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IN MEMORY OF JOE BARONE: A LEADER IN THE WORLD OF SOCCER

By USASA Communications, 03/20/24, 8:45AM CDT

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It is with profound sadness that we at the USASA bid farewell to Joe (Giuseppe) Barone, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and esteemed past NPSL League Chairman, who passed away yesterday at age 57.

It is with profound sadness that we at the USASA bid farewell to Joe (Giuseppe) Barone, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and esteemed past League Chairman for the NPSL, who passed away yesterday at age 57. Barone played an integral part of running the Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club for many years. Later he served as League Chairman for the NPSL, an USASA member, and grew the league to its current status. Joe led the NPSL from 2013 to 2018 with immense pride, during which the league experienced unprecedented expansion and brand recognition. When Rocco B. Commisso purchased the Italian Series A team ACF Fiorentina, Joe was announced to be placed permanently in Florence to serve as the Sporting Director.

Joe was more than just a soccer executive; and is remembered as being a proud Italian American immigrant, who was a tireless supporter of amateur soccer in the USA, and who found joy and purpose in helping young players reach their version of the American Dream, guiding them to find a path to play the game that they love. His passion for the game and unwavering commitment to excellence left an indelible mark on amateur and professional soccer.

Joe's journey in soccer was fueled by his love for the sport and a remarkable talent. Born in southern Sicily, Barone moved to Brooklyn, New York at the age of eight. Following a successful career in the financial industry before becoming the League Chairman for the NPSL, followed by Senior Vice President of the New York Cosmos. He joined Fiorentina as General Manager in 2019, where he quickly earned a reputation for his dedication to the club's success that gained the admiration of the Fiorentina fan base. Barone’s legacy in Florence includes the construction of Viola Park, Fiorentina’s new training center,  overseeing the women’s team and title-winning youth sector. For five years, Barone masterminded Fiorentina's player transfer strategy.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Joe was beloved by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His warmth, generosity, and fatherlike guardianship endeared him to players, colleagues and fans alike. He was not only a leader but also a mentor and friend, always ready to offer support and encouragement.

In honoring Joe's memory, USASA would like to celebrate the remarkable life he lived and the countless lives he touched along the way.