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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


1983 was the first full season in Mt. Prospect for Green White, and while some of those games were a little rough because the field wasn't quite in shape yet, Green White managed to hold their own despite losing their star striker Robert Meschbach (he was playing professionally for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers alongside former German superstar Gerd Mueller). Frank Schmaltz (photo) was one of the players on that year's first team, along with the Speth brothers and Hans Metzinger Jr.

As for the younger Green White clubs, once again a Green White youth team won the state championship. The U12 team led by Joe Schlenhardt did it again, the third year in a row a Green White U12 team won the championship.

With the new fields, Green White also was able to finally do something they had dreamed of doing for years--hold their very own tournament. It was a huge undertaking, but for the crew that had just spent the last year and a half literally building fields and a clubhouse from scratch, this was a task they were ready to tackle.

Helmut Filian was in his last year running the youth organization and he remembers it well. "We had the first youth tournament in the area here in 1983. We had 50 or 60 teams. That was no easy job because we didn’t have computers to create the brackets or anything. We were lucky that Alex Gyurko helped us get the referees—he convinced them to whistle for free that first tournament to help us build this thing. That whole tournament was a huge undertaking. Everyone pitched in—some helped out in the chuckwagon--some helped out on the fields, some helped to keep track of the brackets, some helped with traffic. Everybody helped, and I mean everybody. I got the teams to get here—that was my job.”

Former Green White President Hans Metzinger chuckles at the memory of the kids helping out. "We made some benches for the spectators, and had a few of our kids help paint them. Peter Kaempfer and Kurt Melcher had more paint on their faces than they had on the benches because didn’t turn the planks, they went underneath to paint them."

Green White Off The Field

The one down side to moving out to Mt. Prospect was the loss of the Donauschwaben banquet hall in Chicago. That made it a little more difficult to stage some of the annual social events the club had been having for the past 27 years. Needless to say, that little hiccup didn't stop the party. Most events were moved to the Schwaben Center in Buffalo Grove, including the annual Schlachtfest (an event that still goes on to this day). This picture was taken there.

Once again a Miss Green White was crowned. In 1983 it was future club president Cindy Kaempfer (photo), who went on to be named Miss Soccer at 1983's annual Sport, Radio & Press ball. Some of the first team players and coaches are in the picture with her including a very young John Dunkas, Frank Schmaltz and Frank Speth (back row), Mike Andres (glasses) and coach Stefan Zimmer.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Terms of Endearment"

*The top rated television show of 1983 was "Dallas"

Elsewhere in 1983

~The Chicago White Sox won their division and lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS.

~Chicago Archbishop Bernandin was named a Cardinal by the Vatican.

~Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album went to #1 and stayed there for 37 weeks.

~Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

~Ronald Reagan signed a bill declaring Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday.

Coming next month: 1984.

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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


By 1982, Green White's home field was no longer Welles Park. Green White had been sharing the field with the Fichte Rams, and now the city was also allowing other teams to play there, so it was crucial that Green White find another place to play. They found some fields in Northbrook, but they knew it was only a temporary arrangement. The fields were being lent to the club for nothing, and it was only a matter of time before they were reclaimed.

Luckily for Green White, that season they had a player on their team named Paul Weaver. His father, Everett Weaver, was a big supporter of Green White, and put his time and money where his heart was. Mr. Weaver (as everyone called him) helped spearhead the search for a new field and a new clubhouse.

Helmut Filian was running the youth program for Green White at the time. "I spent days with Mr. Weaver driving around and scouting locations. We went all over the place; north, south, east and west. He kept finding potential spots for us, but none of them were quite right."

"We had a location on Northwest Highway," Hans Metzinger says. "And another one near Higgins, and another that is now used by United. We even looked at an old airfield. There was a lot of land there, but I said--'Where can we put the fields?'”

Finally they got a big break.

“I was on the board of the Young Sportsman Soccer League, and they told me that there was some land that was controlled by the Mount Prospect Park District," Helmut Filian (photo) recalls. "At the time there was nothing there at all—they were building the waste treatment plant—but that was it. Just nothing. So Mr. Weaver and I came over to look at it. There was this little house (our current clubhouse) that the Corp of Engineers was using as an office, and a place to store their stuff, but there was lots of room to create some fields. I went with (long time Green White Preisdent) Horst Melcher to lots of meetings with the park district, and they agreed to let us develop that land, and assured us that they would support us, but only if we financed it and did all the work to create those fields.”

That was no small project. This was a project that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and would require hundreds and hundreds of man hours of work. Once again, Mr. Weaver came to the rescue.

"We didn't think we could raise that much money," Hans Metzinger recalls, "but Mr. Weaver gave us a check for $80,000. That was a good start. I remember Mr. Mokran gave us a lot of money too."

"Everybody from the club gave whatever they could give," Hildegard Kaempfer remembers. "A lot of us had kids going to college, so we didn't have a lot of money, but we still gave whatever we could."

"We did a big fundraiser at a nearby hotel," Helmut Filian adds, "the biggest one we've ever done. We had a big club at that time, and everyone contributed."

But securing the financing was only part of the process. There was still the challenge of converting the vast rocky ground into playable soccer fields. It turned out to be a bigger challenge than anyone realized.

“The biggest problem with the land was there were lots of stones," Klaus Kilian says. "We spent so much time and effort getting all of those stones out of there.”

