Derek Sanderson (soccer)

Derek Sanderson is a retired American soccer player who played professionally in eight leagues including the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League. He played three games for the U.S. at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship.

Derek Sanderson
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-12-14) December 14, 1963
Place of birth San Jose, California, United States
Playing position Midfielder/Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982 Portland Timbers 0 (0)
1982–1983 Golden Bay Earthquakes (indoor) 8 (0)
1983 Golden Bay Earthquakes
1984 Jacksonville Tea Men
1984–1986 Kalamazoo Kangaroos (indoor)
1985–1986 San Jose Earthquakes
1986–1987 Milwaukee Wave (indoor) 31 (18)
1987 Tampa Bay Rowdies (indoor)
1988 Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 (0)
1988 Orlando Lions
1989 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks
1990–1991 Salt Lake Sting (14)
1991 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 10 (7)
1992 Colorado Foxes 7 (0)
1992 Miami Freedom 5 (2)
1998 California Jaguars 1 (0)
National team
U.S. U-20
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


In 1982, Sanderson graduated from Mount Pleasant High School. That year, the Portland Timbers selected Sanderson in the fourth round of the North American Soccer League draft.[1] However, Sanderson never cracked the first team. In the fall of 1982, he moved to the Golden Bay Earthquakes as they competed in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He remained with the Earthquakes for the 1983 North American Soccer League season, but spent much of the season with the United States men's national under-20 soccer team. In 1984, Sanderson moved to the Jacksonville Tea Men of the United Soccer League. That fall, he joined the Kalamazoo Kangaroos of the American Indoor Soccer Association. In 1985, he rejoined the Earthquakes, now playing in the Western Alliance Challenge Series.[2] In the fall of 1985, Sanderson rejoined the Kangaroos, beginning the season in Kalamazoo before being traded to the Milwaukee Wave halfway through the season. In the summer of 1986, he again played for the Earthquakes.[3] That fall, he rejoined the Wave for the 1986–1987 AISA season.[4] In February 1987, the Wave sold his contract to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.[5] He remained with the Rowdies as they played an independent outdoor season in 1987. In 1988, he began the American Soccer League season with the Rowdies, but was released on April 30, 1988 to free up a roster spot for Mark Kane. A week later, he signed with the Orlando Lions.[6] In 1989, Sanderson returned to Northern California to join the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks.[7] In 1990, he played for the Salt Lake Sting in the American Professional Soccer League which had been formed by the merger of the Western Soccer Alliance and the American Soccer League.[8] In 1991, Sanderson began the season with the Sting but moved to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after the Sting experienced financial difficulties.[9] That season, he was a First Team All Star.[10] On April 9, 1992, Sanderson signed with the Colorado Foxes.[11] After failing to score in seven games, the Foxes sent him to the Miami Freedom.[12] In 1998, he came out of retirement to play one game for the California Jaguars.


In 1983, Sanderson played for the United States men's national under-20 soccer team at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship.


  1. "All Time Portland Timbers Draft Picks". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  2. "Jose 1985 San Jose Earthquakes". October 14, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  3. "1986 San Jose Earthquakes". October 14, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  4. Milwaukee Wave Media Guide
  5. Rowdies' schedule is easier rest of season St. Petersburg Times – Sunday, February 8, 1987
  6. "Lions Hope Sanderson Adds Offense Ex-rowdie Signed For Speed, Finishing Ability". May 15, 1988. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  7. "1989 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks". January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  8. "1990 Salt Lake Sting". January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  9. "1991 Fort Lauderdale Strikers". January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  10. "The Year in American Soccer – 1991". Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  11. "April 9, 1992 Transactions". The New York Times. April 9, 1992. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  12. "1992 APSL stats". January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
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