Philadelphia Soccer History / SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame

2015 SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame class honored

Photo: Tom Keenan

A rich soccer tradition continued earlier this month as Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Soccer Hall of Fame celebrated their 68th annual awards banquet.

SEPA President, Bob Kowlowski, welcomed the crowd of over 250 players, coaches, referees, friends and family members at Cannstatter’s in Northeast Philadelphia. Citing the SEPA motto “Honoring the Past, Building the Future,” Kozlowski touched on the history of the organization originally known as the Philadelphia Oldtimers Soccer Association.

SEPA15 Kozlowski Bob

SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame president Bob Kozlowski address the banquet attendees. Photo: Tom Keenan

“The Oldtimers formed in 1947,” Kozlowski related. “In 1950 the Oldtimers formed the national soccer hall of fame, a lot of people don’t know that, the National Soccer Hall of Fame which includes Mia Hamm and Alexi Lalas, we formed that … and turned it over to US Soccer.”

History was honored throughout the evening with special recognition given to Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association’s 100th anniversary and the 8o year rivalry between North Catholic and Frankford High School. [Editor’s note: 2015 is actually EPSA’s 112th anniversary. The organization, originally known as Eastern Pennsylvania and District, was formed in 1913, five days after the founding of what is now known as the US Soccer Federation.]

Jerry Brindisi, 2013 SEPA Hall of Famer and North Catholic coach (1998-2010), shared his perspective. “There was a great respect for the Frankford program without a doubt. All the guys who played for Frankford hung on the same corners as the guys who played for North and there really was a great respect and a great rivalry and you see it here today.”

Jack Creighton, 2005 SEPA Hall of Famer and Frankford coach (2003-2006), joined Brindisi in assembling a history of North Catholic-Frankford coaches and championships for the banquet program.

Joe Krantz, 2015 SEPA Coach of the Year, served as master of ceremonies. Krantz cracked up the crowd as he presented each of the SEPA Hall of Fame inductees who join the ranks of over 400 soccer legends including Benny McLaughlin and Walter Bahr. Below is a list of the inductees (see their bios at the end of the article) and individual award winners.

2015 SEPA Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Joe Amorin
  • Jay Bitterlich
  • Darci Borski
  • Dave Cardie
  • Bruce Falkenstein
  • Pete Hulayew
  • Pat Morris
  • Emily Oluk Shaw
  • Steve Paul
  • Skip Roderick
  • Robert Robinson
  • Nick Sakiewicz

Tom Paton Award for Female Player of the Year: Jazmin Gonzalez (Archbishop Ryan High School)

Bill Peterman Award for Male Player of the Year: Tyler Colasanto (La Salle High School)

Charlotte Moran Award for Coach of the Year (Female Team): Jonathan Geist (Parkwood Youth Organization /Archbishop Ryan High School)

John (Jukey) Nanoski Award for Coach of the Year (Male Team): Joe Krantz (Archbishop Wood High School)

Ned Potts Award for Club of the Year: Parkwood Youth Organization

Harry Rogers Award for Referee of the Year: Mike Laychock

Chick Fallon Award for Service to Soccer: Billy O’Neill

2015 inductee Pat Morris exemplified SEPA’s motto “Honoring the Past, Building the Future” as he reflected, “To have my name added with the members of this soccer community, it’s a tremendous honor.” Morris added, “Soccer in Philadelphia has always been a great tradition. It’s awesome to see the opportunities for our young kids nowadays — for instance Johnny McCarthy to go on and play for the Union. I have a son who is my main focus now, to be able to watch him grow up and watch him play and maybe even coach him. That’s what it’s all about.”

SEPA15 Inductees

The 2015 inductees. Photo: Tom Keenan

2015 SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame inductee bios

Joe Amorin

A Portuguese native, Amorin started his coaching career at Saint James High School in Chester as their first varsity soccer coach. He moved up to the college level as an assistant at Swarthmore College and went on to become head coach at Haverford College where he served for 26 years. Amorin coached several All-Americans along the way, won 3 division titles and the MAC conference championship in 1988. He was the winningest coach in Haverford school history. Amorin also played important roles at the state level, serving as the very first Director of Coaching for EPYSA, overseeing their Olympic Development Program and Residential Camp. In 2014, Amorin was honored by EPYSA with the “Excellence in Coaching” award.

