90 Years of Soccer, By Michael Fricker

The German Hungarians trace their history in soccer back to the year 1922, when the first soccer team was organized. The Banater Athletic Club was formed under the Banater Männerchor. In 1930 the athletic section changed its name to the German-Hungarian Sport Club, and in 1938 the Entire organization including the sport section changed its name to the United German Hungari-ans of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

The GH has been involved in soccer for 90 years and in that time has had many great achievements. In those 90 years the club has played in a number of leagues in the Philadelphia area. The GH has been a member of the Al-lied League, the National League, the Pennsylvania League, the Philadelphia Soccer League as well as the Inter-County League. In 1959 the GH helped to found the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania. The GH Has won the Championship of the United Soccer League over 16 times, most recently in 2010.

The GH consistently enters teams into the national cups. The club holds two national titles. They are 1965 US National Amateur Cup Champions, and 1999 USASA Open Cup Champions. The GH were National Amateur Cup final-ists 4 times (1964, 1970, 1977, 1999), and US Open cup finalists twice (1977, 1993).

The German Hungarians along with other ethnic clubs founded the first youth leagues and teams in our area, through the USL of PA. Our first youth teams started in 1939. Today we still operate youth teams that are essen-tial parts of the youth competition. The German Hungari-ans pioneered the sport with women and helped to create some of the first Adult women’s teams in Philadelphia.

Soccer in America is thriving and its traditions are in existence because of the teams. As an organization we are the carriers of these traditions and pioneers within the game. The GH has a rich history, impressive accomplish-ments, and intense passion for the game we all love.

2012 marks the 90th year of soccer for the German Hungarians. I often marvel at the staying power that soccer has within our club. It is written in the history books I have read that we had gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, and weight lifting. In 1940 we had a basketball team. The 1972 50th Anniversary of Sport & Soccer book has a picture of a Midget baseball team. The club had devoted bowling leagues and entered teams into softball leagues. One thing that is written in the history is a statement that has continued to be true to this day “Despite varied activities, soccer remained the major sport…” Soccer has outlasted every other sport we have ever took part in. We are a Soccer Club. There are only 10 years until we will celebrate the 100 years we have been playing, coaching, and continuing the proud traditions of soccer.

Michael N. Fricker

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