1993 was a season for the ages for the German Hungarians. While following the progress of the 2008 cup run – Jeff Maierhofer decided it was time to bring the 1993 group back together.
Coming off a highly successful but difficult 92 season that ended with an Eastern Final loss to the Hota Bavarians the team struggled to find its’ early form. An early season draw and a backlog of cup games saw the team fall behind Lancaster in the league and a December loss to Sunburst in the amateur cup left the team with a single focus. We needed to beat the Flames or there would be no Cup games for 1993. A 5-2 win behind five Jeff Van Tiem goals allowed the German Hungarians to claim the Eastern PA Open Cup Championship. The rest as they say – is history!
A rally in the league, Champions again! An unbelievable team trip to England. Wins over Boston, North Jersey and finally the NY Pancyprians left the German Hungarians as 1993 Eastern US Champions. Next came former national champions McCormack of Florida and the great overtime win sparked by Mark Ozoroski’s memorable blast and we were off to the final!
While our great season ended with a disappointing loss in the National Open Cup Championship, well over 100 club members, parents, wives, girlfriends and friends made the trip to Indianapolis. A loss, but still a memory for a great club, a great team, all of the great soccer and a great era!
On August 2nd over 60 club members, players, coaches, managers, families and friends reunited at our club to celebrate, reminisce and greet old friends. Among the players were Paul Centofanti, Bob Wilkinson, Jim McCourt, Neil Smart, Mark Ozoroski, Steve Wink, Jeff Maierhofer, Jim DeMarco, Mike Curley, Vince McGlynn, Tom Foley, Dave Fleming and the Reverend Tom Fitzpatrick. Bill Wilkinson Jr, Werner Fricker Jr and Claudio Touravela were also in attendance. Special mention goes to Joe Rudy – Rock had to attend a wedding – but his father came out to join the festivities. Mr. McCourt made it as well. Sean Fryatt and Jeff Van Tiem both had family commitments but sent their regards. The Oldtimers and the many club members in attendance made the night special.
Jeff Maierhofer organized the event with special thanks to Janet Malofiy, Toni Fronchek and Werner. The evening started with a kick-around on the upper field. Beers followed in the locker room and for old times’ sake – a debate over who played the best up top.
The boys brought pictures and mementos from 1993. Cento wore his ‘Road to Indianapolis’ t-shirt. Fitzy wore Wink’s old #7 jersey. Videos from the national team game and the cup run played on the big screen. Several of the games were taped by Paul Centofanti’s father, which no doubt explains why we have replays of all of Paul’s saves – but somehow no video of the Florida game winner. There were great images of the Van Tiem goal against the Pancyprians though. Not surprisingly as we watched – Neil commented at the bar that he didn’t want to distract people from watching him play well! Neil eventually led a round of singing starting with “a Flick from the Dog.” Have another Dab! Fifteen years later, Jonesy admitted to being bored in the backfield. McCourt served as play-by-play announcer for several of his memorable runs – and on it went. Stories, laughs – it was as though we had played a big game that afternoon. Somewhere there was a shot of Applecorn.
Finally the inevitable – Maierhofer and Fitzy on the table – with their rendition of ‘Help Me Rhonda.’ They remembered the words, the crowd sang back up and everyone laughed out loud.
The ’93 guys back for the night. Club members, the Oldtimers, a few of the parents – it all comes gushing back. Hoagie summed it up for the older players – “We were here in 1965, we were here in the 1990’s and we’re here today, what else is there to say?” Werner Jr, and Bill Wilkinson talked about the importance of the club and its’ great history, the driving influence of both of their fathers and the need to keep it all alive. So many memories and so much history for the German Hungarians – for one night in early August we all remembered 1993.
A special season, and a special group – thanks to everyone who came out!
Bill Wilkinson Jr.