Luckily a few of the Green White members had their own businesses, and they enlisted the help of their workers. "Helmut Filian sent his work crews over to help, and so did I," Hans Metzinger recalls. "We excavated the land with 50 men. We had lots of engineers. Horst Melcher, Eckhard Kaempfer, Toni Kirschner, Franz Stadler, they all helped out. Mr. Schmaltz made something to mark the fields with, and he went out there and marked it. Simon Andres, Konrad Meschbach, Helmut Filian, and Stefan Zimmer were the ones that really created those fields and got them ready to go."

“It was horrible at first," adds Helmut Filian. "We seeded it and re-seeded it. We spent a fortune trying to get it playable. The board declared that we were going to have a grand opening, so we really had to work hard to get it done on time. I took two weeks of vacation just to work on it, and so did a lot of the other guys.”

"These two fields closest to the clubhouse weren't even the hardest ones," Metzinger remembers. "We called the field on the hill the potato field because it was about as smooth as a potato and craters and holes all over it."

And if that wasn't enough, the club was still searching for a clubhouse. They almost bought a home nearby, but they kept looking at that little Corp of Engineers office.

"The Army Corp of Engineers was going to tear it down," Kilian says. "It was a mess. They had the whole garage stacked to the ceiling with garbage, and they had a makeshift office here. There was only one bathroom in the middle of the house.”

Again, Mr. Weaver came to the rescue.

"Mr. Weaver found them a better place to go, and convinced them to let us take over this house instead of tearing it down," Hans Metzinger remembers, "but again this was going to cost us a lot of money and effort to improve it. A lot of man hours. Every single worker, every single penny came from Green White.”

"We did it all," Klaus Kilian says. "We tore down walls. We made the kitchen. We dug out the basement. We built the deck. We did it with our own hands. Hans Metzinger was our project manager. He was the superintendent. He led the whole project. We had to do a lot of structural work, because the middle pillars that are in the clubhouse now is where the back wall was…and it was a load-bearing wall."

“Klaus did all the plumbing," Metzinger adds. "Rolf Albrecht did a lot of work. Tony Filian. We poured the concrete. We paid a few of the younger guys to help out. Eddie Speth was there. Stefan Zimmer was there. Polaretzky. Nick Willer and I did the whole deck. Franz Fernbach. You name it, everyone was out there.”

Even the players got in on the action. John Dunkas was on the first team at the time.

"After practice," Dunkas recalls, "they handed us shovels and said start digging."

There was one last touch before the fields could be christened. Once again, Mr. Weaver stepped up with one last grand gesture.

"He donated the lights," Helmut Filian says. "That was his gift to the club."

When the Grand Opening occured, something had changed forever.

"Hans Metzinger donated a construction trailer because I wanted a hot dog stand," Helmut Filian says. "We painted the trailer green and white, and when it was done we had our chuckwagon. When we finished painting it, we put our logo on there. It was the first time we had ever called ourselves ‘Green White Mt. Prospect’ and that’s what we’ve been ever since.”

(Photo: The Green White chuckwagon. Maria Zimmer at the window. Green White Ladies Team members Sonja Melcher, Moni Zimmer, and Miss Green White 1982 Arlen Mayer say hello)

Green White On the Field

Maybe it was because he had been spending so much time working on the fields, but when it was time for the national Donauschwaben Tournament in 1982 (in Cleveland Ohio), Hans Metzinger Sr. laced up his boots and played with the team. The 52 year old entered the game in the second half of an open match against Cleveland Concordia and scored two (2) goals in the 4-2 win, much to the consternation of Mr. Haller, Sr. of the Concordia Club.

The Green White first team had a good season, led by the player of the year, Roberto Arceniega, but once again it was one of the youth teams that was the pride of Green White in 1982.

The U-12 Boys team, led by coach Joe Schlenhardt, won the state championship for the second year in a row, despite losing many of it's star players from the year before to the older team. Peter Kaempfer was the captain of that team. "It was a great team," Pete recalls, "Although it hurts to realize my greatest sporting achievements were behind me by the age of 12 (laughs)"

Elsewhere in Soccer

The 1982 World Cup was held in Spain. The two finalists were Italy and West Germany. The West Germans made it to the final by beating France in one of the most dramatic games in World Cup history. The game went to overtime and in the first few minutes of overtime, the French scored two goals to take a 3-1 lead. The Germans only had 12 minutes to come back, and come back they did. Karl Heinz Rumminigge scored to make it 3-2, and then in the 108th minute Klaus Fisher tied the game with a dramatic bicycle kick. They then won the game on penalty kicks.

But in the finals, luck ran out for the German side. Led by Golden Boot winner Paolo Rossi, the Italians prevailed 3-1.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "Let's Get Physical" by Olivia Newton John.

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Ghandi"

*The top rated television show of 1982 was "60 Minutes"

Elsewhere in 1982

~John Hinkley was found not guilty of attempted assassination by reason of insanity.

~Princess Diana and Prince Charles welcomed the birth of their first born son, William.

~The first issue of "USA Today" hit the newsstands.

~Cyanide-laced Tylenol killed seven people in Chicago. The murderer was never captured.

~The first artificial heart is transplanted into dentist Barney Clark. He survived for 112 days.

~The first episode of "Cheers" airs on NBC.

Coming next month: 1983.

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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


1981 was the 25th anniversary for Green White and they celebrated by having a huge season on the field and off. A resolution was passed the City Council of the City of Chicago, and signed by Mayor Byrne, declaring May 23, 1981 as "Green White Day" in Chicago, in honor of the club's 25th anniversary.

