Andranik Eskandarian

Andranik Eskandarian (Armenian: Անդրանիկ Իսքանտարեան, Persian: آندرانیک اسکندریان, born 31 December 1951 in Tehran) is a former Iranian footballer. He played as a defender for the F.C. Ararat Tehran, Taj SC and New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.

Andranik Eskandarian
Personal information
Full name Andranik Eskandarian
Date of birth (1951-12-31) 31 December 1951
Place of birth Tehran, Iran
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1970 Poolad Tehran
1970–1972 Ararat Tehran
1972–1978 Taj
1978–1984 New York Cosmos 142 (0)
1984–1985 New York Cosmos (indoor) 29 (1)
1986–1987 New York Express (indoor) 14 (0)
1989–1990 New Jersey Eagles
National team
1975–1978 Iran 29 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He won the Iranian league in 1975 and reached the second place in 1974. Further he won the Hazfi Cup in 1977. He played six years for Taj SC. Taj's fans called him Barbed Wire.

Eskandarian was a member of the Iranian team winning the Asia Cup 1976 in Tehran and reaching the quarterfinals of the Olympic Tournament in Montreal in 1976. He also played for Iran in the 1978 World Cup, the country's first appearance in the tournament. He infamously was the first member of Iran's team to score in the World Cup: an own-goal in a match against Scotland that his teammate later tied, 1-1.[1][2] The game was still considered a success for Iran, including Eskandarian's play as a defender against Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordan, and an embarrassment for Scotland.[3]

Soon after that, he moved to America to play for the highest-profile team in the country, the New York Cosmos, beginning in the 1979 season.[4] After the Cosmos folded in 1984, Eskandarian played for the New York Express during its half-season in the Major Indoor Soccer League. From 1989 through 1990, he played for the New Jersey Eagles of the American Soccer League.[5]


Andranik Eskandarian was born on December 31, 1951 in Tehran in an Armenian family.[6] He is the father of former Major League Soccer player Alecko Eskandarian. Eskandarian became a United States citizen in 1984 and now owns and operates two sporting goods stores in New Jersey.[7]



New York Cosmos




  1. Report,, accessed June 15, 2018.
  2. PLAYS; FIRST GOAL AN UNHAPPY EXPERIENCE, The New York Times, May 27, 1983, accessed June 15, 2018.
  3. James Montague, World Cup 2014: Iran legend Andranik Eskandarian was a prime architect of Scotland's 1978 humiliation, The Telegraph, June 21, 2014, accessed June 15, 2018.
  5. New Jersey Eagles Team Roster, 1989 and New Jersey Eagles Team Roster, 1990
  6. Arek Yapoudjian. Armenian Olympians: From Athens to Athens Trafford, 1 jan. 2007 (originally published by the University of Michigan, digitalised 11 Juli 2011) ISBN 1425138578 p 95
  7. Backline:Eski: 'We brought soccer to this country' Archived 24 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine by Will Kuhns for Soccer America 30 April 2001

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