For the last couple months, the San Diego Sockers Facebook page has been reliving old highlights against the team’s former and current rivals. In an October 6 clip from the 1982-83 season, Gary Amlong of the Kansas City Comets puts a couple of deft moves on the legendary Kaz Deyna before having his shot denied by Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame goalkeeper Alan Mayer.
Amlong was drafted by the Comets at the age of 19 and played two years in the MISL before injuries sidelined him. A back injury late in the 1983-84 preseason caused him to miss that season and surgery took him out of the 1984-85 season.
“My first two years I played a lot I believe in 68 games,” Amlong said, including pair of playoff games. “I was young but it was a great experience in Kansas City.”
After missing two seasons he was in camp with the Wichita Wings, but was the final player cut. Amlong was soon back in action, however. Former Comets teammates Zoran Savic and Tom Alioto urged him to come to Louisville where he was signed by Keith Tozer, then a young player/coach with the AISA’s Louisville Thunder.
In two seasons with the Thunder, Amlong exploded for 56 goals and 20 assists in 44 games, capping it off with a championship at the end of 1986-87, his final season.
Amlong ended his career on a high note with that title run, but over 30 years later still follows the indoor game and even played in a Kansas City Comets-St. Louis Steamers alumni game in 2017.
Today Gary is currently working in the medical field as a distributor of spinal implants. “I sell to orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons,” he says.
He left a strong impression on his old coach. “Great young player from St. Louis,” Keith Tozer said, brightening at the mention of Amlong’s name. “Great left foot, hard working and technically sound. Great shooter and defended well. Great guy off the field!”