By the time the members gathered to celebrate the anniversary at the Donauschwaben Clubhouse on Lincoln Avenue in October, they had several on-field accomplishments to celebrate as well. The first team once again had the league's Player of the Year, captain Rudi Mayer (photo).

The youth program had an even better year. Led by team manager Helmut Filian, the U-12 boys won the state championship. Filian was in the midst of making major changes, and this was his first big success story. "We won the under-12 state championship—and I was very proud of that team, but I was proud of the whole youth program. We had eight teams. We usually divided the groups into A-teams and B-teams, the A-teams were our competitive teams, and the B-teams were the kids that liked to play for fun. It was always a tough balancing act, but for several years there we really pulled it off. I always believed that in order for the kids to perform at their best, it was important for them to look good. So I got corporate sponsorships to get the best uniforms possible. Before that we were wearing uniforms in eleven different shapes and sizes. Some of those old uniforms were just that...old uniforms.”

Among the players on that state championship team; sons of long-time members Adam Wambach, John Woolfe, Helmut Filian, Horst Melcher, Eckhard Kaempfer, Walter Melcher, Joe Schlenhardt, and Leo Skorochod. Future Herman Award winner as the NCAA College Soccer Player of the Year, Ken Snow, and his brother Steve were also on the team.

And while the youth and men's programs thrived, the women's team also had a milestone season. Team founder Maria Zimmer remembers it well. "I finally hung up my boots in 1981," she recalls, "but that last campaign will always be my favorite. It was the one and only season I was able to play with all three of my daughters. We were truly a soccer family, and Green White was at the center of it all."

Her middle daughter Tina was also Miss Green White that year. Other members of that 1981 women's team included Maria Blaas (coach), her daughter Linda, Sonja Melcher, and future club president Cindy Kaempfer.

Green White Off-The-Field

On October 10, 1981, Green White gathered in the Heim Der Donauschwaben at 4219 N. Lincoln Avenue to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The band Johnny Wagner's Polidor entertained the crowd, pausing only briefly for a ceremony honoring past and present players and board members.

The all-time leader in goals scored (Rudi Mayer--161 goals and counting), and games played (Joe Laxgang--856 games) were acknowledged. As were the board members who had been on the board the entire twenty-five years; Fritz Becker, Franz Stadler, Horst Melcher, Adam Harjung, Eckhard Kaempfer, and Henry Wittje. But the honored guest of the night was the man they all acknowledged as the father of the club, Martin Schneider, who was given a special award to thank him for his service.

Franz Stadler gave a brief history of the club in a speech, and ended it this way...

25 Years of Green White! The time has gone too fast.

The strength of our club has always been our club members. Our parties have always attracted big and friendly crowds; the masquerade balls, the anniversary dinners, the Schlachtfest, and the club picnics. Our ladies club has spent hours preparing for them, and making our clubhouse beautiful. The Executive Board is rightly regarded as one of the most active among all the German-American soccer clubs. They have particularly emphasized the true pride of our club, the youth division, again and again. The list of championships won by our youth teams is too long to mention at this time, but we did add to the list once again this year when our under-12 team won the state championship, and our under-16 team won the league championship.

And as we stand here today, the majority of the members who were there from the very beginning are still closely connected to the fate of Green White. The majority of them are still here, still contributing many hours of their time and effort to the cause, working to make this the best club it can be.

To the next 25 years!

May we always say: “Gruen Weiss Vor!”

Elsewhere in Soccer

1981 also brought Chicago it's first championship since 1963, when the Chicago Sting won the Soccer Bowl. Among the stars of that Sting team: German players Karl Heinz Granitza, Arno Steffenhagen, Ingo Peter, and Dieter Ferner. The coach of the team was Willi Roy, a former National Soccer League player, and a regular spectator of league games, including Green White's.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Chariots of Fire"

*The top rated television show of 1981 was "Dallas"

Elsewhere in 1981

~Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States. Only a few weeks later, John Hinkley attempted to assassinate him. Reagan survived a gunshot wound.

~Iran released the American hostages from the U.S. Embassy.

~Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. Their wedding was a worldwide television event.

~Walter Cronkite stepped down as the anchor of the Evening News. He was replaced by 60 Minutes Correspondent Dan Rather.

Coming next month: 1982. Green White makes a big move.

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.

Monday, September 30, 2013


The Green White first team had a rough season to start off the new decade. With young stars like Joe Filian playing professionally in New York, Robert Meschbach putting up an All-American season for Indiana University, and Parade Magazine High School All-American John Dunkas enjoying his first year at Miami of Ohio, Green White struggled. Luckily they still had the steady leadership of captain Rudi Mayer, and longtime player Hans Metzinger Jr. (who was named the team's MVP), so they managed to stay afloat.

But while the first team struggled, the youth side was building a mini-dynasty, even if they didn't yet know it. Helmut Filian's under-12 team (photo below) was in first place, and poised for bigger and better things. Filian remembers that time well: “We had some really great players that came from our original Green White families, players like Peter Kaempfer and Kurt Melcher. They were on the A-team because they earned their way onto the team, but we had lots of other players from the surrounding areas too.”

The U-10 team was also dominant for such a young team. Chris Salatino was a member of that team, and remembers those early practices beginning when he was only eight years old. "Mrs. Gyurko drove us to practice at the field on Austin & Foster in her Volkswagen Rabbit. Sometimes there were six of us crammed in there. That was before seatbelt laws, of course."

That team would likewise develop into a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Green White Off the Field

Miss Green White 1980 was Lore M. Willer, and she represented the club at the annual Sport, Radio & Press ball.

