CHICAGO (May 6, 2016) – Rocco Amoroso, a U.S. Soccer Life Member since 2014, passed away on Thursday, May 5, in his home state of New York. An advocate for sportsmanship within the game, Amoroso provided a lasting legacy in soccer in the United States.
In the early 1980’s, Amoroso saw a need for youth league to focus on developing mature players and creating responsible citizens through lessons in teamwork and fair play. He organized the local Long Island Junior Soccer League’s (LIJSL) Sportsmanship program, a first-of-its-kind program in youth sports, integrating the “Build Character Through Soccer” slogan that still remains the league’s mission statement today.
Rocco’s guidelines on sportsmanship for the good of the game and the development of the character of its players were adopted by the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and all American Youth Soccer Organizations throughout the United States.
Amoroso, a woodworker from Melville, N.Y., was a member of the LIJSL and ENYYSA Halls of Fame and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Nassau County Sports Commission. New York men’s over-40 teams compete annually for the Rocco Amoroso Cup, created to honor his contributions to the sport.Photo courtesy of ENYYSA.