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 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.