The Green White board remained the same, with the exception of one old friend returning to the fold. Eckhard Kaempfer returned from Germany, and immediately reclaimed his old position as secretary. Hans Metzinger remained the president, and for awhile, even helped coach the first team. According to the minutes from the board meetings, the board was already discussing their dissatisfaction with their fields in Chicago. A plan was being hatched to move, although it would take a few more years, and a few significant developments before that occurred.

Green White Babies

*Future first team player Brendan Connor.

Elsewhere in Soccer

After their incredibly disappointing performance in the 1978 World Cup, a new generation of West German stars won the 1980 European Cup, beating Belgium at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "Call Me" by Blondie

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Ordinary People"

*The top rated television show of 1980 was "Dallas"

Elsewhere in 1980

~President Carter ordered a rescue effort for hostages in Iran. It failed.

~Ted Turner started up a cable news channel that provided 24-hour news coverage. He called it C.N.N.

~Pacman and Rubik's Cube were released and enjoyed instant popularity.

~Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States, defeating incumbent president Jimmy Carter, and independent candidate John Anderson.

~John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York by a deranged fan named Mark David Chapman. Most of America heard the news during the Monday Night Football game.

Coming next month: 1981. Green White celebrates their 25th 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.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


1979 belonged to the Green White Junior team coached by Simon Andres. The team was populated with familiar Green White names like Laxgang, Blaas, Wagner, Stadler, Andres, Dunkas, and Bischoff, and they won the league championship, the city championship, and the Schwaben tournament. Several of those players would become mainstays on the Green White first team in the years to come.

The first team wasn't quite as successful in 1979, finishing in the middle of the pack of the Major Division. Frank Speth led the team with 20 goals, and Hans Mayer added another nine. The team had a much better season indoors, coming just shy of winning of the championship.

One other Green White team, however, did not fall shy of their goal. The Green White Women's Team, led by Maria Blaas, finished their season in first place with a record of 10-2-2.

Green White Off The Field

Susie Zimmer represented the club as Miss Green White at the 15th annual Sport, Radio & Press Ball at the Bismarck Hotel Ballroom. The Conant High School senior noted in the program that "Practically all my time is spent at the soccer fields because I love the sport so much." Susie shared space in the program with that night's special guest of honor, Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, as well as the dignitaries who sent well wishes including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and German National Team coach Helmut Schoen. The biggest prize of the night, Junior Team of the Year, was won by Green White.

One former Green White player, Joe Filian, was meanwhile enjoying his time playing professional soccer in the NASL as a member of the New York Cosmos. Among his teammates, the legendary Franz Beckenbauer. That's Joe with the big afro in the back row, good ol' #27...

Green White Babies

*Future first team player Bunnyray Larmond was born on December 4th.

In Pop Culture

*The number song of the year was "My Sharona" by The Knack

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Kramer vs. Kramer"

*The top rated television show of 1979 was "60 Minutes"

Elsewhere in 1979

~Nearly twenty inches of snow fell in one weekend in Chicago; one of the biggest storms in city history.

~The Shah of Iran fled his country and was replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini. Militants seized the U.S. Embassy and held Americans hostage.

~An accident at Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant released radiation in Pennsylvania

~Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

~Pope John Paul II visited the United States, including Chicago. He performed mass in front of an overflow crowd of worshippers in Grant Park.

Coming next month: 1980.

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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


1978 was the year of the old-timer at Green White. The first team had a fine season--they finished with a winning record--but the old timers (known as the Alte Herren) dominated. They were managed by Alex Gyurko (photo) and they only lost two games all year. At the time, old timers were defined generally as anyone over 30 years old, and while some were just barely over the threshold, others were not. A few of the best players (including Stefan Zimmer and Joe Laxgang) joined an all-star team of Alte Herren, and took that team back to Germany. America's Alte Herren and Germany's Alte Herren had a great time and made some lifelong friends.

Back in Chicago the Green White Juniors, led by Frank Speth (15 goals) had another good season, but they were eclipsed by the work of the Green White Juveniles managed by Martin Schneider (photo below). The Juveniles shredded their way through the league, making it all the way to the National League finals. They lost the title game to the Chicago Kickers, but considering this was their first season in the A division, it was considered a remarkable achievement.

Green White Off the Field

The executive board of Green White remained the same in 1978. In his year-end address to the board, Green White president Hans Metzinger said exactly the right words. Recording Secretary Franz Stadler captured his short and sweet speech nearly verbatim. "I'd like to thank everyone who worked hard for us this year--all the members, board members, and workers--but most importantly, I want to thank my wife Annie."

Smart man.

Miss Green White in 1978 was Linda Mehler, and she competeted for the crown of Miss Soccer at the Sepp Herberger Sport, Radio & Press Ball in November. It was a star studded event, featuring a couple of very special guests. If a fight had broken out no-one would have been surprised because the guests of honor that night were famous boxers; former heavyweight champ Max Schmeling (who was visiting from Germany), and former middleweight champ Tony Zale (who was visiting all the way from Gary, Indiana). The program book features a photo of Max Schmeling with another guest of honor that night; Chicago Sting soccer coach Willi Roy.

Green White Babies

*Born on 4/5/1978, future first team and reserve standout Robert Czop

Elsewhere in Soccer

The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, and the home team managed to make it to the finals against the runner up from 1974, Holland. (The Germans were knocked out early by the Austrians--probably their worst showing in World Cup history). When the final piece of confetti fell, the Argentinians were the champions for the very first time.

