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 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.