Steve Gogas of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, has been coaching adult soccer in the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years. He has successfully coached the St. Petersburg Kickers since 1974 and regularly stepped up when help was needed with the promotion of adult amateur programs in the state of Florida.
Steve has always been more than just a coach to his players. He has been a friend, provider and sponsor. Because of his passion, players have stayed under his belt for more than 20 years. He has also earned the respect of the best players in the United States. Gogas coached people such as Steve Trittschuh, former U.S. National Team member and the first American to play in the World Cup, Olympics and European Cup (now the Champions League); Peter Ward, former North American Soccer League MVP and English National Team Member; and Perry VanderBeck, former U.S. National Team member and the first high school player drafted into the North American Soccer League. Steve’s coaching abilities have taken these players where they are right now.
In 1989, Mr. Gogas led the Kickers to be the first Region III team to claim the USASA Open Cup title. He also managed to win the USASA Amateur and Over 30 Cups in the same year (1987) and just recently, the team was crowned USASA National Amateur Champions of 2008. Over the years, Steve has won over 50 titles in multiple leagues, State, Regional and National championships combined. Steve continues to coach the Kickers to this day.
Joe Gryzik of Chicago, Illinois, was born in Katowice, Poland on October 10, 1927. He began his long climb to the top in 1951 when he played for the Chicago All-Stars against the touring Swedish Club A.I.K. Stockholm. Then he went on to playing against other international teams such as Eintract Frankfurt, Liverpool, Plymouth Argyle, Nuremburg, Guadalajara, Borussia Monchengladbach, Dundee and Slovan Bratislava. In 1963, Joe became a member of the United States Team and played in all four games at the Pan-American Games in Brazil. He was also selected for the U.S. Olympic team in 1964, and for the U.S. National Team for the World Cup 1966 qualifying campaign.
He immigrated to the United States in 1949 and immediately joined the Chicago Eagles S.A.C (former Polish American Athletic Club) where he remained his entire playing career, including an appearance in the 1955 U.S. National Amateur Cup Final.
With only a year under his sleeve, Joe took the Eagles to win the Peel Cup (Illinois State Championship) in 1950, 1954, 1955, 1957, and 1963. Joe broke the scoring record in the Peel Cup by scoring eight goals in only one game. He was well known for being a high scorer in the indoor and outdoor divisions of Chicago’s National Soccer League. He also played for many Chicago and NSL all-star teams against top clubs from Europe and Latin America.
Retired in 1965 after suffering a torn ligament, Joe received an award of commendation in 1972 from the National Soccer League of Chicago in recognition of his career and sportsmanship. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1973.
Edward Murphy, originally from Scotland, was an outstanding forward with the U.S. National Team from 1955 to 1969. During that period, a few international games were played where Ed participated in 16 full internationals including a game against England in Los Angeles scoring the only goal in an 8-1 loss.
Murphy was also a member of the bronze medal Pan American Games’ team of 1959 where he played ten games in total. He scored a hat trick against Brazil in Chicago in a game the U.S. won 5-3. During the entire competition he scored eight goals in six games and in overall Pan Am play scored 11 goals in ten games.
Ed played in World Cup qualifying in 1957, 1962, 1966 and 1968 as well as in two Olympic qualifying games. To many followers of the game, Murphy was regarded as the most outstanding "weekend warrior" of his day, playing his club career over several decades in Chicago for the Maroons and the Norwegian-Americans, and also appearing for the Mustangs of the North American Soccer League in 1968. Following his career, Murphy retired to Florida, where he died in 2005. Murphy is a member of the US National Soccer Hall of Fame, Class of 1998.
Blaz Pesorda of Wellington, Ohio, has over 50 years of experience as an official, assessor, assignor and instructor, as well as an administrator, organizer, and proponent of the game.
Upon his arrival in the United States in 1969, Mr. Pesorda started his affiliation with the local soccer community. He founded the Ohio Soccer Referees Association and served as its President for ten years. He has officiated games at the professional level for the German, Polish and Israeli National Teams. He has also officiated teams in Croatia, Serbia and the USA Olympic Team.
Throughout his association with the game, Blaz has continued to instructing new candidates at referee clinics, and assessing new experienced officials during the season. In 2003, he achieved the rank as a National Assessor for the National Inter-Collegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA).
The Croatia native has promoted the game of adult soccer in the capacity of commissioner, assignor and treasurer of the North Coast Soccer League of Cleveland, Ohio. He has been an assignor for over 30 years in the adult leagues in and around the Cleveland area. Furthermore, Blaz has held instructional clinics for new assignors for many years. In 2008, over 90 assignors were registered in Ohio North. He was the first one in the area to promote women’s soccer. He was also the first assignor in Cleveland to assign a female official to Division I games.
Mr. Pesorda was Vice President for the Ohio Soccer Association-North for ten years. He was elected to serve as the association’s Registrar in 2004 and has been in that capacity since. He also serves on the USASA Credentials Committee. Blaz is the recipient of the USASA Referee of the Year 2006.
Left the “Old Sod” for the United States a half-century ago, with coaching experience dating back to his pre-teen years. In the 1960s, Ryan relocated to Seattle, where he began to organize, train, coach and mentor the game at many levels. By 1974, he obtained a USSF “A” License and, since that time, he has coached at the national team, college, high school, youth and adult levels with but one guiding principle, “I just want people to love the game.” Another one of his favorite phrases is: “That little black and white ball will take you around the world.”