In Pop Culture

*The #1 song of 1978 was "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb.

*The Academy Award for best picture was awarded to "The Deer Hunter"

*The top rated show on television was "Laverne and Shirley"

Elsewhere in 1978

~The Chicago Daily News, a fixture in Chicago since 1875, published it's final issue. Among the journalists who found themselves unemployed was Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mike Royko. He moved to the Sun Times after the Daily News shut its doors.

~Velcro was put on the market for the first time.

~The comic strip Garfield debuted.

~Three Popes reigned in 1978. Pope Paul VI died in August. Pope John Paul I replaced him, but died only a few months later. He was replaced by the first Polish Pope, Pope John Paul II.

Coming next month: 1979.

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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Rudi Mayer returned to the team and was named as the second best player in the league at the Sepp Herberger Awards. But by 1977 it was becoming obvious that Green White's accomodations didn't quite live up to some of their competitors. While Schwaben AC had a lush grass field, cluhouse, and banquet hall in Buffalo Grove, Green White was still making do with their north side Chicago clubhouse and the field at Welles Park.

Many of the original Green White members had since moved out to the suburbs and they continued to make the trek into the city, but it was becoming more and more of a burden. But that was nothing compared to what the players had to deal with playing on that soccer field.

“When we played at Welles Park," Klaus Kilian remembers, "we were right across from a church, and the priest would come out there and complain because we were playing on Sundays, and he didn’t like us interrupting his service. ‘Could you guys keep it down!’”

The park district was having a very hard maintaining the fields, and soccer clearly wasn't a priority for them.

"We played on fields that had everything on them except green grass," Hans Metzinger Jr. remembers. "It was not uncommon for both teams to line up together, single file, and clear the field of all debris left from the previous night."

"I never forget those pregame field trash collections at Welles Park," current over-40 coach John Dunkas concurs. "But don't forget the indoor fields. I remember getting a tetanus shot after playing at the Chicago Armory because the field was shared by a stable of horses."

As the 1970s were winding down, so was Green White's time in the neighborhood. It would be another five years before they found new fields, but the rumbling had surely begun.

Green White Youth

1977 marked the beginning of Helmut Filian's youth coaching career with Green White. He was the coach of the Midget A team, a team that he probably didn't quite realize at the time had the makings of greatness.

The Junior team was led by Konrad Meschbach. His oldest son Robert was now a mainstay on the first team, but his younger son Richard was a member of the Junior team.

Green White Off The Field

The Green White Board was led by president Hans Metzinger, but he was joined by the veritable who's who of Green White history. Among the other names that year, Martin Schneider, Franz Fernbach, Franz Stadler, Horst Melcher, Fritz Becker, and Josef Schuster.

Miss Green White in 1977 was Marianne Schmidt.

Green White Babies

Future Green White player Sean Connor was born in 1977. Don't ask what his first word was.

In Pop Culture

~The number one song in the country was "Tonight's the Night" by Rod Stewart.

~"Annie Hall" won the Academy Award for best picture.

~The top rated television show in America was "Laverne & Shirley"

Elswhere in 1977

~Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah, marking the first execution in America since the death penalty had been reinstated.

~Roots was a cultural phenomenon after airing for the first time on ABC.

~"Star Wars" was released and becomes the highest grossing film of all-time (at that time).

~Elvis Presley died in his home in Memphis at the age of 42. Groucho Marx died three days later at the age of 86. Three members of Lynyrd Synryd died in a plane crash a few months later.

~The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was released to coincide with the release of the movie, and it became the then biggest selling album of all time.

Coming next month: 1978.

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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Green White celebrated their 20th anniversary in 1976. The First Team was led by team manager Steve Zimmer, and a few mainstays that played virtually every game in 1976. Hans Marx played in 51 of the 55 (!) games that season, followed closely by goal scoring leader Peter Berger and defensive stopper Hans Metzinger Jr. (Both Berger and Marx were honored at the Sepp Herberger Awards--coming in 2nd and 4th respectively in Player of the Year balloting)

Green White played in no fewer than ten tournaments during the nation's Bicentennial year. They finished in 3rd place in the Memorial Day tournament in Minnesota, won the Real F.C. and Schwaben tournaments in July, and finished in second place to the Fichte Rams in June's Sepp Herberger tournament and August's Fichte Rams tournament.

The First Team was much younger than it had been in previous years as long-time stalwart Joe Laxgang began to wind down his playing days after reaching his 800th game milestone, John Woolfe cut his playing time a bit too, and even Rudi Mayer stepped back from Green White to concentrate on playing for the Chicago Sting. Because of all the tournaments Green White played, names like Willer, Kilian, Zimmer, and Polaretzki (who hit his 400 game milestone in 1976) occasionally graced the lineup sheet, but Green White fans were just as likely to see young pups like Meschbach, Filian, Schmalz, and Mansfield.

Green White Youth

The Junior team finished in second place in the state of Illinois, but they probably remember 1976 for something even more exciting. They went to Europe and played exhibition games in Austria and Germany. Joe Filian, Robert Meschbach, the Speth brothers, Frank Schmalz, and Richard Schneider were among the lucky players who went overseas to show Europe that American boys knew how to play a little soccer too.

Green White Off The Field

On October 16th, 1976, Green White celebrated their 20th anniversary with a big party at the Heim Der Donauschwaben (4219 N. Lincoln Avenue). Team president Hans Metzinger welcomed the attendees with a thank you for everything club members had done, and a plea for their continued use of the Green White clubhouse as the center of their social lives.

