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Former U.S. Soccer President Eugene Ringsdorf Remembered

CHICAGO (Nov. 4, 2003) - Former U.S. Soccer President J. Eugene Ringsdorf passed away early on Friday, October 31, at the age of 91. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ringsdorf served as U.S. Soccer president from 1961 to 1963 and was responsible for developing countless programs in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as the United States.

Ringsdorf was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. in 1979 and was perhaps best remembered for introducing legislation within the U.S. Soccer Federation (then known as the U.S. Soccer Football Association) that significantly advanced the cause of soccer in American high schools.

Born on April 5, 1912, Ringsdorf was exactly one-year-old when the original U.S. Soccer organization was chartered on April 5, 1913, as the U.S. Football Association.

As a player, Ringsdorf played for 20 years in the amateur leagues in Baltimore for Collington S.C. and Corinthian S.C., and served as a player-coach for Corinthians when they won the Maryland State Amateur Championship in 1937. During his later years, Ringsdorf worked for the Baltimore Bays of the North American Soccer League and served on an advisory committee for the Baltimore Blast of the original Major Indoor Soccer League. He was awarded Baltimore's "Best Citizen" award in 1975.

"Gene Ringsdorf was an important part of the history of U.S. Soccer," said current U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. "Figures like he were instrumental in building the platform from which we all work so successfully from today in youth soccer, adult soccer and professional soccer. It is at times like this when the contributions of the thousands of people who have worked to make soccer a success in this country, but are no longer with us, should be remembered forever."

Ringsdorf is survived by 17 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren, as well as a son and four  daughters. Ringsdorf was laid to rest on Monday at at the Schimunex Funeral Home (9705 Belair Rd.; 410-256-3000) in Baltimore.