August 8, 2012
Yankee Stadium has seen its share of large soccer crowds
NEW YORK--The 49,474 on hand to see Real Madrid dismantle AC Milan 5-1 on Wednesday night set a new record for attendance at a soccer game at Yankee Stadium.
Wednesday’s crowd at Yankee Stadium broke a 44-year-old Yankee Stadium soccer attendance record set by Pele’s Santos and Napoli.
Visits by Pele and his club team Santos accounted for three of the six largest crowds at the original Yankee Stadium (1923-73), while a game between Italy and England in the American Bicentennial Soccer Cup in 1976 accounted for the largest crowd in the refurbished stadium (1976-2008).
The largest crowd at Yankee Stadium to see a Pele-era Cosmos game was 28,436 for the team's home opener on May 2, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Sting.
43,702---Santos vs Napoli, June 21, 1968
Pele scored on a fantastic header, but it was teammate Toninho who stole the show with three goals as Santos beat Napoli 4-2. Jose Altafini had both goals for the Italian side.
43, 177--- Hapoel (Palestine) vs US Selection, May 4, 1947
The Hapoel soccer club of Palestine began their American tour with a 2-0 win over a U.S. selection. Hapoel’s 19-year old goalkeeper Yaakov Chodorov made 27 saves. A crowd of 43,177 was on hand on a dreary wet day. Promoters had sold more than 61,000 tickets in advance of the match.
42,455---Israel Olympic Team vs American Soccer League All-Stars, April 29, 1956
The Israel Olympic Team defeated the American Soccer League All-Stars 2-1 as part of a Salute to Israel program. A crowd of 42,455, one of the largest to ever see a soccer game in the United States up to that time, was on hand.
41, 598--Santos vs inter Milan, June 5, 1966
Pele scored once and set up another goal, and had two more called back for offside, as Santos thrashed Inter Milan 4-1. Despite being repeatedly fouled, Pele showed his magic to the crowd of 41,598.
40,650---England vs Italy, May 28, 1976
England overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Italy, 3-2, in a game that was part of the American Bicentennial Cup tournament. Francesco Graziani scored the two goals for Italy. Mike Channon had two of England’s goals, while Phil Thompson had the third. Italian star Giacinto Facchetti had the equalizer because Fabio Capello (now the England coach) fouled the goalkeeper.
38,202---Chelsea vs Paris Saint Germain, July 22, 2012
The first soccer game at the new Yankee Stadium didn't exactly turn into a home run derby, with European heavyweights Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain playing to a 1-1 draw in front of 38,202 most Chelsea blue-clad fans.
36,904---Santos vs Benfica, September 1, 1968
Two of the greatest players of their era, Pele and Eusebio, met at Yankee Stadium when Santos took on Benfica. Neither player scored in the 3-3 tie, but after Pele was fouled, Brazil World Cup captain Carlos Alberto converted a penalty kick. The game was a doubleheader with the New York Generals beating Detroit 4-1 in the opener. Six players on the visiting sides would later play in the NASL: Pele, Edu, Carlos Alberto, Rildo, Eusebio and Antonio Simoes.