He must have been proud to crown Miss Green White that year, his own daughter, Marillac High School Senior Christine Metzinger. Christine was a figure skater (Schlitschuhlauferin).

The Green White board in 1976 featured names that had been a part of the club since the very beginning; Hans Metzinger, Martin Schneider (first VP), Franz Fernbach (second VP), Fritz Becker, Alex Jordan, Peter Berger, Horst Melcher, Toni Kirschner, Heinrich Bischoff, Franz Stadler, Eckhard Kaempfer (in abstentia), Heinrich Wittje, Joseph Schuster, Maria Blass, Maria Zimmer, and Adam Harjung.

Green White Babies

*Future Green White player and Senior Board member Jon Duddles was born in 1976.

Elsewhere in Soccer

The 1976 European Cup was held in Communist Yugolavia. The defending World Cup Champion West German team beat the host nation in the semi-finals before facing Czechoslovakia in the finals. After falling behind 2-0, the West Germans came back to tie the game. At the end of extra time the score was still tied 2-2.

The game went to penalty kicks. Both teams made their first three shots. The Czechs added a fourth. German midfielder Uli HoeneƟ stepped up to take the fourth penalty kick for the West Germans, and in a moment that has not been forgotten by his countrymen, kicked it over the goal. The Czechs put in their final shot and won the European Championship.

In Pop Culture

~The number one hit of the year was "Silly Love Songs" by Wings.

~The Academy Award for 1976's Best Picture went to "Rocky"

~The #1 rated show on television was "Happy Days"

Elsewhere in 1976

~If you liked the colors red, white & blue, 1976 was a great year, because the nation celebrated it's bicentennial by painting nearly everything red, white and blue. In Washington, D.C. a huge celebration was presided over by President Ford and televised nationally. His guest that night was Queen Elizabeth. Walter Cronkite hosted a sixteen hour special on July 4th, which featured a large international fleet of tall-masted sailing ships gathering in New York City.

~Because of the bicentennial, every major sports league's All Star Game was held in Philadelphia.

~In the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect 10.

~In November Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States.

~And in the Chicago area, television's Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) appeared with WLS disc jockey John Records Landecker at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Organizers expected 3000 fans. More than 30,000 screaming teenage girls flooded the mall. Travolta wowed the girls with his catch phrases: "What?" "Why?" "Where?"

Coming next month: 1977.

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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


1975 was an eventful year for Green White. Led by manager Steve Zimmer and president Hans Metzinger, the first team had a very good season. In August the first ever Donauschaben Tournament was held in Akron Ohio. Teams of similar Danube Schwabian descent from all over the country battled it out on the soccer field. Green White was undefeated and unscored upon in those games, and were scheduled to play in the finals against Cleveland but it was cancelled because of heavy rain. At the end of the weekend tournament, after tabulating the goal differential, Green White was awarded the championship trophy. The tournament is still held annually, and Green White continues to participate.

If you were present for the First Team game on September 7th, 1975, you saw Green White past, present, and future all on the field at the same time.

Two youngsters made their First Team debut that day, according to the meticulous records kept by club archivist Andreas Laxgang. Joe Filian started at midfield and Robert Meschbach started at striker. Both of these teenagers would later go on to play professional soccer, but on this day they shared the field with the Green White greats that came before them. Long-time players John Woolfe, Joe Laxgang and Nick Willer all played that day, as did the current stars of the team, Hans Mayer, Rudi Mayer, Peter Berger, and Hardy Ritter, along with longtime Green White names like Wirs, Schuster, and Wittje. The three generations of Green White players battled to a 2-2 tie against O.H. United in Lane Tech Stadium.

1975 also marked the first season for the professional Chicago Sting. The Sting recruited Green White's captain, Rudi Mayer, to be a part of that team (bottom row, far left). The Sting would remain an important part of the soccer landscape in Chicago for next decade.

While Rudi was showing Chicago and America what soccer could be, a collection of all-star Old Timers from the German teams in Chicago went on a tour of Germany to show their former countrymen the old guys still had what it took to kick the ball around. Among the players on that all-star team were Green White's very own Steve Zimmer and Joe Laxgang.

And the Green White ladies team showed what they were made of as well. In the summer tournament at the Schwaben Center, the Green White ladies team made it all the way to the finals before losing 2-0 to the Chicago Kickers in the final game.

Green White Off The Field

Brigitte Maria Kiefer was named Miss Green White and represented the club at the annual Sepp Herberger Sport, Radio & Press Ball. Green White's Junior Team (which featured the likes of Filian, Meschbach, and the next decade's First Team starters) was awarded the Junior Team of the year award.

Green White's Rudi Mayer was awarded the Sepp Herberger trophy for Player of the Year, and First Team goaltender Hardy Ritter finished in third place for that same award.

In Pop Culture

~The #1 song of the year was "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille

~The top rated show on television was "All in the Family"

~The Academy Award for Best Picture of 1975 went to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", but "Jaws" was the big winner at the box office.

Elsewhere in 1975

~In John Wooden's final game as coach, UCLA won their 10th NCAA championship of the past 12 years.

~Frank Robinson became the first African American manager in baseball (Cleveland Indians). Bill Veeck bought the White Sox.

~The U.S. evacuated US citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover, and U.S. involvement in the war officially came to an end.

~Cher divorced Sonny Bono.

~Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit.

~Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is unsuccessful in her assassination attempt against President Ford in Sacramento.

~Patty Hearst was captured by the FBI after being kidnapped, and then participating in several bank robberies.

