A blog dedicated to chronicling the history of SC Green White, a soccer club founded in Chicago in 1956.

Friday, November 30, 2012


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."

And, while some of the former mainstays were leaving or retiring or playing with the reserves, some of the young new stars were also away from the team, playing in college. The NCAA rules prohibited them from playing on a club team at the same time. So, players like Joe Laxgang, Nick Willer (photo), Leo Skorohod, and Johnny Woolfe gave it their all, but at the end of the season it wasn't quite enough. Green White was relegated back to the First Division.

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

While the men's team was struggling, the rest of the Green White teams were showing the older guys how it was done. The Junior team remained dominant, finishing in first place once again. In July, they took that team to Germany where they played against Ebingen, Tailfingen and Reutlingen.

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

The Green White board was led by the husband-wife team of Matz and Joanne Kraemer. (Matz was the President of the men's club, while Joanne was the president of the Women's club.)

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.

Green White didn't have to work at creating a family atmosphere, because they were a family. Even though most of the members no longer played soccer, the Green White games were still the hub of activity for the week. The families hung out together on the weekends.

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

*Tony Melcher

*Future first team player Peter Kaempfer


*Tanja Feichtel

Elsewhere in soccer, 1970

The 1970 World Cup was held in Mexico, and is considered one of the all-time classics. The final four featured Brazil vs. Uruguay, and West Germany vs. Italy. Naturally the Green White crowd was following this closely. The Germany game was particularly exciting; considered by some to the be the greatest World Cup game ever. After 90 minutes the score was tied 1-1. Two goals were scored in injury time to make it 2-2. It went to into overtime and once again each team scored, making it 3-3. Italy finally scored a fourth goal in the 111th minute to win the game. Franz Beckenbauer played the last few minutes of the overtime session with a broken clavicle because both replacements had already entered the game.

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 amishrick@yahoo.com. 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.

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