On Saturday, August 11, 2018, the German Hungarians traveled to Franklin Square, NY to celebrate a tradition with the Gemuetlichen Enzianer. The “Legends of Soccer,” pits the two dancing clubs against one another, but this time on the Soccer field.
The field? The Hota Bavarians’ field located at Plattdeutsche Park on Long Island. The day was rainy and over cast but that didn’t stop one bit of the festivities. Meet and greet started at 1:00 pm at the clubhouse with some refreshments and many hugs and catching up. In an effort to beat the weather, the Legends themselves laced up their boots, pulled up their socks and pulled on their uniforms a little early than the planned 2:30pm match time.
Gemuetlichen Enzianer took the field in a classic Bavarian blue and the German Hungarians in their usual red and black. Everyone had faith in the officiating that day. You cannot go wrong with Stephen Killian playing referee! Personally, I thought he did a great job!
With substitutions happening on the fly, shots on net were at a premium that day and the goalkeepers, Stephen Paul for U.G.H. and Brian Killian for G.E., had their work cut out for them.
Though the Gemuetlichen struck first, the German Hungarians would win the match in the end 5:3. The soccer on the field and the camaraderie of the post-match picnic truly showed off friendship and competition amongst the clubs and the members of the club, both young and old.
“I am privileged to be part of the tradition and enjoyed the competitive but fun game. It’s a great way to hang out with our friends from the German Hungarians,” said Andreas Oberheim.
The Legends of Soccer started as a way of coming together as two clubs and bringing the soccer stars of the past back to the field once a year. It shared the love of the sport of soccer with two clubs connected first by culture and dancing. Today in the modern era it connects our past to our present and teaches our young people traditions and friendships.
“Our biannual game is always a good time. This year really highlighted the passing of the torch to the younger generation and our progression to co-ed teams,” said Robert Killian.
After the soccer game was over, the players shook hands, shared smiles and laughs and retired to the Hota clubhouse for great picnic fare, trophy presentations and many great memory making moments. A beer or two may have been poured as well.
UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS
EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was originally published in the Gauverband Nordamerika’s Gauzeitung in 2018. It was authored jointly by the Gemeutlichen Enzianer and the United German Hungarians