Written by Randy Vogt Wednesday, 31 July 2013 00:00
The Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association congratulate soccer lifer Hank Steinbrecher upon his induction into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. Hank received Eastern New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty Hall of Fame trophy near Miss Liberty as the ceremony took place during a Cruise Around Manhattan on July 13 to celebrate Eastern New York’s 100th anniversary. Eastern New York was founded in 1913, the same year that the United States Soccer Federation, now commonly referred to as U.S. Soccer, was founded.
Steinbrecher was born in Queens and grew up in Levittown. He played youth soccer as a teenager in the early 1960s before the creation of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL).
“So I went to Hicksville’s Long Island Railroad station and took a train to Jamaica and then made a connection to a subway or bus to get to a soccer field in Queens or Brooklyn,” Steinbrecher said. “That’s what it took for me to get a game back then.”
He wound up playing for the Kollsman Football Club and German Brooklyn Sport Club in what is now the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL).
It was then on to West Virginia where he played for Davis & Elkins, winning a NAIA national championship by defeating powerhouse Quincy College of Illinois, 2-1, in five overtime periods in the 1968 final.
Steinbrecher earned his Masters of Education degree from West Virginia University and went on to teach and coach at Warren Wilson College, Appalachian State University and Boston University. He then directed the soccer venue at Harvard University for the 1984 Olympic Games. From there, he entered the corporate world, directing sports marketing for Quaker Oats.
From 1990 until the turn of the millennium, Steinbrecher served as Secretary General of U.S. Soccer and directed unparalleled growth. As CEO for U.S. Soccer, he was responsible for all aspects of managing a large non-profit organization. During the 1990s, U.S. Soccer hosted the World Cup in 1994 and Women’s World Cup in 1999, the United States
Women’s National Team won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999 plus the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and Major League Soccer was launched that same year. It is because of visionary leaders such as Steinbrecher that getting a game was no longer difficult for any boy or girl in the United States.
Steinbrecher also took a lead role in marketing soccer to potential sponsors, helping U.S. Soccer’s corporate partners grow throughout the 1990s.
He retired from U.S. Soccer and is now the president of Touchline Consultants Inc., an international sports management company.
Besides being inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame, Steinbrecher was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006, was made a lifetime member by U.S. Soccer in 2003 and has also received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s highest honor, “The Honor Award,” for his lifelong service to the game.
In his induction speech, Steinbrecher said, “I grew up in New York and the lessons I learned on the fields of the Met Oval, Eintracht Oval and Red Hook, I have carried throughout my life.”