Coming next month: 1976. America celebrates a Bicentennial and Green White celebrates their 20th 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


The 1974 season might not have been the best in league play for Green White's first team (they finished in the middle of the pack), but the summer of 1974 was packed with tournaments around the area, out of state, and even out of the country.

Once again led by the Mayer brothers (Captain Rudi scored 17, his brother Hans scored 16), Green White fared well in the Minneapolis tournament at the end of May, and then came back to Chicago and played well in the tournament at the brand new Schwaben Center in Buffalo Grove.

The first team had some fun during that tournament, letting the players try out different postions. In one game defender Konrad Kirschner (photo below) played in the goal. Coach Stefan Zimmer got back in the first team lineup during that same tournament. In another tournament Stefan Strumberger made a return appearance in goal (after a long absence from first team play) so that keeper Hardy Ritter could get some time on offense. They wrapped up their tour of the continent over Labor Day weekend, when the club made the trip up to Canada, and dominated the Canadian team from Windsor.

1974 also marked yet another milestone for club mainstay Joe Laxgang. He played in his 700th game in a Green White uniform. He must have felt at home on the field, because he was playing alongside long-time teammates Nick Willer and John Woolfe during that historic game. Green White won the game 3-2 versus the Fichte Rams on a late goal by Gary Kaiser.

Green White Youth

While the first team had fun, the Green White youth teams took care of business. In one of the best seasons in Green White youth soccer history, both the Juneniles team and the Midgets won the city and state championships. The Juveniles were led by coach Simon Andres and his star players Frank Schmaltz, Frank Speth, and a player who still plays for Green White today: John Dunkas.

The midget club (photo below) featured some of the long-time names associated with the team since it's beginning, including two sons of Coach Franz Stadler (Walter & Ricky), two Laxgangs (Marcus & Ricky, sons of Stefan and Joe), Michael Blaas (also a cousin of the Laxgang boys), Mike Schmaltz (little brother of Frank), Richard Schneider (son of club founder Martin), Toni Harjung (son of original member Adam), and Eckhard Kaempfer's son--yet another Ricky (There were six boys named Richard on this team). The Kaempfers moved to Germany in December of 1974.

Green White Off The Field

There was a changing of the guard in the executive suite of Green White in 1974. Hans Metzinger became Green White's president, a position he would hold off and on for the next thirty years.

Miss Green White in 1974 was 18-year-old Hildegard Schneider. Hilde was an honor student at Loyola University.

Green White Babies

*Future Green White player and current Green White board member Robert Stadler was born on May 9, 1974.

Other Soccer News from 1974

The Green White clubhouse was abuzz during the summer of 1974 as the World Cup was held in West Germany. The German team was led by captain Franz Beckenbauer and star striker Gerd Mueller, and they won it all, defeating Holland in the final game 2-1 to win their second World Cup Championship.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand

*The Best Picture of the year was "Godfather II". The biggest hit at the box office was "Blazing Saddles".

*The top show on television was once again "All in the Family"

Elsewhere in 1974

*President Richard Nixon resigned his office, and Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. He remains the only president in history that was never elected vice president or president.

*In April, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, moving ahead of Babe Ruth as baseball's all-time home run king.

*In August, rock star Peter Wolf (The JGeils Band) married movie star Faye Dunaway in one of the big celebrity events of the year.

*In October, Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle" to regain his Heavyweight title.

*In November John Lennon made his final on-stage appearance. He came on during the encore of Elton John's concert at Madison Square Garden to perform with Elton.

Next month: 1975

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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


A few Green White players reached milestones during the 1973, including Rudi Mayer (below right) who played in his 200th game with the club, and Nick Willer who made the exclusive 500-game club, but 1973 really belonged to Rudi's younger brother Hansi (below left). The former star of the Green White youth program was now showing his stuff with the First Team.

Green White played a 2-3-5 lineup which was common at that time. There were several different starting lineups, but the team that donned the Green and White most often looked like this: Hardi Ritter in the goal. Fladischer and Kirschner in the back. Joe Laxgang, Kelm, and Marks in the midfield. And the strong front five of Hansi Mayer, Team Captain Rudi Mayer, Mathes, Michajlovitsch, and Drace. (Others that contributed to the First Team in 1973, often in the starting lineup themselves were Berger, Ratschan, Lehman, Willer, Kaiser, Pressling, Wittje, Schuster, and the ever-present John Woolfe.)

Peter Mathes led the team in scoring, but when the dust settled after the 1973 season, only one player stood on the stage to accept the Player of the Year award: Hansi Mayer.

The award was presented at the annual Sport, Radio & Press ball (in the Golden Tiara Ballroom at 3231 N. Cicero in Chicago) by the German National Team coach, Helmut Schoen. Also on hand, "World Cup Willi" Schultz, the recently retired star of the 1970 German World Cup team.

The Green White first team didn't compete for the title, but they stayed in the Major Division, while the Eagles and Maroons were relegated.

Green White Youth Teams

The 70s belonged to the Green White youth program, and they were strong once again in 1973 at every single level. One group of boys featured long time players like Frank Schmidt Jr., Frank Olah, Mike Weiss, Hans Metzinger Jr., Mike Bappert, and Steve Marx.

Some of the former Midgets team had moved up an age group, and they dominated there too led by Frank Schmaltz, Frank Speth, Robert Klaus, and Mike Hrbacek (who led the team in goals).

