indoor Soccer League season. In 1981, Rigby moved to the Montreal Manic for two seasons before moving to the Golden Bay Earthquakes for the 1982-1983 MISL season. He remained with the Earthquakes for the 1983 and 1984 NASL outdoor season. When the NASL folded after the 1984 season, Rigby was signed by the Chicago Sting on September 19, 1984 for a 15 day contract, but then moved to the Tacoma Stars for the 1984-1985 MISL season. He spent most of the season as a backup to John Baretta. At the conclusion of the season, Rigby moved back to the Earthquakes, renamed the San Jose Earthquakes. In 1985, the Earthquakes joined with three independent west coast teams to play the Western Alliance Challenge Series. This was the genesis of the short lived Western Soccer Alliance/League. Rigby shared the goal with Hunter Stern during this challenge series and retired from playing at the end of it. []

Rigby was named to two NASL Second All-Star teams, in 1973 and 1974.

Rigby remains active in as a coach, recently as part of the Star Soccer Academy, but also in gymnastics.

External links

* [ East Stroudsburg University Soccer Records]
* [ Rigby describes the 1973 NASL Championship game]

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