Jay Bitterlich

Bitterlich started his soccer career at Vereinigung Erzgebirge (VE) and became one of their top players on the VE Juniors. He earned All-Public honors as a senior at Olney High School. After high school, he was drafted and served in Vietnam. Upon his return, Jay played for VE in the men’s 1st Division. Bitterlich turned to coaching after breaking his leg during a game. He coached boys and girls at VE for 16 years and took his U16 boys on a successful tour of Germany in 1995. Bitterlich continued to serve his lifelong club VE as Sports Chairperson, Club Director, Financial Secretary and Vice President. He has been serving as club President for the past 12 years.

Darci Borski

As a player at Nazareth Academy, Borski scored 100 career goals, won top honors at the state and national level and had her No. 10 jersey retired. She went on to play at University of Virginia where she scored 30 career goals, earned All-American, All-Tournament and Second Team All-ACC honors. Borski participated in the EPYSA Olympic Development Program and played over 4 years with the U16 and U17 National Teams. She was drafted in 2003 by the WUSA Washington Freedom and played alongside Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. She went on to play in the USL, W-League for the Hampton Roads Piranhas, in the WUSL for the Philadelphia Charge and overseas for the Norwegian cub, Asker. Borski is an equally impressive coach, winning Southeastern PA Coach of the Year in 2007 and SEPA Hall of Fame Coach of the Year in 2008 while serving as head coach at Germantown Academy. She was named head coach at Penn Charter in 2013 and led the program to a first ever Inter-Ac title.

Dave Cardie

As a player at University of Pennsylvania, Cardie was All Soccer 7, All Ivy, NSCAA All American and All-Century Team. He was a two time National Amateur Cup Finalist while playing for Philadelphia Inter and won the EPYSA Amateur State Cup Championship while at Ukrainian Nationals Majors. He was a member of the VE team who won the national championship in 1998. Cardie is still active playing for Radnor United in the over 50 league. Cardie served in coaching positions for 30 years at Archbishop Wood High School, University of Pennsylvania, Deep Run Valley Sports Association, PA Rush, Pennridge Yellow Jackets, and Ukrainian Nationals.

Bruce Falkenstein

Falkenstein played for Holicong Middle School and Central Bucks East High School where his junior varsity team was undefeated and his varsity team won the Bux-Mont League Championship. He went on to play for University of Pittsburgh-Bradford where he made the NAIA District 18 team as a sophomore and was honored as MVP in his junior and senior year. Falkenstein was inducted in University of Pittsburgh’s Hall of Fame in 2002. At the club level, Falkenstein made it to the ICSL under-16 All Star Team while playing for Buckingham. He started playing for VE in 1983 and won championships in 1991, 1996, 2000 (National Champions), 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Pete Hulayew

Hulayew played for Benjamin Franklin High School where he received All Public honors. He played club ball for the Ukrainian Nationals in the junior and first divisions. Hulayew also coached for the Ukrainians as well as Upper Moreland Soccer Club. He started his career as a referee in 1980 and went on to earn State Referee Emeritus Status (Grade 5). Hulayew officiated in the United League, United Juniors League, Philadelphia Catholic League, Inter County Soccer League, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, PAGS, MSSL, Mid-Atlantic Premier, Philadelphia department of Recreation, Eastern Development Program, Liga de Latino Americana Futbol, Council Rock and VE adult leagues. Some highlights include an international friendly between University of Sao Paolo and the Inter County League All-Stars, the Liga de Latino Americana Futbol Finals and the Ukrainian National Olympics where Hulayew served at head referee. Hulayew stays connected to game now as an assignor.

Pat Morris

Morris played for Northeast Catholic High School and was honored as the Philadelphia Catholic League MVP. He went on to play for Philadelphia University where he was All-American, Philadelphia Soccer Seven MVP and a four-time All-Soccer Seven selection. He was inducted to the school’s Hall of Fame in 2008. Morris played at the professional level for 11 years, 10 of which he played for the Philadelphia Kixx. Morris served as captain for 8 seasons and won the MISL’s Defender of the Year award twice. He scored 150 goals in over 300 games and won league titles in 2001 and 2007. Morris played his last season at the Baltimore Blast where he was honored for a third time as Defender of the Year. Morris has more than 30 international caps as a member of the US National Futsal Team and has participated in the World Championships, Pan-American Games and a CONCACAF qualifier. Morris now serves as assistant coach at Saint Joseph’s University.

