In 1970 the National Soccer League expanded the Major Division from 8 teams to twelve. But after a few years of very solid play, Green White was a team in transition that year. Long time team captain Adam Kaempf was contemplating leaving the club. His brother Georg had already gone to the Kickers.
"I was listening to the German radio on a Saturday morning and the announcer Manfred Gursch said: 'Big news! Georg Kaempf has signed with the Kickers.' I said 'WHAT? That son of a gun didn't even tell me he was leaving. I still give him a hard time about that. My own brother, and I heard the news on the radio."
Adam Kaempf made his farewell official at the end of the year. "Why did I leave Green White? You know, to be honest, trying to think back now what my reason was, I'm just not even sure anymore. I really loved the club. My wife was very involved with the women's club. The kids loved the clubhouse. I look back on that time as the best time of my life."
Green White Youth
The younger teams were following in the footsteps of the older boys. The midget boys "A" team, trained by Green White's first big star Stefan Laxgang, started off strong (beating teams like Hansa and Real F.C. 8-0 and 9-0), and they continued on that path all season. The midget "B" team coached by Simon Andres also played well.
The Green White youth system appeared to be stocked with enough good young players to keep them competitive for the next fifteen years.
Green White Off the Field
And while the men's team was in transition on the field, the board of directors for both the men's and women's side read like a Who's Who of Green White history. On the senior board, names like Martin Schneider, Josef Schuster, Eckhard Kaempfer, Alex Jordan, Horst Melcher, Martin Ruterschmidt, Fred Feichtel, Franz Stadler, Rudi Hrbacek, Adam Harjung, Toni Kirschner, Heinrich Bischoff, Ottmar Scheer, and Walter Melcher. On the women's board--Maria Zimmer, Hedy Klaus, Trudi Stadler, and Maria Blaas.
There were 235 members of Green White in 1970, and nearly all of them still lived in Chicago. A few families had begun to move to the suburbs (in towns like Mt. Prospect, Des Plaines, Schiller Park, Niles, Bensenville, Morton Grove, Hoffman Estates, and Prospect Heights), but they still attended most of the Green White events.
(Photo: Mr. Green White Steve Zimmer entertaining the crowd at the Green White family picnic)
1970 Green White Babies
*Future first team player Peter Kaempfer
Elsewhere in soccer, 1970
Of course the real star of the 1970 World Cup was Pele. He led Brazil to their third World Cup title.
In Pop Culture
~The number one song of the year was "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.
~The most popular show on television was "Marcus Welby, M.D."
~The Academy Award winning film was "Patton" starring George C. Scott
Elsewhere in 1970
~Two consecutive days of huge snow storms crippled the city on March 25 and 26, among the ten worst back to back days of snow in Chicago history.
~Vietnam War protestors at Kent State University clashed with National Guard troops. The National Guard fired into the crowd, killing four, and wounding nine.
~The Beatles broke up after the release of their album "Let it Be"
~Ernie Banks hit his 500th career home run, and Hank Aaron & Willie Mays got their 3000th hits.
~Cigarette Ads were banned on television.
Coming next month: 1971. Green White celebrates its 15th anniversary.
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.