Ryan first became involved with women’s soccer when in 1974 he stepped up to help form the Washington State Women’s Soccer Association (WSWSA) and served as its first president. At the time, in addition to his University of Washington coaching duties with the men’s team, Mike coached a team of student-aged women who played in a WSWSA league. The team won first place in the end of season tournament.
In 1980, Michael Ryan took his young women plus a team of Over-30’s he was also coaching to Florida to the National Cup Finals. His teams won both Women’s divisions in the inaugural year of those competitions. As winners, they had the right to choose the venue for the following year. They chose Memorial Stadium in Seattle for what was then called the Challenge Cup and once again Mike’s team captured both women championships, beating teams from Maryland, Texas, Missouri, Virginia and Oregon. Mr. Ryan’s success with men’s teams included a triumph over the U.S. Olympic National Team by Washington’s State Select Team.
By 1983, Mike Ryan was named by the USSF as the first Women’s National Team Head Coach. Their first international game was with Canada. Later the team went to Italy to play in the Muna Quita – “little World Cup” tournament.
Mike is also the only Professor of Soccer in the United States, an Adjunct Professorship of Soccer being granted to him by Washington State University.
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Janet Slauson was involved with the Washington State Women’s Soccer Association (WSWSA) from its very beginning. She collaborated with naming the organization, the nuts and bolts of rules and bylaws and was elected the association’s first Vice President in 1974. The following year she was elected President, a capacity she served in on three different occasions. Janet has also served on almost every WSWSA committee, as Secretary, Scheduler, Public Relations, Jamboree Chair and Tournament Chair.
In 1975, Janet worked with the Seattle Sounders and the University of Washington as administrator for Northwest Soccer Camps, Inc., which ran day camps for youth. She also enrolled in referee training to learn the game better. She whistled games for the youth leagues for many years. Janet not only loved the administrative side of the game, she also loved playing in the WSWSA for over a decade.
At the state level, Janet served in numerous capacities such as President, Vice President and Secretary. She was Select Team Administrator for several years and worked on the committee for the World Amputee Games which were held in Seattle in 2000. Slauson also chaired USASA’s Women’s Development Committee from 2001 to 2006.
Janet has been honored on multiple occasions. She was bestowed the Barney Kempton Award for volunteers by the Washington State Soccer Association (WSSA) in 1985, given WSSA Life Membership during the 1990s, and then inducted into the WSSA Hall of Fame in 2004. Janet Slauson was also honored by the WSWSA with its Life Membership Award, the Bernadette Noonan Volunteer Award and with the “Order of
Came to the United States with his family of eight from Sardinia, Italy, in August of 1958. With soccer in his blood and endowed with organizational skills, within his first week in this country, Turchi started the Maiella Soccer Club with his father and played with three of his brothers on that team. In 1964, he began to play with Molfetta and stayed in the Schaffer League for nine years. Then he went onto a new adventure and started Roma, a new club in Brooklyn, with his father and four brothers.
While still an active player, Turchi also devoted much of his time to coaching youth teams. In 1983 he was a coach and player for Glen Cove SC in the Long Island Soccer Futbol League. Then from 1984 to 2003 he coached Frosinone SC in a Regional League.
Having played and coached the game, Consalvo Turchi went on to become very active as a referee and referee administrator. In 1970, he became the New York State Assignment Chairman, a capacity Consalvo served in for 20 years. He worked as Referee Administrator (SYRA) for the State Youth Referee Administration for three years and as Referee Administrator for the Eastern New York State Soccer Association for 11 years. He also served as the Region I Referee Chairman and on the USASA National Referee Committee from 1995 to 2006.
In 1994, Mr. Turchi was appointed by the World Cup Committee to be Referee Coordinator for Giants Stadium and again in 1999, for the Women’s World Cup.
Consalvo Turchi was later elected President of the Italian American Soccer League for seven years. In June, 2004, he was re-elected President of the League and is now serving in his third term. As of today, Consalvo remains active as a Referee, National Assessor and Instructor for the Eastern New York State Soccer Association.
Began playing while still a little boy living in Italy. In 1969, he played at Mercer County Community College for the 1969-1970 season. There, he played as a member of the Defending National Champions in 1969 and contributed to their third place national finish in 1970. Pat was also a member of Drexel University’s soccer team in 1971, and a year later he was positioned as a midfielder leading the team to their only other appearance in the NCAA Playoffs since the school’s 1956 National Championship.
For a decade, Pat played in various semiprofessional teams in New Jersey such as the Trenton Italians and the German American Kickers. He not only played, but officiated for five years and coached youth soccer in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, from 1986 to 1994.
In 1976, Mr. Varsallona founded the Central Jersey Youth Soccer Association. In 1980, he established the Garden State Soccer League (GSSL), the premier soccer league in New Jersey for Men, Women and Youth, with emphasis on the older age youth teams to prepare them to the adult amateur environment. He was elected president of the GSSL in 1980 and has continued to serve as President and CEO, managing more the 100 adult teams, until the present.
Pat made possible the development and design of a customized computer system for the GSSL , which handles all the activities of the League: Scheduling, Reporting of Game Results, Preparation of Standings, Arbitration and Discipline of Teams and Players, Finances and History.
Mr. Varsallona is currently the General Secretary and Executive Director of the New Jersey Soccer Association, a post he has held since 1984. He is also the Director of the U20 and U23 Development Program in New Jersey, a program that has been in existence since 1988. Pat is a member of Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame, Class of 2001.