Emily Oluk Shaw

Oluk Shaw is a distinguished alumnus of Archbishop Wood High School where she was a 4 year starter with a record of 53-10-9 as goalkeeper. Her team won the Catholic League Championship in 1995-1996 and made it to the finals in 1997. Oluk Shaw was honored as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Girls Player of the Year in 1997. She played in Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program and Region I teams. At Penn State she made first team All-American in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and first team All-Big Ten in 1998-2001. She set the NCAA record for all-time minutes played with 8128. She started in all 100 games of her career. Oluk Shaw set the single season records for saves, shutouts, minutes played and goals against average. She set career records saves, shutouts and wins. She was the team MVP in 1998-1999. Oluk Shaw was named to the first team academic all American. Oluk Shaw went on to play at the national level as a member of the US U-21 team 1999-2002. She trained with the full national team in run up to the 1999 World Cup. Oluk Shaw earned 2 caps competing in the Algarve Cup in 2001. She was drafted by the WUSA Carolina Courage in 2002. She spent 6 seasons as an assistant coach at University of Rhode Island.

Steve Paul

Paul played for Council Rock High School where he made the All Lower Bucks first team, All State Honorable Mention, and was honored as the team MVP in 1976. He played club ball at UGH where he was selected to the all-star team in multiple years and the U-16 Hunter Cup team in 1974. He played for the UGH Reserve team and the Major team and America/Kolping SC First Division and Majors. He played for Phoenix SC second division, first division and U-30. Paul also did a two-week tryout with the Philadelphia Fever Indoor Team. Paul started coaching in 1976 at Council Rock United and continued at Phoenix, UGH and VE. He served at Phoenix sports director, on the UGH board of governors and now serves as the UGH Chairman of the Board of Governors (since 2005).

Skip Roderick

As a student Roderick played for Elizabethtown College where he was named to the MAC Northern Division all-star team 3 times. He went on to play professionally for the Philadelphia Atoms, Pittsburgh Miners, New Jersey Americans, Sligo Rovers, Everton, Brentford, Philadelphia Fever, and the Philadelphia Ukrainians. Roderick was named interim head coach of the Philadelphia Fever in 1981 and 1982. In 1983 he went back to his alma mater, Elizabethtown College, to serve as head coach. Skip’s accomplishments as coach include 5 NCAA Regional Championships, 17 NCAA Division III tournament appearances, 14 straight trips to the NCAA tournament, fifth best winning percentage (.765) amongst NCAA Division III coaches all-time, sixth amongst active DIII coaches, fourth most wins (478) amongst NCAA Division III coaches all-time; fourth amongst active DIII coaches, eight MAC championships, 2 Commonwealth Conference Championships, 25 straight winning seasons, and 5 conference Coach of the Year awards. He coached 178 all-conference players and mentored 20 All-Americans and 3 academic All-Americans.

Robert Robinson

Robinson served as varsity soccer coach at Lower Merion High School from 1968-1990. His accomplishments include 5 Central League Championships, 2 PIAA District I Championships, 2 PIAA State Runner-Up, 1 PIAA State Championship. Robby’s record at Lower Merion was 214-119-65. In 1984 he was named the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Robby is a co-founder of the Southeastern PA Soccer Coaches Association and the Radnor Soccer Club. He founded the PA Soccer Coaches Association and served as first executive secretary. He helped create the PSCA All-Star Soccer Teams and was instrumental in launching the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state soccer championships. Robinson served the NSCAA for 25 years on the executive Committee as Treasurer, Vice President and President. He served as NSCAA Convention Manager 1997-2010. In 2001, the NSCAA honored him with the establishment of the NSCAA Robert W. “Robby” Robinson High School Long-Term Service Award.

Nick Sakiewicz

Sakiewicz made his bones as a goalkeeper in New Jersey. He worked his way up to the professional ranks and eventually turned to the managerial side of soccer. He helped found the MLS in 1996 and became the president and general manager of the New York Metrostars. Sakiewicz was instrumental in the building of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. He brought his expertise to Philadelphia, putting together the investment group that eventually became the ownership of the Philadelphia Union, where Sakiewicz serves as CEO and managing partner. He was instrumental in the design and building of PPL Park. In 2012, he brought the MLS All-Stars vs. Chelsea FC match to PPL Park. With the intent of developing homegrown players for the Union, Sakiewicz oversaw the creation of the Union Academy, which also provides a school of its attendees. The Union has built soccer fields and partnered with Sons of Ben to build a playground. The organization founded Chester City United and offers clinics, camps and the “Soccer for Success Program” in 10 schools. The Union is also an active partner in SEPA’s annual Coats for Chester program.

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