And the Midgets finished in 1st place again. The strong team featured the boys in the photo above; Richard Schneider, Mike Blaas, Marcus Laxgang, Peter Wagner, and Robert Bless

Green White Off the Field

Martin Schneider served as President for the final time in 1973. The man who had helped organize and found the team in 1956 would turn over the reigns the following year. The club was more than 300 strong, and membership at the time cost a whopping $15.

Miss Green White made history. She was not only Miss Green White, she was also one of the players on the women's team. 18 year old Eva Stengel from Good Counsel High School announced in her speech that she planned to study nursing.

The Green White ladies club also staged a "mod dance" for which most of the men grew mustaches. Some of them never shaved them off.

1973 Green White Babies

*Jeff Feicthl (photo)

*Current Green White First Team Coach Jason (Jake) Truty

In Pop Culture

*All in the Family remained the #1 television show in the country. It kicked off the Saturday night lineup on CBS, which is still probably the strongest single night lineup in television history (M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show, and the Carol Burnett show)

*The number one song of the year was "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" by Tony Orlando & Dawn. (Spoiler alert: there were a hundred yellow ribbons round the old oak tree.)

Elsewhere in 1973

~Elvis Presley did the first world-wide broadcast hosted by an entertainer. His concert from Hawaii drew more viewers than the moon landing in 1969.

~Pink Floyd released one of the biggest selling albums in history; "Dark Side of the Moon".

~All afterschool specials were pre-empted to present the Watergate hearings. Impeachment talk started after President Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to dismiss Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused and resigned, along with Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Solicitor General Robert Bork, third in line at the Department of Justice, then fired Cox.

~Roe vs. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court.

~The first designated hitter batted in the Major Leagues; Ron Bloomberg of the Yankees.

~Secretariat won horseracing's Triple Crown.

Coming next month: 1974.

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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


In many ways, 1972 was one of the best years in Green White history.

It all began with the first team. In his debut season as the First Team coach, Stefan Zimmer molded the team into a successful unit immediately. With a good mix of young players (like Captain Rudi Mayer, his brother Hans, Hans Marx, and Peter Mathes) and long-time stalwarts (like Joe Laxgang and Nick Willer), Green White dominated the First Division of the NSL and were promoted once again to the Major Division. Then, in the fall of 1972, Green White was named the team of the year at the annual Sport, Radio & Press ball.

In addition to the team honors, some of the individual players were honored as well. Peter Mathes was named one of the top five players in the league (4th place), and Rudi Mayer was named the player of the year (the Sepp Herberger award). He was personally handed the trophy by Sepp Herberger himself. The former German National Team coach (1954 World Cup Champion) brought along his former superstar player Uwe Seeler (the star of that team).

The two German soccer legends also wanted to personally witness some of their former countrymen play the game here in America, and as part of their tour of German soccer in Chicago, they came by the Green White fields at Welles Park on Montrose and Lincoln the next day.

It's hard to overstate how momentous this occasion was to the German soccer loving members of Green White. Klaus Killian was there, and explains just how big of a deal this was...

"I met Sepp Herberger when he came here. I had my picture taken with him (left). And I met Uwe Seeler, and got my picture taken with him too. They were really nice people—such down to earth guys. Herberger was like a father figure to all of us. What a thrill it was to meet him.”

At the time, nine out of ten Chicagoans would have walked right past Sepp Herberger, despite his worldwide fame. The unassuming kindly old man came from a part of the sporting world that most of America hadn't yet embraced. Sepp Herberger became an important part of spreading the word. The Sepp Herberger Committee that sponsored the Sport, Radio & Press ball every year as a fundraiser, donated thousands of dollars to promote youth soccer in Chicago. By 1972, that total was already more than $20,000.

Green White Youth

The Green White youth program was flourishing in 1972. All of the teams performed well, but the Midgets A team (yes, they really called them that) had a particularly great year. The entire team was recognized for their first place finish at the Green White Anniversary party, and one boy in particular was singled out. His name was Frankie Schmaltz (The German newspaper "Eintracht" was on hand to chronicle his big night and publish this photo). Frank's name would be a Green White mainstay for many more years.

(Green White also chose a Miss Green White--her name was Monika Schmidt, and she was a senior at Jones Commercial High School)

Green White Babies

*The Gyurko family had twin boys, Peter & Mark. Of course they would eventually wear the Green & White colors. The Schlenhardts also welcomed a son and future Green White player, Mike.

*Fellow future Green White players Chris Salatino, Tom Czop, and Erik Bender were also born in 1972.

Elsewhere in Soccer

*The European Cup was held in Belgium in 1972, and the host nation made it to the final four, but they ran into the West German juggernaut and lost 2-1. The West German team led by Franz Beckenbauer went on to beat the Soviet Union and claim the 1972 European Championship. Gerd Mueller scored twice in that final game.

In Pop Culture

~The number one hit of the year was "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack.

~The Best Picture of 1972 was "The Sting" . (The Oscar was awarded in 1973)

~The Top Rated Television show was All in the Family

Elsewhere in 1972

~Alabama Governor and presidential candidate George Wallace was shot at a political rally in Maryland.

~President Nixon had a great year. He went to China on a historic trip, and he won re-election by the biggest landslide in American history. On the other hand, five men were apprehended by police in an attempt to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex. That was the start of the Watergate scandal.

~Two trains colided in Chicago, causing the worst commuter train crash in city history. 45 people died and 332 were injured.

~The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich. Mark Spitz won seven gold medals, but these games will always be remembered for something else. The tragic murder of the Israeli athletes by Arab terrorists.

Coming next month: 1973

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.